Enhancing your professional network with Handshake


The Center for Career Development and Internships hosted an informational pop-up geared toward the app, Handshake, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, on the Fenner Quadrangle.

Handshake is a centralized app where undergraduate students can go for all things related to career and internship opportunities. Students can create a professional profile on it, upload their resume, view different highly rated companies and even more all at the palm of their hand. 

“The app is great for any students looking to get experience in the professional world, and it makes it much simpler to discover opportunities in many industries. My personal experience has been a much easier process of discovering and applying to jobs which I might not have found otherwise, as well as information on the position, which can be very difficult to find from other sources,” said Jesse Elliot, senior finance and political science major. 

The pop-up event was geared toward raising awareness about the app, helping students create their Handshake profiles and to increase the presence for the newly merged Center for Career Development and Internships center as an essential resource on Wilkes’ campus. Free t-shirts and information cards were handed out as well to any student who downloaded the app and created their profile. 

“I have been trying to get Handshake here for the past two years. At a lot of the conferences that I go to, I notice that a lot of the bigger schools are using Handshake like Temple University, St. Joseph’s University and Lehigh University. When looking into it, I recognized ease of use for both students and employers as well,” said Sharon Castano, director of Student Development. 

Unlike similar apps such as LinkedIn, posts on Handshake are filtered based on the needs and wants both of universities and companies that are searching for prospective interns and employees. It gives employers the option to choose the schools that they want their posts to be shown to. 

“The better that students create their profile, employers will be able to search for them. Handshake is very intuitive. The more information that they give it, the better the recommendations will be for the jobs,” said Lisa Mulvey, career development coordinator and administrator for the Handshake app at Wilkes University. 

In the same regard, Wilkes University can also choose which employers are qualified to be highlighted on their Handshake network. The center also rates the employers based on ratings from other schools and upon the feedback given from students and alumni who are at or previously worked at these companies in the past. 

Thus, if the center sees that companies have a lower rating, they will look into it so that the students can have the more valuable experience possible at their internship or potential new job.

“I was able to find an internship instantly. I found an internship opening at GUARD insurance and I was the first to apply thanks to Handshake. I am now an intern at GUARD because of it…I would highly recommend every student at Wilkes to download this app,” said Michael Bergamo, senior dual major in finance and sports management.

Castano also stressed that the center is working hard to contact a variety of companies in different fields both locally and nationally to explain the benefits of being on Handshake. The ultimate goal is to get as many companies to get on board as possible. 

“I’m trying to let students know what’s going on currently. The larger companies are who you are seeing on Handshake first and that is happening because these companies have already been on Handshake for the past few years,” said Castano. 

Castano also mentioned that if students are in a certain industry Handshake might not be where they find all of their opportunities. Every student can still go to the center behind the SUB and meet directly with Castano to find industry-specific internships and opportunities if they cannot find one on the app. 

Over 500 employers have already signed up on Handshake. Mulvey mentioned that the goal is to have at least 800 companies signed up by the end of the semester along with developing a larger pool of local companies for the students to have more convenient access too, especially for internships. 

Students can also still utilize Handshake for other reasons as well. Both Castano and Mulvey explained that Handshake is meant to enhance your network. They said that it should be used in conjunction with sites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor to maximize your potential to gain opportunities. 

In addition, the Center for Career Development and Internships uses Handshake to inform students of when the career and internship fairs are being held and which companies will be attending. Students will also be able to register for these events through the app as well. 

“We will not have to send emails anymore, and there won’t be a need for fliers around campus. Everything will be right on Handshake,” said Mulvey.

Since students can upload their resume to their profile and the center has access to these profiles, feedback is provided on each of the resumes that are uploaded. For more information about Handshake, contact Sharon Castano at [email protected] or Lisa Mulvey at [email protected] or attend the next pop up an information session on October 14 in the Cohen Science Center.