Handshake offers firm introduction to jobs

By: Keri Luise, Staff Writer

Towson University’s new career portal, Handshake, is introducing students to job and internship opportunities to advance their career prospects.

Handshake, which replaced Towson’s old career portal, Hire@TU, on June 19, is an online job and internship database where students, career centers, employers and alumni can meet, talk and share opportunities.

According to Handshake, over 200,000 employers use the website to search more than 8 million students and young alumni from over 400 universities to find the best fit for many types of jobs.

Students can log into the database using their NetID and password by searching for Handshake on the TU website.

“I think the best feature of Handshake is the familiarity of the platform for students — the look and feel and approach taken with it,” Career Center Director Lorie Logan-Bennett said. “It’s familiar and easy for students. Also, it uses artificial intelligence to find the jobs that make the most sense for students.”

Handshake has simple, but powerful, search tools and alerts to help students narrow down their options from the more than 1 million jobs and internships posted by companies, nonprofits and government organizations, according to the Handshake website.

Users can customize the recommendations they receive based on their major, interests, preferred location and skills.

“The one thing I really like about Handshake is the algorithm that they use to match students to jobs and internships,” said Keith Jones, marketing and IT coordinator for the Career Center. “It learns the patterns of what you’re interested in and makes the user experience so much better.”

Students can quickly build a rich profile on Handshake that helps them stand out to potential employers. Students can also upload a résumé or cover letter, set up interviews, schedule a career counseling appointment, or RSVP for on-campus events such as job-related seminars, employment fairs and recruiting events.

Logan-Bennett said students can make themselves attractive to employers by understanding who the employers are and what they want.

She also suggested that students gain some applied experience outside of the classroom to better understand and develop the necessary skillsets, and to be able to talk about them in interviews and on their résumés.

“Another good feature is the list of qualifications,” sophomore psychology major Asia Dawson said. “Handshake reads your profile and lets you know what the employer is looking for and whether or not you have it. It helps you learn early on your chances of getting a particular job.”

Handshake was founded in 2014 and has since been innovating itself for the users’ best interest. Last week, they launched a mobile app where students can discover jobs and receive direct messages from employers.

“Handshake is coming out early this fall with more favorite explore collections,” Jones said. “This helps for when students are unsure of what job to look for. Handshake will give you the opportunity to explore your interests and see the options related to your major.”

Towson’s Career Center keeps students updated by posting their many upcoming events to Handshake, including mock interviews with employers to help students practice for a true interview.

The Career Center will be hosting the 2017 Part-Time & On-Campus Job Fair on Aug. 29 in the University Union Potomac Lounge, and the 2017 Fall Career and Internship Fair on Sept. 29 in SECU Arena.

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