How to Use Handshake

Handshake is a development platform utilized by more than 2,000,000 college students across  1,000 colleges and universities around the world. Handshake offers much more than internship and job postings.


Handshake is designed to provide you a personalized experience. The platform does this by using machine learning algorithms based on the information you include in your profile.  While your Handshake profile may look like a typical LinkedIn profile, Handshake's is much more robust.  

There are 5 key elements

  • Interests, including
    • Job Hunt (e.g. are you looking for an internship, full-time job, etc.)
    • Cities where you are interested in working
    • Roles: (these are types of jobs you are interested in -- instead of listing thousands of individual job titles, Handshake groups job titles into "roles")
    • Industries:  (if needed, learn more about industries
  • Work and volunteer experiences
  • Organizations and extracurriculars
  • Skills:  This is where you want to add as many skills as possible that you believe you can demonstrate proficiency.  Handshake advises you to be very specific and focus on technical skills you have since these are the skills employers will most commonly search for when searching for candidates. For example, instead of just listing "communication," select "blog writing" or "social media"
  • Documents:  You can save versions of your resume and cover letters, as well as other documents. Be sure to save your most recent copy of your resume in your Documents section as "public." This allows employers to view your resume. This also allows the CCD to add your resume to PDF resume books we send employers.

One of the benefits of using Handshake is that employers can proactively search for candidates, like you, based on your interests, skills, and experiences. For example, employers can search for particular majors, membership in particular clubs or students who have identified a particular set of skills.  It is important to note that Handshake cannot search by gender or race.

Learn about profile visibility and privacy settings

Handshake was designed to be a social network to democratize opportunities for students. Handshake allows you to configure your profiel visibility where you can be "found" by employers (they can search for you by major, skills, experiences) and other students. You can also publish a public copy of your resume for The most important thing to know is that you are in control of what you share on Handshake. It's also important to know that some features are restricted based on your profile visibility. The three levels of visibility (a.k.a. privacy settings) are:

      • Community: Your profile will be visible to employers, students, and alumni across all Handshake, including other education institutions. You'll be able to message students and alumni who have similar interests or experiences.
      • Employers: Your profile will be visible to employers. You may receive messages about potential job opportunities.
      • Private: You'll be able to apply for jobs but won't get contacted by any employers.

Learn more about privacy from Handshake

Apply to Jobs & Internships

Handshake's philosophy is to democratize opportunities for students -- "to help people have access to opportunity and not be missed or looked over because of who they are, where they are from, or where they received their education or built their skills." 

On any given day, you may see more than 15,000 active internship and job postings on Handshake.  These internships and jobs are also likely posted to 1,000+ other campuses.  This means that you are competing with thousands of other students.  Simply submitting an application on Handshake will not get you many results. Learn how to research employers, find contacts, and make a personal connection.

To make the most of your time, here are 4 tips:

  • Search the "Notre Dame collections" -- these are employers that we (in the CCD) have highlighted  that may be of interest to ND students
  • Use the "All filters"
  • Once you select a series of filters, copy that URL and create a bookmark.   You can reload that URL anytime in the future and it will apply those filters.
  • Make sure your profile is complete, including the 5 elements listed above.  Handshake uses machine learning algorithms to curate the jobs that appear at the top of your results to best match your interests.
  • Use job postings as a way to make a personal connection with a recruiter.  For example, if one of your dream employers is only 

In addition to Handshake's job search tool, be sure to check Handshake's blog from time-to-time to learn about which employers are hiring.

Explore internships and jobs on Handshake

Research, follow & communicate with employers

Handshake offers a very convenient way to 

  • Find employers using filters like location, size, industry, and more.
  • Find recruiting contacts (note: not all employers will list contacts)
  • Gain insight about interviews by looking at reviews from other college students who've interviwed or detailed insight about employers, including contacts and reviews from other college students.
  • "Follow" employers so that you can receive email updates when they schedule events, register to participate in career fairs, or post jobs.
  • Keep an eye on your Inbox (messaging within Handshake) for employers who may contact you proactively.

Tip:  There are lots of duplicate employers. For example, some large corporations, like Abercrombie & Fitch has dozens of Handshake accounts -- a primary account for their headquarters and dozens of others for individual stores. Be sure you are researching and following the main, corporate account.

Research & follow employers


All career development events are posted on Handshake.  Here are 3 tips to navigate events:

  • Clicking the "Register" icon means "I will attend."  (if you register, please don't ghost the employer by not showing up).
  • Use the event filters in Handshake.
  • "Follow" employers so that you get emailed once their events are announced.

For your convenience, here are direct links to Handshake where you can find the latest events:

In-person events at ND     Virtual events   Employer info sessions

Network with students

One of the hidden gems of Handshake that many students don't know is that it is also designed as a social platform. Scroll to the bottom left of your profile page (click  your profile circle on the top right of Handshake) and look for the Discover More Students.  Search for students who:

  • Have worked for employers you are interested in. Ask them about their experiences.
  • Are members of similar clubs and organizations. 
  • Are studying the same major as you. Get inspiration for skills you can add to your profile by seeing which they included in their profiles.

Discover other students on Handshake


Our career advisors have their calendars synced to Handshake.  To schedule a one-on-one appointment, use the link below or schedule a one-on-one appointment by clicking on the "Career Center" navigation link and then select "Appointments"

Schedule an appointment

Access Handshake

  • For your convenience, Handshake is connected to your NetID through single sign-on (SSO).
  • Log into Handshake by clicking on the gold icon on the bottom right of this website or bookmark this url:

Need help with Handshake?

If you have any questions about Handshake, give us a call at 574-631-5200 or email us at

If you want to reach out directly to Handshake's support team, use their chatbot or submit a help ticket.

If you are a Notre Dame alum who no longer has access to Handshake, please see here for instructions on how to request access.