When it comes to job searching, the process can feel daunting and overwhelming. While networking and connecting in “real life” is highly effective for landing a job, there are many other great tools and platforms to help you in the job searching process. Handshake is one of these fantastic tools as UP’s new career portal―offering internships and jobs for both students and alumni. From education-focused nonprofits in Portland, to Fortune 500 Companies and everything in between, opportunities are waiting for you! To increase your success in connecting with employers, here are 9 ways that you can complete and improve your profile to tell your story.
- Add an appropriate photo. Profiles are 7x more likely to be viewed when there is a photo, as opposed to leaving it blank. Make sure that you are alone [and not just cropped out of a group] and dressed professionally.
- Upload resume / documents. Shake Tip: You can build your profile from your resume. Handshake will fill in various sections of your Handshake Profile based off of your resume. You just need to approve what it selects.
- Maximize your work experience. Include all work experience, and think about how to frame any transferrable skills if you haven’t had a lot of “professional” experience yet. Focus less on the actual tasks performed, and more on the process of how you went about the tasks. For example, working in retail sales demonstrates communication with a wide variety of clients, conflict resolution, proactive problem solving, influencing, professionalism and work ethic, cash balancing and reporting, just to name a few things.
- Demonstrate engagement. The organizations/extracurricular section is the chance to show that you’re not only a student and an employee, but that you are multifaceted and engaged member of the community. From volunteering and service plunges, to writing for the Beacon, to being an athlete, each of these experience shines light on who you are and what you have to offer.
- Highlight courses. Based on the sector of work you’re applying for, add relevant coursework that demonstrates knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics.
- Show off completed projects. Take ownership of projects that show creativity, research ability, and initiative. Think about what kinds of projects you worked on during your internship. How about your senior thesis? Did you create anything interesting in the Innovation Lab? What about lesson plans or curriculum development during your teaching practicum? Be proud to share your accomplishments!
- Write a captivating bio. This is a chance to shine by concisely and confidently describing your qualifications and your goals [no longer than a paragraph]. Employers will likely look at other parts of your profile, so this section can provide a unique insight to your goals and personality that will not be mentioned in other sections. Depending on your field of work, you could highlight your experience, your mission, your personality, your accomplishments, or a blend of all of the above. Check out this article for some examples.
- Select personalized skills. Recruiters and employers may be searching for students on Handshake with keywords related to the skills they’re looking for. Find relevant skills in position descriptions for the types of roles that you want.
- Add relevant social links. This is another opportunity to highlight professional engagement and activities to further tell your story. You should not add your personal social media accounts. But if you have a side photography business—add that Instagram account! If you’re a videographer with a reel or some work to share, link to your Vimeo account! Shake Tip: To add your LinkedIn profile, select “Add Your Own,” title it: LinkedIn, and then add your profile URL [found on right hand side of LinkedIn under “Contact and Personal Info”].
To learn more about how to utilize Handshake as a tool in your job searching process, schedule an appointment with the Career Center. We’re happy to show you how to use it in order to find your next dream internship or job!