Employer Guidelines

The Life Design Lab has implemented these guidelines to create a professional environment where students, alumni, and employers can interact. As a member of the Johns Hopkins University community, the Life Design Lab bears a unique responsibility to do our best to ensure a positive experience for our clients—students, alumni, and employers alike.

The Life Design Lab at Homewood serves students and alumni of the full-time programs of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering. Our recruiting services are not available to other individuals, including those affiliated with Johns Hopkins in another way (such as a part-time student or a student enrolled in other divisions). The Life Design Lab will do its best to facilitate your interactions with other career offices at Johns Hopkins whenever desired.

Guidelines for all Recruiting Activities

The following guidelines apply to any organization participating in recruiting activities at Johns Hopkins University, including On-Campus Recruiting (please read the additional On-Campus Recruiting guidelines below). The Life Design Lab supports the entirety of the NACE Principles for Employment Professionals and Third-Party Recruiters. Several of these principles have been highlighted because they merit special attention. A complete listing of these principles can be found at www.naceweb.org.

Highlighted NACE Principles

  • Recruiters will refrain from any practice that improperly influences and affects job acceptances, including undue time pressure for acceptance of employment offers and encouragement of revocation of another employment offer.
  • Recruiters will maintain equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance and follow affirmative action principles in recruiting activities.
  • Recruiters will maintain the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including personal knowledge, written records/reports, and computer databases. There will be no disclosure of student information to another organization without the prior written consent of the student, unless necessitated by health and/or safety considerations.
  • Recruiters will follow the policies of the Life Design Lab also when interacting with other Johns Hopkins administrators, student groups, or academic departments.
  • Serving alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process.

Third-Party Recruiters

Third-party recruiters may utilize the Life Design Lab’s recruiting services in line with the following guidelines:

  • Third-party recruiters will not disclose student information in any way to any employer or other person or entity without obtaining prior written consent from the student.
  • Third-party recruiters attending career fairs will disclose the names of the represented employers to the Life Design Lab if requested.
  • Third-party recruiters may post full-time jobs and internships in the Life Design Lab’s Handshake system.
  • Third-party recruiters may not participate in on-campus interviews or resume drops.

Additional Guidelines for On-Campus Recruiting

The following guidelines apply to employers participating in On-Campus Recruiting at Johns Hopkins University. On-Campus Recruiting includes interviews, resume drops, career fairs, and information sessions.

Deadlines for Requests

  • Requests may be submitted 4 months before that start of the semester and no less than 10 business days prior to the desired interview or event date. Once requests are submitted to Handshake, they are processed in the order in which they are received.
    • Please note that events are processed once the semester begins, and space on campus is available to be reserved.
  • View directions on how to request an interview schedule and learn more about requesting an event.

Contact Information

Whenever possible, employers should provide contact information in their position descriptions (i.e., name and either a telephone number or an email address) to students when participating in On-Campus Recruiting. The Life Design Lab reserves the right to provide employer contact information to students under appropriate circumstances, even when an employer has elected to hide this information from student view.

Alumni Representatives

The Life Design Lab encourages the involvement of JHU alumni in recruiting activities. However, under no circumstances should a Johns Hopkins student or alumnus/a represent an employer on campus in a recruiting capacity during any year in which he/she is also utilizing the Life Design Lab’s recruiting services as a job seeker.


When interviewing on campus, employers may bring up to two greeters in addition to their interviewers. Greeters may speak quietly with interviewing students in the Life Design Lab’s lobby area.

Recommended Recruiting Dates

To achieve the best recruiting results, recruiters should adhere to the recommended recruiting dates established by the Life Design Lab for the current year. Employers engaged in recruiting early in the fall or spring semesters or during the January Intersession should make their recruiting information available to the Life Design Lab at the earliest possible time so that proper advertising can take place.

Extending Offers

We recognize that employers have certain constraints in the flexibility they have to accommodate student needs, but we ask employers to refrain from presenting exploding offers, which exert undue pressure on students by making offers with unreasonable time limits (less than two weeks) or time-sensitive penalties.

