Six Steps To Create A Job Shadow Opportunity

John Evans and Gretta Groves on Couch at VITL

    CEO John Evans and Gretta Groves, VITL, 2017

Job shadowing is a great way to make connections and find out what a job is really like behind the scenes. Here’s how you can create a job shadow opportunity for yourself:

  1. Identify an organization and contact person
    Using LinkedIn or other personal connections, identify your target organization(s). Have a few options in mind. Check LinkedIn to see if any UVM alumni work there, or ask around with your friends, family, professors, and other contacts to see if they know anyone at the organization.
  1. Send an outreach email
    Make sure your email is short and specific: Your contact is probably a busy person, and you want to respect their time. Check out this page for some sample emails. Identify who you are, why you are contacting them, and your interest in learning more about their job/organization. Be specific with what you want: The first step is to set up a phone call to talk. For example,

    • Hello Ms. Franklin,
      I am a senior at UVM, and I am currently researching job opportunities in writing and editing. I’m very interested in learning more about the work that does. Would you be open to having a 20-minute phone call so that I could learn more about your work and the organization? I’m available most afternoons between 2-4pm.
      Thank you,
      Ben Smith
  1. Do your research
    Once your contact agrees to a phone call, make sure to do your research on the organization. Look at their website and learn about their mission, clients, and work.
  1. Use the phone call to introduce yourself and ask if you can visit for a job shadowing day
    Ask your contact about their work and how they got into the position. Ask if they would be open to having you visit to observe their work
  1. Prepare for the day
    Make sure you know where you’re going, what to wear, and what time to show up. Bring a list of questions that you can ask as you are shadowing. Make sure that you are engaged, curious, and professional.
  1. Afterwards:
    Send a thank you note to your contact and anyone else you met on the shadowing day. Keep the relationship going by connecting on LinkedIn and sending period updates about your professional development.

–Amanda Chase, Career Counselor and Internship Coordinator, Career Center

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