After a summer of searching through unpromising job and internship opportunities through Indeed and Monster, I was about ready to give up. How hard could it be to find a marketing related job as a junior in college? It was around this time that I turned to Wildcat Joblink, our university’s former job search agent. To my surprise, a new and improved search agent had taken its place, which I now know as Handshake.
Once I completed my profile and quickly uploaded my resume, it seemed that job postings started to appear automatically. Not only did they appear, but they were all related to my work experience and information on my resume. In addition to that, by uploading your resume first, Handshake automatically populates your profile by pulling your work experience, skills, etc. from the uploaded file. The more information you add into your profile, the stronger your profile becomes and the easier it is for employers to find you as long as your profile is public.
The first posting I saw was for a Marketing Assistant position at the Office of Student Engagement & Career Development (SECD) here on campus. By simply clicking on the posting and hitting the “apply” button, I had sent my first application through Handshake. Here I am now, nearly three months later, writing this blog post to you as the SECD Marketing Assistant and a firsthand example of how Handshake actually works!
With other job search engines, I felt as though I was just another number sending in my application. Both Indeed and Monster have the option to refine your search when viewing job postings. However, these refined searches can only get you to a certain level of specificity. Handshake allows you to create a custom profile that is made up of all aspects of your resume as well as skills, interests, extracurriculars, and courses that aren’t always on your resume. It then pulls in job postings relevant given this information as well. For each individual job posting, Handshake also tells you if you meet all of the employer’s requirements. This way, you know ahead of time if you have what the employer is looking for instead of wasting your time. With that being said, you can still submit an application to whatever position you want, it just may not be seen by the employer.
Though Handshake offers so many tools that many other job search engines do not, these are a few that I find to be the most effective, useful, and helpful while searching for a job:
- A detailed profile that encompasses more than just your work experience;
- Specific job postings based off of your interests, experiences, skills, certifications, etc.;
- “Collections” which are a group of similar job postings that all relate to the overall collection title, i.e. “Internships Popular Among Advertising Majors,” “Companies with Great Perks,” “Internships in Affordable Big Cities” etc.;
- The ability to follow employers to stay up to date on their job openings;
- A “favorite” feature which allows you to save a specific job posting to come back to at any time;
- An interactive calendar that updates you when any job posting you have favorited is about to expire.
On top of it all, as a student here at the University of Arizona, you already have an advantage because employers on Handshake want to hire UA students! So, stop wasting your time browsing through job searches that don’t relate to you and become more than just an application to really set yourself apart from other applicants.