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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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Staff Ed: Job hunting? Let’s shake on it.

Staff Ed: Job hunting? Let’s shake on it.


With the numerous college graduates flocking into the job market this spring, the stakes are high and the competition higher. The next few months will be a whirlwind for students, especially seniors, with constant cover letter revisions, resume updates and phone interviews looming nearer. Any helping hand to ease the stress is much appreciated.

This past summer UMW’s Center for Career and Professional Development unveiled Handshake, its newest effort toward streamlining the job hunting and application process by directly connecting students with employers via job postings. Termed a “career services management platform,” Handshake offers a space in which students can search at the local, regional and national levels for jobs and internships that align with their interests and career goals.

Handshake can be accessed through UMW’s website and offers functions similar to LinkedIn, allowing students to add work experience and organizational affiliations. The interface is customizable and allows each student to choose from a range of options regarding industry, career, location and job function preferences.

The Center for Career and Professional Development’s website states that “Handshake is used on over 170 U.S. university campuses, including schools like Stanford University, Cornell University, Villanova University, and Wake Forest University. Likewise, 80% of Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Google, Microsoft, and JP Morgan, are using Handshake to recruit from colleges and universities.”

While it is not a university’s job to aid its students in securing post-graduation employment – ljUMW’s goal is to provide a “superior education” and enable students to “change the world” – it is comforting to know that the university is taking students’ post-graduation needs into account and providing new ways to help them plan out their next steps.