Preceptorships, also known as job shadowing, are a great solution for people who want to transition into a new industry or career (and for new graduates, too). They are fantastically enriching experiences that make you a stronger candidate in the job search, plus they give you a legitimate way to include industry-specific keywords on your resume—which will get it noticed. They’re a valuable stepping-stone toward your new career.

How do you get one?

One of my coaching clients, for instance, has some strong relationships with people at top companies in his desired area, but he hasn’t gotten a job yet. He’s doing a great job with his network, but he’s not finding the opening he needs. My advice to him was to go back to his contacts and ask for a preceptorship to strengthen his resume and his position in the job search.

So, for you, that means that you can find the same opportunity with someone in your network—or maybe they can refer you to someone. If you’ve interviewed with a company but not gotten the job, or if you have networked strongly with a company, or have a relationship with someone in a company, ask questions like these:

• Can you ride along for a day in the field?
• Can you job shadow for a day?
• Can you go to a meeting? with a client?
• Can you attend a tradeshow with them?

This experience is just waiting for you—all you have to do is make a phone call. Ask for the experience and get it. Not only will you demonstrate you’re serious about your career, the experience will make you stronger in your job search and ultimately, in your job.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales recruiting, and career coaching. Her website, Career Confidential ( is packed with job-landing tips and advice as well as the practical, powerful, innovative tools every job seeker needs to be successful.
Peggy offers customized interview coaching to help you through the rough spots and find a job faster. Find out more about what she can do for you—job-search strategies, social media help, role-playing interview questions, resumes that get the interview, 30/60/90-day plans that get the job, and much more at