An Overview of Handshake

By John Popham

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About Handshake

Whether you are looking for your dream job, a summer internship, or a side hustle, Handshake is your one-stop shop for all career development and job search needs. In this overview, you’ll learn about Handshake’s useful features and the steps you can take to make the most out of this new platform.

Handshake is a multipurpose platform to connect with future employers and colleagues, find short and long-term employment and internship opportunities, discover fellowship and post-doc positions, and attend events sponsored by outside companies and organizations. You can search for jobs and employers, apply directly to open positions, send messages to colleagues and alumni in your network, and share your profile with potential employers.

Through Handshake’s Career Center, you will be able to conveniently schedule appointments directly with counselors from The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development and access resources provided by our department.

Getting Started

To get started, go to the Handshake homepage and click on “The Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York Sign On”. Use your GC network credentials (the login and password used to access your GC email) to log in. Note: Only use the first part of your email, without or You’ll then receive an email confirming your account activation. Congrats, you’re now ready to use Handshake!

Privacy Settings

Now that your account is active, you’ll want to set your privacy settings based on what kind of Handshake user you are (active job hunter or beginning career explorer) as well as your desired privacy on the site. Handshake offers three options that provide varying degrees of visibility and privacy within the network. These settings give you control over who can see your profile and activity, and who is able to contact you directly. These settings also control whether or not you can send direct messages to students and alumni.

Handshake’s recommended “Community” setting allows employers, students, alumni, as well as CUNY staff and faculty to see your profile and activity. This setting offers the least amount of privacy but gives you the most visibility to potential employers. For the active job seeker, this setting will give you the best chance of connecting with a potential employer or colleague through Handshake.

The “Employers” setting keeps your profile visible to potential employers and allows you to contact them directly about job opportunities but hides your activity from other users in the network. This is a good option for those who want their profile visible to employers, but hidden from students, alumni, or members of the GC community. You’ll still be able to receive direct messages from employers, but will not be able to contact other students or alumni.

Finally, the “Private” setting allows you to use the various platform functions but prevents employers from searching for you or contacting you about employment opportunities. If you are just beginning your career exploration or are concerned about your privacy on the site, this setting provides the greatest protection without compromising many of the site’s useful features. You will still be able to search Handshake job listings and access the resources provided by the CP&PD office.

To change your privacy settings, simply click on “Settings” in the drop-down menu under your profile picture or icon and scroll down to “Privacy.” Click here for more info on Handshake’s privacy options.

Connecting with The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development

To access the CP&PD main Handshake page, click on the “Career Center” header or the “The Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York Career Center →” banner. Here you can schedule appointments, check out our department resources, and take surveys that help us tailor our programming and services to the interests and needs of current GC students. By clicking on “Appointments,” you can schedule a new session with a career counselor or see the status of any previously scheduled appointments. Note: You will receive notification via email when your appointment has been approved by CP&PD staff.

Searching for jobs and employers

There are two ways to search for jobs using Handshake: a simple keyword search or through Handshake filters which allow you to narrow your search criteria. Using filters, you can specify the type of industry and position, search for jobs associated with particular employers, and specify certain employer details such as work authorization policy. Similarly, Handshake’s employer search allows you to target your search based on location, company size, or a series of labels that describe the company or organization. (Stay tuned for a future blogpost all about Handshake labels!)

Creating your profile

Finally, Handshake offers a platform for showcasing all of your professional and academic accomplishments! In your Handshake profile, you can list past work and volunteer experiences, your special skills and interests, notable projects that you have worked on, and past organizations and extra-curriculars. There is even a place to list those life-changing courses that you have taken at the GC! In the Documents section of your profile, you can upload your resume, and other job search materials and manage their visibility to employers and other Handshake users.

Once you have set up your Handshake profile, you’ll be able to connect with employers and learn more about their unique opportunities. We hope that Handshake will be a useful tool for furthering your career development. Check out our blog for future posts about how to make the most of Handshake for your job search.