How to Get an Internship or Job When Hiring is All Virtual

Learn how to navigate virtual recruitment and stand out to employers online.

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

Recruiting season may look different this year, but luckily thousands of employers are searching for students on Handshake. So, how can you be ready to land your next job or internship virtually this year? Follow these steps to make the most of your online job hunt. 

Complete your Handshake profile

This is always our first piece of advice for student job seekers, because your profile is fundamental to getting hired on Handshake. Employers are searching for students to recruit based on the information in their profiles such as major, graduation date, and interests (job type, cities, roles). And you can highlight all of the things that make you uniquely qualified including your courses, organizations, work experience and skills. When you complete your profile, you’ll be more likely to receive direct messages from employers inviting you to events or to apply for jobs.

The next step is crafting your resume with the information included in your profile. Upload and save your resume to your Handshake account so it’s ready when you’re applying to jobs. You can upload more than one version of your resume—so consider adapting it for different roles that you want to apply for.

Start networking online

You’ve probably heard that networking is important, and it can sound a bit intimidating. But “networking” really just means making a connection with someone from your school, extracurriculars, volunteer groups—or just reaching out to someone you don’t know who shares the same professional interests. There are many different ways to start networking online. 

Find alumni of your school on Handshake who have or had roles that you’re interested in and send them a message. Introduce yourself and tell them you’d like to learn more about their experience. Ask them a question you have about their organization or how they began their career. And don’t forget to thank them in advance for connecting and sharing their advice.

Try looking for online professional interest groups to make connections with people in the fields that you’re exploring. It may take some research; you can also reach out to your professors or club leaders for their suggestions.

Stay up-to date on employers 

When you see an employer on Handshake that you like, click the Follow button on their page. If you’re on the Handshake app, click the star button. Following employers on Handshake is so useful because you’ll receive email alerts when they post new jobs and events. Plus, it helps improve your job recommendations. The more you explore and follow employers you’d like to work for, the more relevant your recommendations become.

Additionally, you can set search engine alerts for your top employers and follow their social media accounts. These are easy ways to learn about new initiatives, jobs, and other notable updates on their organization. 

Attend virtual recruiting events

One of the biggest opportunities to connect with employers this year is at virtual events on Handshake. Employers are hosting group and 1:1 sessions to give students a look at their organizations and to recruit for open jobs and internships. Be sure to check your email for event announcements and log in often to see upcoming events for students at your school. You’ll also be notified when employers you follow are attending virtual fairs on Handshake. 

When you register for a virtual fair, you can sign up early for sessions with the employers you want to meet and learn more about—a major advantage over traditional career fairs. Don’t miss these prime recruiting opportunities! 

Read our guide to virtual events, with tips and tricks to know before you attend.

Practice for virtual interviews

Just like in-person interviews, it takes some practice to get comfortable with virtual interviews. This is the time to call in some reinforcements. Ask a friend or family member to help you practice. Start with your “elevator pitch”—a brief introduction about you, your background and career goals. Then have them ask you a few common interview questions and ask them for any feedback on your answers. While you don’t need to memorize exactly what you’ll say, it’s very important to get more comfortable answering interview questions. 

Check out our post with more ways to impress employers during a virtual interview.

Chat with your career center

Your school’s career center staff are an incredible resource, so take advantage of their knowledge. They can answer your job and internship questions, help you craft your resume and cover letters, or even practice for virtual interviews. They also have insight on employers that are hiring at your school and those that may have strong alumni networks. Call your career center and schedule an appointment—they’ll be happy to help you. 

Apply apply apply

You can’t get a job if you don’t apply, right? It may go without saying, but you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting hired if you apply to a lot of open jobs. And try to keep an open mind, especially if you’re not quite sure what you want to do. Now is the time to gain different experiences and learn what you do and don’t like about a job. 

Luckily Handshake will surface recommendations based on your profile, to help you find the jobs you want to apply for. Once you have your profile filled in and resumes uploaded, you’ll be able to apply to many jobs on Handshake in just a few clicks.

Be proactive and follow up

No matter where your job search takes you, be consistent and follow up. Whether it’s a message from an employer, an application, virtual event or interview—always consider three p’s: be proactive, prompt and polite. For interviews, whether informational or for an open job, it’s best practice to send a thank you note within 24 hours. In your thank you note, share something specific that you enjoyed learning or talking about, and reiterate your interest in the job, career path, etc. 

