Handshake How-To

Handshake logo

Handshake is your central hub for all Career Center events, job and internship posts, appointments for upperclassmen, resources and more. But, it can be a little bit confusing to navigate! Use this tip videos, tools and other suggestions to make the most out of Handshake.

Getting Started

Making (and Completing) a Profile

Completing your profile helps you in several ways: it helps the Career Center connect you with relevant events and internships, it helps Handshake populate your recommendations for internships, jobs and events, and it helps employers find, recognize, and reach out to you. Make sure you cover these bases to get the most out of Handshake.

Key categories to fill on your Handshake profile

Some things are automatically loaded into your profile: your name, college, major, minor and school year. What isn’t included is your experience! Using your resume or CV, you should add at least 2-3 work- or research-related experiences, a couple clubs or extracurricular activities, some skills and classwork that’s related to internships, research or jobs you’d like to find. Focus on things you’ve done at JHU, especially if you’re a second-year or older

GPA and Work Authorization

All students can opt out of sharing this information. Keep in mind that opting out means you might not be considered for jobs that have GPA restrictions, and companies won’t be able to reach out to you for opportunities as easily. The same goes for work authorization: both the Career Center and companies will be able to reach out to you with OPT/CPT positions if this stays checked.

Uploading documents

Yes, you just basically wrote out your resume in your profile. But you also want to add a PDF or word document of your resume, which will make it easier for employers to select you and gather information to interview you. It will also make it easier to apply to jobs if you already have your current resume on your profile. Need help with your resume or profile? Drop-in to meet with a Career Coach (see bottom of page).

Upload a photo!

The same goes for LinkedIn: this shows a little extra effort, makes your profile stand out, and helps the recruiter put a face to a name. Recruiters often tell us that they will remember a student from an info session or interview, but might need to look them up to make sure they have the right name. If you don’t have a picture, they can’t find you.

Need a professional headshot? The DMC takes them every year at the Fall Career Fair, for free. Even a solo photo of you in business-casual clothing is better than nothing.

Selecting a Career Academy and Career Interests

You can join one (or more) of our six industry-focused Career Academies by checking your Career Interests in Handshake. You can also select other career interests in this section, which might help the Career Center or employers find better-matched students for their positions.

Select a Johns Hopkins Career Academy to help get better information for your career interests and industry,

Meeting with Coaches

What’s a Drop-in and How do I Find it?

Our coaches host short drop-in appointments every day around campus, and our student ambassadors host them daily in our office, 11-3. Find both by going to jhu.joinhandshake.com/events, clicking “event search” and typing “Drop-ins” in the keyword box. Drop-ins usually last 15 minutes, and are open to any student.


Students can make one-on-one appointments with a Career Coach starting the summer after their first year at JHU. Open your Handshake account, click “Career Center,” then go to the drop down “Appointments.” As long as you have already selected a Career Academy, you will be able to meet with a Career Coach and pre-professional adviser as appropriate for your interests and needs. Appointments are an hour long, and are all about you and your interests!

Finding Jobs and Internships

Finding Events that Relate to Your Interests

The best way to find events related to your interest is using the Event search function. Follow these steps to get what you really need:

  • Scroll down to “Career Center” and select “Homewood Career Center.” While events from Carey, Bloomberg, or others might be interesting to you, these events are definitely best for Homewood students.
  • Narrow the event date if you’re looking for something in the next couple weeks
  • Still too many? Scroll back up to Search and enter a keyword related to one of our industry-specific Career Academies: Arts, Media and Marketing; Consulting; Finance; Health Sciences; Nonprofit and Government; or STEM and Innovation.
  • Save yourself trouble later by hitting the star at the end of event description so you can find it again, or click through to RSVP to the event to get updates.

How to Find Internships and Jobs for You

Johns Hopkins handshake search tips for finding internships and jobs

What are good Keywords or Job Titles for me to search?

Start broadly by entering career fields you’re interested in, such as “journalism,” “consulting,” or “investment banking.” To narrow your search, try entering industry-specific skills that a job might require. These include programming languages, foreign languages, and computer skills. While you can search your desired job title, keep in mind that companies use many different titles to describe the same position: a “specialist” in one company might be an “associate” in another. Be sure to try a variety of titles when you’re searching.

How to save a Job Search

Handshake-made video on saving job searches to save time

How to Learn about and Connect with Employers

How to use the Handshake platform to find companies or employers and connect