Hurst Resources: Handshake

Libby Bullinger, Copy editor

Whether you are looking for a job or internship or need help with your resumé, Handshake is the place to go.

Handshake is available as both a website and an app on Android and iOS, so it is accessible on the go. Mercyhurst uses this platform in conjunction with the Career Development Center (CDC) to help students with different aspects of applying for jobs. In order to access Handshake, students can log onto the Mercyhurst Hub, select “Career Development” under the “Academic Resources” tab at the top of the homepage and scroll down to the Handshake icon.

According to their website, “Handshake was created to en-sure that all college students have equal access to meaningful ca-reers.” The platform was founded in 2013 and has since become the leading early-career community for individuals in the United States. One of the most beneficial actions students can take on the Handshake platform is to customize their profiles. Other than the basic information such as your name, majors/minors, graduation date and pro-nouns, students are encouraged to fill out a section called “My Journey,” which is the place to write about your passions, job interests and reasons for being on the platform. There are also options for education, work and volunteer experience, organizations and any other projects students may want to showcase. In some cases, it can be helpful to include special skills such as communication, leadership or proficiency in programs like Excel or PowerPoint.

Handshake also allows students to indicate their job preferences, areas of interest or even cities that they want to work in. This information aids the platform in connecting students with potential employers. Students are also able to up-load special documents such as a resumé or cover letter in addition to the other information.

Some employers will require these materials, but many of them do not. Heather Balas, Director of the Career Development Center, speaks highly of the Handshake platform. “Handshake provides students opportunities to connect with employers are our [Career Development] office. Handshake also acts as a substitute for print resources that we used to use pri-or to switching to a virtual plat-form,” Balas said. Balas notes that this is Mer-cyhurst’s fourth year using the Handshake platform, and it has received mostly positive feedback from users.

Senior Dance and Marketing major Angela Lutz found the virtual internship she completed this past summer on the Hand-shake app. Lutz points out a great feature that allows students to apply certain filters such as in-person or remote work which allows users to really pinpoint and find opportunities that match their needs. Although one may often think of Handshake as a platform for undergraduate students, Balas points out that alumni can also have access and utilize it in several ways. “Alumni can see all the job op-portunities that students can see, but they also often register as an employer so they can give back to the institution by recruiting cur-rent MU students,” Balas notes. Handshake allows students to apply for jobs and internships on and off-campus, but there are also other events that can be viewed on the platform.

The Career Development Center offers job fairs, resumé workshops and mock interview practice sessions that can all be viewed on Handshake in addition to virtual job fairs from external companies. It is a great resource that students should certainly take advantage of during their time on campus. Download the Handshake app today and make sure to stop by the Career Development Center if you have any additional questions.