The Handshake Advantage for your job or internship search
Updated: May 5
Regardless of your academic major or career interests, Handshake is a great place to start your job or internship search. On average, the Career Center posts 100 new jobs everyday, and during peak recruitment season, over 4,000 positions are available. All Lehigh students have access to Handshake and are encouraged to start there when beginning a job or internship search, even if you are looking for a work study job on campus! Here are the tips and tricks to make the most of this amazing resource and its features.
Start by creating a complete profile
Your profile is the main source of information for employers and how they discover your experience and skill set. The information in your profile also feeds opportunities that Handshake sends to you regarding jobs, internships, and events. The more complete your profile is and the more details you share there, the more matches Handshake will send you and the more accurate those matches will be. Some information is auto imported (and locked) from Banner to your Handshake profile, like your GPA. But lots of other information is helpful to add and regularly update.
A complete profile includes:
At least one Work/Volunteer Experience
At least one Organization/Extracurricular
At least one Skill
Additional suggestions for your profile include adding a photograph, academic projects, and any other experiences you have listed on your resume or LinkedIn profile. You can also add a preferred name if it varies from your legal name.
In addition to completing your profile, fill out the Career Interests Information by clicking on your profile picture, then Career Interests.
Once your profile is complete, consider making your profile public to employers. You must also "Join the Community" to participate in the Career Expo and share your profile with employers. This allows employers to proactively reach out to you about job or internship opportunities. Just like you can browse the job board (more on that next), employers can view and sort for ideal candidates based on visible profiles.
Navigate the job board
Filters are your friends! It will be impossible to view all the opportunities on Handshake, especially considering new positions are added daily. Narrow your search by full-time job, internship, industry, job function, location and more. If you are searching for a Work Study Position, use the On-Campus Filter.
Other user friendly filters include “match all employer preferences”. This filter automatically reads all the requirements an employer has set (like GPA, academic majors, grad date, etc.) and shows you all the positions on Handshake you are qualified for. You can also sort by paid roles and sponsorship positions.
Once you have narrowed your search by filters, you will see a list of jobs that match your search. To receive alerts when more jobs that match your filters are posted, you can save your search by clicking on the “Save Your Search” button located above the list of jobs that appear on the left side of your screen. By saving your search you are saving the criteria (filters) for the search, not the data (jobs/internships) yielded. A pop-up will appear in the lower right corner of your screen that says “Created Job Alert” and the Save Your Search link will now say “Edit your notifications.” Click on this to choose how you want to be alerted to new jobs; by email, in-App, by Mobile and whether you want to be notified daily or weekly.
If you see a job that you are interested in but are not quite ready to apply, you can save the job by clicking on the small flag, to the right of the job title. Be sure you are aware of the application deadline date.
If you are interested in a particular employer, you can “follow” that employer. This will allow you to receive notifications about that employer's activity in Handshake—posting a job, hosting an event, etc.
Application instructions will vary by employer, simply follow the prompts and directions provided once you click “Apply”. Most will require you to upload a resume or direct you to the employers website to apply via their application tools.
Every job search should also include employer research. Scrolling to the bottom of all job postings, you can find an “About” section for the employer. There you will see information on the size, industry and location of the employer as well as direct links to the employer website and a description. Handshake will also link other positions open from this company and post student reviews shared by student Handshake users at hundreds of other colleges or universities. All of this information helps you learn about the organization's culture and will help you write a stronger cover letter and be well prepared for the interview.
Recruiter contact information
Some companies include a contact name and email so you can reach out with questions. If this is provided, it will be listed on the right side of the page in the job description. The Career Center is not able to share contact information for recruiters, so if you need to follow up look for contact information in the job posting or use LinkedIn and the company website to identify employees.
If you are job or internship searching, you should also prepare a resume and cover letter. The Handshake resource page includes extensive information on how to create and update your application materials. Review the Resume tile and Cover letter tile to view the videos, read the guides, browse helpful links and download related attachments. The resource page should always be the first place you go to learn and get started on your career task.
Top 10 Tips to make the most of Handshake
1. Be mindful of deadlines.
Lots of positions expire in early September and disappear from Handshake! You should know the recruitment timelines for your industry and which semester will be more fruitful for applications.
2. COVID is affecting the hiring market
This year more than ever, it will be important that you are well prepared for your job or internship search and that you take advantage of applying to positions when they are posted.
3. Virtual Event participation impacts hiring decisions.
Employers often use information sessions, virtual events and other programs as opportunities to get to know potential candidates. Participating in these events has a dual benefit of positively impacting your candidacy, as well as helping you get a good sense of the organization and its staff.
4. Browse the Student tab to get job or internship ideas
Have you noticed the student tab in the main menu? This lets you browse Handshake student users from across the country. You can view profiles of others who share your academic major, or identify. You can also message students who have worked at a company of interest, and review information shared on students' profiles. This is a great networking and research opportunity that will be helpful during your job search.
5. Job or internship searches require time each week
We suggest you devote at least 5 hours per week to job or internship search tasks. This could include applying on Handshake, company research or resume updates.
6. Apply, Apply, Apply
Did you know it takes on average 200+ applications for one job offer? That means you should never sit and wait to hear back from an employer. Move on to other options and continue applying until you have accepted a job offer.
7. Consider micro internships and short term projects
Check out several options through Parker Dewey, Paragone one and Projects on Lehigh Connects. Review the Remote Internship tile to explore links and other resources.
8. Get help with your search
You are not in this alone. While the Career Center staff continue to work remotely, we remain available to all students in lots of ways. Schedule a 1-on-1 appointment or attend career lab (Monday - Friday, 10 am - 3 pm) for help on any career task or question.
9. Tell your friends
Referrals are one of the biggest reasons students take advantage of our services. Please help us connect to more students by sharing information with classmates.
10. Don’t wait until your senior year to get started
The Career Center is open for all academic years and all majors. Start early and visit often!
Need help with Handshake?
Direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop in to Career Lab, Monday - Friday, 10 am - 3 pm using the zoom link.