- Poll your students to assess their interests, preferences, and needs.
- Have a conversation or use a survey to assess students’ career interests.
- If you already have a few prospective employers in mind, give those options to students and have them rank their preferences.
- Use information from this assessment to seek or select employers.
- Example: If 10 students are interested in food services, you may want to make sure you have a few employers who work in food services.
- Example: If a student is very passionate about working with animals, expand your search to find an employer who works at a Veterinary Clinic or Animal Rescue Shelter.
- Discuss with the student and teacher the duration of the job shadow.
- Full day or half day?
- Is the student comfortable being away from campus during lunch?
- What is the availability of transportation?
- What classes can the student miss?
- Determine if you want your job shadowing experiences to focus on only specific career clusters.
- If students will participate in multiple job shadowing experiences, you may choose to narrow your focus or choose career clusters that will differ from students’ past or future experiences.
- Reach out to local employers
- Create an informational flier or document that explains your needs.
- Contact a variety of employers in your area.
- First, send a letter or email explaining your program. Then follow up with a phone call. Explain to employers whether you are looking for a one-time event or multiple shadow days.
- Sample email or letter script:
My name is _________ and my role is _______________ working with students at _____________. My students are exploring potential careers through Work-Based Learning and one essential way for them to learn is through job shadowing. During job shadowing, students can observe an employee perform their daily work routine, develop an understanding of the value of professional training, and explore potential career options. You are not expected to cease your daily activities, but just allow students to observe. Would you be willing to host a student or students at your workplace? If so, could we setup a time to further discuss by phone?
- Schedule a meeting with employers
- Confirm the dates and times for the job shadowing experience. If you have already assigned students to sites, let the employer know who they will be hosting.
- Share the document Tips for Employers Hosting a Job Shadow. Explain what they can expect and how they can support students by completing the post-job shadowing surveys.
- Ask if there is any information or forms to be completed by students or families beforehand. (i.e. safety waiver, information about dress code, photo release form, etc.)
- If you or the student plan to take pictures or videos on site, you may want to have the employer sign a photo release form.
- Ensure any questions the employer has are answered
- Explain the program to students
- Once your employers have confirmed, share job shadowing assignments with students.
- Go over information that they will need and have them fill out the Student Pre-Job Shadowing Document. Support students in coming up with questions to ask while they are Job Shadowing.
- Explain expectations to students about their behavior, dress, and safety.
- Ensure students have all the information and materials for a successful job shadow experience.
- Reach out to parents
- Have parents sign a permission form. Use this as an opportunity to address transportation, lunch, or student needs or accommodations.
- If you have a lot of students, it may be beneficial to schedule an informational meeting or phone call to discuss the job shadowing experience.
- Arrange transportation
- Determine if the school can provide busing, if public transportation can be used, or if the parent or volunteer will need to transport students.
- Thank employers
- Send a written thank you or email to thank employers for their time. Have students send a thank you as well.
- Make sure employers have filled out the Post-Experience Survey.
- Issue completion certificates
- Give students a certificate that shows where and when they participated in Job Shadowing to add to their portfolio.
- Reflect and evaluate
- Review post-surveys from employers. If appropriate, relay any feedback to students about the feedback from employers. Take notes about the ease of working with employers for your future reference.
- Reflect with students on the experience. Use the Student Reflection Form and the questions below:
- What are some of the typical tasks of this job?
- What are 2-3 things you learned about this job that you did not know before.
- What are some of the skill requirements or degrees needed for this job?
- How did people interact at this job? Did they interact with one another or with customers, etc.?
- Do you think that you would like to do this job? Why or why not?