If you discussed an open job or internship with an employer during a virtual event, make sure to apply as soon as possible. If the employers shared their contact information with you, send them a note thanking them and letting them know you’ve applied.

Your online actions are especially important when recruiting is virtual. If you can’t make a great impression in person, it’s best to be extra responsive and appreciative to the connections you make online. 

Log into Handshake now to get started on your virtual job search!

5 Steps to Success For Getting the Job or Internship You Want

A guide for your first days on Handshake that will help you find the right jobs and get hired on Handshake.

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

You signed up for Handshake—congratulations! You’re on your way to finding a great job or internship. To help you get started, we’ve outlined five steps to take during your first five days on Handshake. Read below for tips that will put you on track to landing your next opportunity.

Day 1: Fill out your profile 

Don’t skip the most important step of getting started on Handshake—completing your profile. This is absolutely necessary to have success in finding a job or internship. The information in your profile helps you receive the most relevant job recommendations, and helps employers find you in their candidate searches.

Make sure to fill in your job interests including job type, cities, and roles that you want to explore. Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure what you want to do or where you want to be, you can update your profile at any time. Next, add your work experience, courses, organizations and skills. The more information you include in your profile, the better your chances are of hearing from recruiters. 

Upload your resume so you’ll be ready to apply to jobs. If you’re applying for more than one type of role, consider modifying your resume for each one and uploading different versions.

Day 2: Explore jobs and save the ones you like

Once you’ve filled out your profile, you’ll receive personalized job recommendations based on this information. And as you add interests and update your profile, your recommendations will update as well—helping you find the right jobs for you.

As you’re viewing your recommended jobs on Handshake, save the ones that catch your eye. This will store them on your dashboard and in the Saved tab on the job search page—helping you quickly find them when you’re ready to apply. You’ll receive important notifications about saved jobs, including reminders to apply before the deadline.

Saving jobs also shows Handshake what you’re looking for, so your job recommendations become even more relevant. To save a job, click the bookmark icon located on the right side of the job preview or on the left hand side of the job page.

Day 3: See who’s hiring and follow employers 

The employers you see on Handshake want to hire students at your school. And with top employers in every field, you’ll be able to find organizations you want to work for. When you see an employer you like, be sure to follow them by clicking the Follow button on their page—or the star button if you’re on the app. 

You’ll receive alerts when the employers you follow post new jobs and events on Handshake. Plus, following employers helps improve your job recommendations.

Day 4: Register for a virtual recruiting event 

Virtual recruiting events are taking center stage this year, giving you an opportunity to meet employers through your device. Employers will be hosting sessions with students at your school to recruit for open jobs and internships. This is also a good reason to follow employers you’re interested in—because you’ll be notified when they’re attending virtual fairs on Handshake. Also be sure to check your email and log in often to see upcoming events for students at your school.

Virtual fairs on Handshake are unlike the traditional career fair you may be familiar with. When you register for a virtual fair, you’re able to sign up early for sessions with the employers you want to meet. So forget the lines and register for virtual recruiting events!

Day 5: Apply to your first job or internship

Spend some time today going through your saved jobs and new recommendations, and start applying! Because you’ve filled out your profile and uploaded your resume, you’ll be able to apply to many jobs on Handshake in just a few clicks. We recommend keeping an open mind and applying to as many jobs as you’d like, especially if you’re interested in more than one field. It’ll increase your chances of finding a great job and help you explore potential careers.

If a job posting requires a cover letter, check out these tips for crafting a letter that will help your application stand out.

That’s it—just follow these tips to make your first week on Handshake a success! Log into Handshake now to get started.

Explore Career Paths for College Students on Handshake

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

How to learn about roles and find ones that are right for you.

You probably know Handshake as the place where DePaul students are hired for great jobs and internships. But Handshake also has resources to help you find your career path. 

Think back to when you were deciding on your major. You may have done research to learn about different areas of study and tried a few introductory classes to figure out what you do and don’t like. You can use that same practice to narrow down potential careers. Here are some tips for finding the roles you want to pursue on Handshake.

Role pages on Handshake

Handshake has collected useful data on dozens of the most popular career categories for college students—covering hundreds of job roles. (A role is a profession or job function that a company hires for—like a mechanical engineer, data analyst, or marketing manager.) Each category has a page where you can find this information organized for you.

These pages are designed to help you understand what roles are out there, and if a role may or may not be right for you. Depending on your interests and skills, there can be several different roles that may be a good fit. So, don’t worry if you’re not quite sure what you want to do. When you find roles that sound interesting, add them to your profile so you can view and apply for related jobs. 