Johns Hopkins University believes that students should have the opportunity to explore the options open to them in order to make responsible and well-informed decisions about employment offers. We want you to hire the best candidates and for our students to obtain the best opportunity for them. For these reasons and to maintain consistency with peer institutions, our job offer policy for organizations participating in campus recruitment is as follows:

Timing of offer:Date by which to decide on offer:
Offers from Summer InternshipsNovember 1 or minimum of two weeks
(whichever is LATER)
Offers from Fall Campus RecruitingNovember 1 or minimum of two weeks
(whichever is LATER)
Offers from Spring Campus RecruitingMarch 15 or minimum of two weeks
(whichever is LATER)


For full-time offers made on or before August 30, 2021 to students returning to JHU for their final year, we ask that employer give students until Friday, October 1, 2021 to respond. This pertains to former interns as well as other students whom you may have interviewed over the summer through early-identification programs. For full-time offers made during the fall semester, we ask that employers give students until Monday, November 1, 2021, or two weeks, whichever is later, to decide on the offer.

All parts of the offer (inclusive of bonuses and other incentives) may not expire before the appropriate corresponding date indicated above.

All official offers must be in writing. Written offers are defined as electronic or hard copies. The start of the offer timeline is determined by the date on the written offer letter.

Second-Round Interviews

Secondround interviews must be scheduled in a way that does not interfere with student class schedules and previously scheduled first-round interviews. To this end, second round interviews taking place outside the Greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area may not be scheduled less than one week after the first round interview. Employers will coordinate with individual students to make second-round interview arrangements. In addition, employers will communicate the dates of their second-round interviews with the Life Design Lab at the earliest possible time.

If you have any questions regarding these policies, or if you have concerns regarding a Hopkins student’s participation in recruiting activities, please contact the Life Design Lab at 410-516-8056 or homewood.recruit@jhu.edu.

No-Show Policies and Procedures (for students)

Cancellation of On-Campus Interviews: I agree to appear for every interview I schedule with an employer. I may cancel a scheduled interview, if necessary, up to two (2) business days before the interview by notifying both the employer and the Life Design Lab. I understand there will be penalties assessed if I do not adhere to this policy. A cancellation less than two business days before an interview, or failure to attend an interview, will be considered a no-show. First No-Show: My Handshake account will be suspended and they will be reinstated or terminated at the discretion of the Life Design Lab Director or designee. I must email lifedesignlabhomewood@jhu.edu to make an appointment with the Life Design Lab Director or designee. This e-mail must include a draft of an apology letter to the employer. Until these two things are done, I may not participate in OCR. Second No-Show: My OCR privileges will be suspended. To appeal suspension, contact lifedesignlabhomewood@jhu.edu.

Special Note on Unpaid Internships

At Johns Hopkins University, students participate in internships both that are paid and unpaid. Academic credit for internships is coordinated through the student’s academic department. Students may complete an internship in the summer, fall, spring, or during winter break (intersession).

As an employer, it is your responsibility to be aware of the federal government’s requirements for unpaid internships, whether or not academic credit is awarded by an educational institution. For-profit organizations should review the U.S. Department of Labor’s Internships and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Below are some tips for complying with the DOL’s standards as well as links to other resources.

Internship Definition

An internship is a career-related experience that allows students to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve developed from their academic studies in a practical, workplace setting. All internships should provide students with exposure to an occupation, industry or career field and have a clear purpose/focus. Internships typically involve a student working in a professional setting under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals. As such, employers are expected to be invested in the career exploration and professional development of the students that intern at their organizations. (Adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Criteria for Internships that Primarily Benefit Students’ Career Development

  • The internship’s central focus is educating students to use the critical thinking and communication skills they’ve developed at Hopkins in a professional environment.
  • The intern receives regular and on-going supervision, feedback, coaching, and mentoring.
  • The intern contributes to the organization in a value-added, meaningful way.

To do this:

  • Create a job description that outlines the expectations and objectives of the internship. This provides a framework for students to learn about your field/industry and affirms the value of the actual work they complete. Having a specific project for the student to complete is an excellent way for students to develop career-related competencies while contributing to your organization.
  • Connect the internship experience to learning. Whether or not a student receives academic credit for an internship, it should provide the student with an opportunity to develop career-related skills and competencies. These competencies should be transferable to other organizations or even other industries in order to foster the student’s career development. Students want to learn about organizational structure, engage with a variety of professionals, and receive insight into pertinent topics. Clear transparent communication is important for students to learn about your organization, field, and the world of work.
  • Plan to supervise the intern. Supervision is the foundation for a successful internship. Setting clear expectations, engaging in regular follow-up and providing feedback are essential components of a great internship experience for both student and employer. Due to the educational nature of internships, employers provide a greater level of supervision to interns than employees. Providing opportunities for students to reflect on their internship experiences during supervision is an excellent way to foster to their career development.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Life Design Lab at Homewood at 410-516-8056 or homewood.internship@jhu.edu.

For more information on internship best practices and federal regulations, explore the links below: