The campus is adopting a national career networking system, Handshake, to help students find jobs and internships. Advisors and campus employers are invited to attend introductory training sessions this Thursday, (April 25).
Handshake, already used by more than 700 colleges and universities, will replace Aggie Job Link, which has helped connect UC Davis students and prospective employers for more than 15 years. Employers can post positions now, and students can begin using the new web-based platform on Monday (April 29).
“Handshake is part of our strategy to encourage more students to begin career preparation earlier and to make better use of the many resources of the Internship and Career Center,” said Marcie Kirk Holland, executive director of the center.
She said Handshake provides students with access to job listings from across the country, is easier for students and employers to use, and offers additional features for the job-hunting process — including a user-friendly mobile application. One of the major advantages for recruiters is that they need only one account to post positions at all member schools.
“Instead of training users how to navigate the system, we can better use our staff time to teach students how to market themselves and host events to help with career readiness,” Kirk Holland said.
The career center has scheduled Thursday's trainings for advisors and campus employers because of the important role they play in employment and career preparation for thousands of students each year. On-campus work can help students build their skills and resumes, and advisors can help students learn about the resources and opportunities available to them through Handshake, Kirk Holland said.
Handshake specializes in jobs for college students and young alumni. It was founded five years ago by three engineering students from Michigan Tech in the state’s Upper Peninsula to give job-seeking students, regardless of their location, access to a larger number of potential employers. Handshake reports it is used by 14 million students and 250,000 employers.
Seven other UC undergraduate campuses already use Handshake, and Davis has signed a three-year contract for $25,000 a year. Under the contract, Handshake is available to both students and alumni.
The Davis career center emailed about 7,200 employers who have posted jobs with UC Davis in the last three years to tell them about the transition to Handshake. Within about five hours, about half had created accounts. “We are confident they’ll be happier with the new platform,” Kirk Holland said. “Because more students will be actively engaged, more of their jobs will be filled.”
Features for employers and students
Employers can search for job seekers using filters for academic majors, coursework, skills and more. They can also schedule on-campus interviews, register for career fairs and set up campus information sessions.
Students can build profiles highlighting their academic accomplishments, skills and experience and upload resumes, transcripts, coursework and other documents. They can specify the companies, types of jobs and even locations that interest them the most and set up alerts for new listings from certain organizations. Handshake also allows students to see self-identified alumni from their university who are working at organizations.
Campuses using Handshake, Kirk Holland said, have reported an average 30 percent increase in student connections with their career centers.