Finding the right roles

If you’d like to browse roles, click Career paths on the top menu bar of your dashboard. That will take you to a landing page where you can scroll through the popular role groups. You can also search for a specific role by using the search bar at the top of the page. 

Career paths landing page

When you click on a role page, you’ll see:

  • A brief description 
  • Average salary for new graduates
  • Top cities for the role
  • Open jobs for students at your school
  • Similar roles to explore
  • Top majors interested in the role
  • People in this role: shows you other students who’ve worked in the role—so you can message them with your questions.

Adding roles to your profile

When you find roles that you like, be sure to add them to your profile. Adding roles to your profile is important because it:

  • Updates your job recommendations. Adding roles to your profile helps Handshake surface relevant jobs and internships, so you see the jobs you’ll want to apply for.
  • Helps recruiters find you. Recruiters are searching for students based on the information in their profile. Adding roles helps recruiters find you when they’re hiring for jobs in those roles.

To add a role to your profile, click the Interested button at the top of the role page. The role will be listed in the Your Interests section of your profile.

You can add as many roles as you like and change them at any time

Log into Handshake today to start learning about the roles you want to pursue and adding them to your profile.

If you don’t see a role that you’re interested in and think it should be added to the role pages, contact the Handshake help center.  

Handshake Will Help You Get the Job — Here’s How

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

Handshake is for DePaul students like you looking for an internship or job that opens the door to a fulfilling career. We know this can be an intimidating process, and you probably have a lot of questions, like:

How do I get an internship without experience?

I know what I like about my major. How do I make this a career? 

And maybe the most common:

Where do I start?

From exploring career paths and starting internships, to accepting your first full-time job after graduation—Handshake will help you every step of way.

When you create your Handshake profile, you highlight your interests, your studies, and what you’re looking for in a job. You tell us the locations you’d like to work in and what job roles interest you most. Handshake takes this info and shows you jobs and internships that are a good fit for you.

“I never knew how many roles my major could be applied to! Handshake shows jobs in an easy, descriptive way so I could explore my career path without having to search all of the internet.”

Kara

Connect with employers that want to hire you

The employers on Handshake are searching for students at your school to hire for internships and jobs. When recruiters see your profile, they will proactively message you to invite you to events or encourage you to apply for new opportunities. Students love Handshake because they can find jobs without spending hours searching and applying.

“A lot of times you will find a job and maybe you don’t have enough experience, or they are looking for candidates with a certain major. Handshake connected me with employers looking for candidates like me, with my major at my school.”

Lloyd

Find the answers you’re looking for

Handshake has thousands of employer and internship reviews from students, so you can learn what it’s really like to work at the companies you’re interested in. You can explore our Q&A feature to see answers to common student questions, and even message your peers for advice about interviews, internship projects, and more.

If you’re ready to start your career, join Handshake and create your profile today!

Get started in 5 minutes

  1. Log in at depaul.joinhandshake.com
  2. Create a profile that shows your interests, skills, and studies
  3. Check out your personalized job recommendations
  4. Respond to employers who contact you

How to Impress Employers at Virtual Events

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


Employers host a variety of virtual events on Handshake to connect with students across the country and provide an inside look at their companies.

Common virtual events include:

  • Live Q&As with a recruiter or hiring manager. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions directly about what you’d like to know—including career opportunities, interview processes, company culture and more.
  • Panel discussions with current employees, including recent grads or alumni. You can learn about their backgrounds, career journeys and experiences at the company. As with Q&A events, there is usually an opportunity for you to ask the panelists a question at the end.
  • Office tours give you an exclusive look at what a typical day is like for an intern or new employee. Virtual tours are a unique way to see the lesser-known, fun aspects of life at the company that you can’t find anywhere else.

You should approach virtual event etiquette the same way you would for an in-person meeting with a potential employer. Here’s what to do before, during and after to make a great impression.

Before the event

  • Do some research. Learn more about the company by reading through their employer page on Handshake, as well as their company website. You should also do a quick online search to find any recent news articles and other information that can help you prepare thoughtful questions to ask.
  • Find a place to focus. Make sure that you are in a quiet place with a reliable internet connection, and test connectivity before the event. If you’re sharing the space with friends or family, ask if they can hold off on streaming movies or other activities that can take up a lot of internet bandwidth.

