DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Handshake Hacks: Strengthening Your Search

For students seeking job and internship opportunities, Handshake is a terrific starting point. The Career Center team works with a number of employers who want to hire from DePaul, and they also reach out to employers that students express interest in. Our employers will use Handshake as a means of getting the word out about career opportunities to our students and alumni.

There are a number of different ways to search for these opportunities on Handshake, though, and it’s important to think about what strategy will be most beneficial given your interests, experiences, and goals. Whether you’re searching for a job or internship opportunity, one of the three categories below may be the best starting point when utilizing Handshake to find employment.

Job Function

If you are seeking a job or internship that will allow you to carry out specific skills and tasks, the “Job Function” category is a great way to focus your search around a particular area. Searching by a particular job function, such as “Accounting” or “Design/Art,” will generate opportunities in which that particular function is utilized on a fairly consistent basis. (A closer look at the job description will often indicate if that job function is a major or minor component of the role).

The other benefit of searching by job function is that your results will include positions across all industries, which will widen your search yet still keep the focus on a particular set of duties. For example, if you select “Marketing” under “Job Function,” you will find a number of opportunities with marketing agencies, as well as discover a slew of other marketing roles within the financial industry or with a non-profit organization, for example.

Employer Industry

On the other hand, some people may know what field they want to work in, but not necessarily the type of work they want to do within that field. This is where searching by “Employer Industry” may prove helpful, as selecting an industry such as “Food & Beverage,” “Internet & Software,” or “Non-Profit” will produce opportunities within those industries while highlighting a variety of different roles.

If you’re new to a particular industry, this is also a great way to research both the types of opportunities within that field as well as generate ideas for networking opportunities through LinkedIn or DePaul’s ASK network. If you see a particular job title consistently popping up within a desired field, it could indicate a high-need area. And, reviewing the verbiage of these listings could give you some direction as to how to market yourself and what skills or experience you will need.


In Handshake, “Labels” are essentially hashtags that sort jobs and internships into college-specific categories. For example, #dpucdmjobs pulls together full and part-time opportunities that pertain specifically to our College of Computing and Digital Media student population, while #dpulasjobs does the same for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences majors. (If you’re looking specifically for internships, those would be categorized as #dpucdminternships and #dpulasinternships, respectively).

The “Labels” category is curated by the Career Center, meaning we identify positions that may be a great fit for students based on their college.

Next Steps

Stop by the Career Center to meet with your career advisor! We can help you develop a search plan based on your interests and experiences, and recommend one of the strategies above (or a combination) that can help you take full advantage of what Handshake has to offer.

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