Students & Alumni

Handshake is a career network giving you access to over 43k employers, 77k UMN peers and alumni, and 12 million more peers from institutions across the US, UK, and Europe. 

Why use Handshake?

  • Tailored job board for college students and entry level talent.
  • Good odds! 1.6 applications per posting on average.
  • 153k+ jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities posted in the past year.
  • Virtually chat with employers about open positions.
  • Message students who have worked at companies of interest.
  • Keep track of event and fair attendance and employer interactions all in one place.

Make the most out of Handshake

First 5 Days on Handshake
Find Employers on Handshake
Register for a Fair and Research Employers
Search for a Job
Connect with Peers in Handshake
Get Helpful Career Advice on Handshake


Handshake gives you better recommendations the more you use it. It's important to keep your profile and career interests up to date as you progress through school or your career.

  1. Fill out your profile and career interests: This is the most important thing you can do! Your profile and career interests drive the jobs Handshake recommends to you. It will also allow relevant employers to find you. If you already have a resume, you can upload it to autofill your profile.
  2. Use filters then keywords: You'll get the best results by entering a job type, location, and job role filter then adding a keyword search. If you're not seeing relevant results, try taking away the job role filter and entering the keyword search again.
  3. Research employer pages: You can find reviews, tips for interviewing from students who have gone through the process, message students who have worked there, Q&A with the company, tips and news from the company. 
  4. Follow employers and ask questions: See tips for messaging an employer
  5. Talk to other students on Handshake: Chat with students and alumni who’ve been there. When you view a job or employer page, you can see other students who have worked there and reach out to them with your questions. 
  6. Sign up for email digests: Save time and automate some of your job search by getting jobs relevant to your career interests sent to your inbox.
  7. Quick apply: Many jobs on Handshake allow you to quick apply solely based on your Handshake profile or with a resume. 

Get Noticed by Employers

Respond to Employer Messages

Recruiters on Handshake often reach out and invite candidates to apply to their open positions, opening a dialogue that can help you secure a position. Don't be afraid to respond to an employer message! This is a key tool many employers use to recruit on Handshake.

Show up in an employer search

Employers search for students based on characteristics in your profile and the career interests you fill out such as job role, job type, and location.  

When employers search for students on Handshake, they most often search by:

  1. Your skills section: Employers search for specific keywords for "hard skills" such as Python, project management, or Spanish rather than "soft skills" like "hard worker" or "interpersonal skills." You can demostrate soft skills on your resume or during an interview, but they're not what employers search for in Handshake.
    • Identify the skills needed in your industry: In order to build a skills section with relevant hard skills, scan the qualifications sections of the job descriptions you're interested in. Note what keeps coming up. Is it skills like coding or specific previous experience like customer service or project management?
    • Be specific: Be precise when listing your skills. Rather than "communication," list "blog writing" or "public relations." Rather than "organizational skills," list "project management" or event planning."
  2. Your interests: The "your interests" section of your profile includes preferred job role, job type, and location. These are frequently used in employer searches, so make sure to keep these up to date.
  3. Past experience: While skills and interests more often drive employers' search results, they also search for past experience, and it's a good thing to include if an employer does find their way to your profile. Plus, some jobs allow you to quick apply based only on your profile. If you already have a resume, you can upload it to auto-fill your profile. 

More Info