During the event

  • Dress professionally. We all know it’s more comfortable to job search in your pj’s. But when you’re attending an employer event via video, it’s a good idea to showcase your favorite career-ready outfit.
  • Set your computer in front of a neutral background. Keep the viewer’s eye focused on you, instead of the concert posters on your bedroom wall.
  • Show up on time. It’s important that you are on time for the event. Try signing in a few minutes early so you can fix any technical issues before the event begins. Being on time shows the host that you’re responsible, and ensures you don’t ask a question about something that was covered earlier in the program.
  • Maintain eye contact with the camera and concentrate on what the presenters are saying. Consider smiling and nodding occasionally as you would during an in-person conversation. Limit any distractions around you so that you’re not tempted to look away from your computer screen.
  • Ask a question at the right time. Bring a list of prepared questions, because one or more of these may be covered during the event. Have a pen and paper nearby so you can jot down new questions that you think of during the conversation. It’s important to wait for the host to say that it’s time for audience questions, before attempting to ask yours.
    • Consider tailoring your questions based on the type of event and who is hosting. For example, if you are attending a panel discussion on company diversity and inclusion, you might ask a question related to mentorship programs or resource groups for employees from underrepresented communities.

After the event

  • Be prepared to follow up. Employers host virtual events on Handshake to raise awareness about their company and build excitement about open positions. So when the event is over, stay engaged by visiting the employer’s page on Handshake and exploring their open jobs and internships. You can follow the employer by clicking the Follow button on their page—so you’ll be the first to know when they post new jobs.
  • Update your Handshake profile. A complete profile can help you get an early start on applying to one of the open jobs or internships. Check to see if a separate resume and cover letter are needed for the application so you can prepare them as well.
  • Be responsive. Many recruiters will reach out to students on Handshake to follow up after an event. If you receive a message from an employer, be sure to reply as soon as possible. Thank them for hosting the event and share something specific that you enjoyed or were glad to learn about the company. This will clearly show your interest and may help you get an interview!
    • Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play so you’re notified when you receive an employer message.

Get a Job Online as a College Student: 4 Tips From Recruiters

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


 

Thanks to Handshake and other digital tools, employers are increasingly focused on recruiting college students online.

As a job seeker, this is great news for you. It means you can find your next job or internship without having to rely on multiple in-person meetings with recruiters. How can you utilize Handshake to find a job virtually? Here are four helpful tips from recruiters.

1. Fill out your Handshake profile

The most important step to landing a job or internship on Handshake is filling out your profile. Employers are searching for students on Handshake based on the information in their profiles, and messaging candidates with event invites or to encourage them to apply for new job opportunities.

That’s why completing your profile, and keeping it up-to-date, is essential. Beyond the basic information like your major and graduation date, make sure to fill out your job interests, work experience, skills, courses, and clubs and organizations you’re involved with. The more information you provide, the easier it is for recruiters to find you!

2. Attend virtual events

Employers like IBM and Under Armour often host virtual events on Handshake to connect with students from across the country. Attending these events is a unique way to meet employees at the companies you want to work for. Virtual events also give you an opportunity to learn more about a company before applying for a job.

Be sure to check Handshake for new events and sign up for behind-the-scenes tours, coffee chats, and Q&A sessions, so you can get an inside look at your next potential employer.

“Handshake helps us expand our reach and create more meaningful connections with students from all backgrounds.”

Jeremy Buentello, IBM

3. Showcase your soft skills

As mentioned, skills are an important part of your Handshake profile. The hard skills you’ve developed in the classroom, at work, or through extracurriculars—such as digital marketing or a programming language—help you stand out to employers looking for students like you. However, don’t forget to include soft skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.

According to a recent survey of hiring managers, 92 percent said that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when they’re hiring. When preparing for an interview, try to think of specific projects or experiences that you can talk about to illustrate how you’ve applied these skills in your life.

“We’re fighting the misconception that you need an engineering background to join a tech company. Sourcing tools on Handshake are crucial for us in connecting with the students who are going to get the most value out of our fellowship.”

Emily Vogel, Box

4. Reply to recruiters ASAP

Last year, employers sent more than 16 million messages to students on Handshake. Typically, recruiters send messages to invite students to networking events or encourage them to apply for new opportunities. Chatting with a recruiter on Handshake is a great way to make a personal connection to the companies you want to work for, and helps distinguish you from other candidates.

So, when you get a message from a recruiter, make sure to reply as soon as you can. Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play, so you can be notified when you get a message.

Log in to Handshake today to start getting recruited for your next job!