How Students Can Find Jobs on Handshake

February 17, 2023

The career services office director shares advice on using the job search site, now available to all students and alumni.

A woman is typing on a laptop
Graduate Center students have accounts on Handshake, where they can post profiles and search for jobs. (Credit: Getty Images)

Graduate Center students and alumni now have access to Handshake, the top job search site for college and graduate students, through a new partnership with the Office of Career Services and Professional Development.

On Handshake, users can create profiles, research employers, attend virtual events, and apply for jobs. Each day, employers post between 30 and 50 jobs for students, which members of the career services office vet and make available to students.

All students have Handshake accounts, which they can activate online in a few steps. Hundreds have already activated their accounts, but many more have yet to, says Jennifer Furlong, director of the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development.

She recently spoke to us about Handshake and how students can use it to find desirable jobs and internships and expand their professional network.

GC: How should students use Handshake?

Headshot: Jennifer Furlong
Jennifer Furlong

Furlong: That depends on whether a student is actively looking for a job, or if they are just kind of thinking about what's next. If a student is actively looking for a job, this is a place where they can apply for jobs and be visible to employers. It really has become the number one platform for university talent.

Students can choose whether they want employers to be able to find them or to keep their settings very private. Then an employer would only see them if they apply for a job. The advantage of being public is that, just like on LinkedIn, employers can find you and reach out to you if you have the skills that they are looking for.

GC: What types of employers are using Handshake?

Furlong: All types. There are a lot of nonprofit jobs, a lot of jobs in research, in consulting, in K-12 education, higher education. There are a lot of New York–based employers, there are nationally based employers, and there are a few internationally based employers.

In the past month, 128 employers have posted jobs with us.

We have the ability to approve and reject employers, and we don't approve all the employers who want to be in our system. Same with jobs. We only approve the ones that make the most sense for graduate students and people who are looking for graduate-level talent.

Learn More About the Office of Career Services and Professional Development

GC: What are some other features or advantages of Handshake?

Furlong: Students can research employers. There are over 750,000 employers in the system. Even if an employer isn’t posting a job with us, students can look them up, follow them, even get contact information. If your profile is public, you can see other students who have worked there.

Employers can also host events in Handshake, and we can approve them if they look right for Graduate Center students. So that's another way that students can learn about different employers or different career paths. There was one, for example, that Google hosted on Handshake that was about non-typical career paths to tech jobs. That's something that our students are always interested in. A student in this office wrote about a portfolio development event hosted by Material that he found valuable.

Also, students can schedule appointments with our office directly through Handshake, which makes it a one-stop-shop for career development needs.

GC: What tips or advice do you have for students on setting up their profiles? Should they focus on certain terms or keywords?

Furlong: I would say that probably the best practices that apply to LinkedIn also apply to Handshake. It is also algorithm driven, so the idea is the more you use Handshake to search, the more it will know what you are searching for, which can be an advantage.

We offer more detailed information and tips on our CareerPlan blog.

How Students and Alumni Can Get on Handshake:

Students can access their Handshake accounts online here. Information on activating Handshake accounts is here.

Alumni who would like to set up Handshake accounts are welcome to email the Office of Career Services and Professional Development at

Published by the Office of Communications and Marketing