DePaul introduces Handshake job platform

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The DePaul Career Center recently introduced Handshake, a platform for students to search for internships and job listings as well as register for events hosted by the department.

Previously, DePaul Experience had been the platform through which students searched for career opportunities. However after fifteen years, Experience was acquired and later discontinued.

“Last year, we were faced with having to change platforms, no matter what,” Associate Director of Communications at the Career Center, Amanda Powers Snowden said. “The system that we had was going away so we needed to come up with a new platform that does the same thing.

Finding a replacement was not an easy task. The limited number of platforms available as well as student feedback lead the office to choose Handshake, a start-up business created by young professionals hoping to revolutionize the way students use their career center.

“There are limited options out there for these large enterprise-wide systems,” Powers Snowden said. “We had heard feedback from students that Experience could be difficult to navigate, so that feedback was on our mind when we were searching for a new tool, we wanted something that seemed intuitive, we wanted something that seemed current and would be updated.”

Students can access Handshake through depaul.joinhandshake.com or careercenter.depaul.edu using their Campus Connect username and password. For first time users, the page will prompt the student to fill out a profile with personal information including GPA, major and an option to upload a resume.

Once a student utilizes Handshake more often and completes their profile, personally relevant content appears on the newsfeed.

“There are algorithms that run behind it so the more you use it the smarter it gets,” Powers Snowden said. “Just like Facebook and Twitter, they get to know you and serve content that is relevant to you.”

Handshake also pulls a feed from that directly connects to The Career Centers’ social media platforms.

“We’re trying to make it easier for students, if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook we can feed you some of these job descriptions,” Powers Snowden said.

In the future, social media platforms will also include Handshake posts for internships in addition to jobs.

But like all new online platforms, transitioning to Handshake has been a working progress. Handshake launched for students toward the end of May last spring quarter.

“Based off my advising appointments, Handshake is still fairly new students and they are trying to access Handshake on their own,” Peer Career Advisor Erica Mercado said. “They are still trying to get acquainted to it.”

In order to improve student use and inform students on how to access Handshake, Powers Snowden said the upcoming Fall Quarter presents the opportunity for quick tip sheets to be available to students as well as updated blog posts on quick tips on how to use the program.

“The system is constantly evolving we want to keep students updated on what’s changing and evolving” she said.

Despite Handshakes’ early presence at DePaul, Powers Snowden said it will better aid students in finding career opportunities.

“It’s as if Facebook and LinkedIn had a baby and resulted in the Handshake platform,” she said. “It’s an easy interface that allows you to do the professional development things you want to do like find a job or an internship or register for a career fair or workshop.”