How do you set yourself apart from competitors?

Job Shadowing

By: Hannah Middleton

We’ve all been there. Finding an internship is stressful. Making connections with employers is even more stressful.  In my own hunt for an internship, I had trouble finding ways for employers to notice me. After filling out a dozen applications and not receiving any inquires, it was time to get creative. How do you make a memorable impression in your search to land an interview for the company you want to work for? How do you set yourself apart from competitors? Here is a helpful hint that is often overlooked: job shadowing.


Benefits of job shadowing:

  1. Face time: The best aspect of job shadowing is face time with employers. It gives you a chance to interact with company representatives and make an impression that you otherwise may not have had if you only submit an application. Instead of an employer skimming through your resume, you have an opportunity to explain your experience and qualifications in detail that are otherwise limited in a one-page summary. Invite the representative to give feedback on your resume, let them question your previous experiences, and ask career advice.
  2. Less threatening: Interviews are intimidating. Job shadows are practices for when you secure an interview with a company. Familiarize yourself with a company beyond what you’ve read or heard. Meet with different members of the company and impress them with your excellent communications skills.  You will feel much more comfortable when it’s time to interview.
  3. Interest in company: No employer wants to hire an intern without a genuine interest in their company. Show the company you’re interested and spend a day at their organization. Employers are flattered that you’d ask to shadow with them. Include in a conversation why you admire the company and explain why you’re an excellent candidate for the position.

Both companies asked to interview me as I ended my job shadow. Simple as that. My wisdom to pass along to you: bring yourself to the company because, more than likely, the company will not set out to find you. Undoubtedly, job shadowing helped me land two interviews, and even further, increased my chances of being hired.  Make it convenient for recruiters to locate an intern who is interested in the company and willing to go the extra mile to be a part of it.


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