10 ways to make the most of Handshake

You may already know that Handshake, our careers platform, can be used to view vacancies, book appointments, register for events and message our team, but did you know how else you can be using it to benefit you?

Here are 10 ways to make the most of Handshake.

1. Activate your account

Hopefully you’ve already done this, but if not, make sure you access your account, which is there ready and waiting for you. Be sure to choose your profile’s visibility – you can choose between: 

  • Community (allows you access to peer messaging) 
  • Employers (means your profile is visible to employers)
  • Private (you’re not visible to employers, alumni or other students)

2. Upload your CV

This is particularly important if your profile is accessible to employers. It could mean an employer liking what they see and encouraging you to apply for an opportunity with them. 

If you’ve not already started writing a CV, there are lots of resources on our website, including CareerSet, providing instant feedback.

3. Fill out your job preferences

You can select your preferred types of jobs,  job sectors and geographical locations. This means the system can highlight relevant opportunities directly to you.

4. Add experience to your profile

Whether it’s paid work, volunteering or some other activity, listing your experience can stand out to employAdders. It’s also a good way to record your experience for you to refer to for other applications.

5. Follow 5 interesting employers

Handshake gives you the chance to follow employers that interest you. This way you can keep up to date with their latest opportunities and activities. It also shows employers you’re interested in what they have to offer.

6. Fill out past courses and special skills

Courses might include any online ones you’ve completed (for instance any you undertook during the lockdowns), professional-related courses, vocational training, or previous academic programmes.

7. Add a headshot

While you wouldn’t tend to add a photo of yourself on a British CV, a headshot on your Handshake profile is useful for the networking element of the system. Think ‘LinkedIn’ and how that platform uses your photo, past experiences and qualifications to make new contacts in the professional world. 

8. Message 3 peers with professional experience you admire

Browsing other students and alumni via Handshake can be useful in making contacts and getting advice and tips. If you see someone else with great work experience – which you’d love to get – then message them and find out more.

9. Ask one question about a company, job role or specific opportunity on the Q&A section

Get the lowdown from your fellow students and alumni (including those from other institutions who use Handshake) and learn from other people’s experiences. There may be others out there who have experience of topics you’re interested in, whether that’s gaining work experience, developing skills or gaining understanding of a particular careers-related issue.

10. Apply to jobs that interest you

Find vacancies that appeal to you and apply through the platform. This can make things a little quicker for you in applying. If you’re not quite ready to apply, you can still ‘favourite’ jobs, so you can easily find the vacancy when you’re ready to apply (as long as the application deadline hasn’t passed, of course!).