Handshake How-To

Handshake logo

Handshake is your central hub for all Life Design Lab events, job and internship posts, resources and more. But, it can be confusing to navigate! Use this tip videos, tools and other suggestions to make the most out of Handshake.

Log in now at handshake.jhu.edu

Making and Completing Your Profile

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Completing your profile helps Handshake automate your experience, like Amazon or Spotify. It allows the Life Design Lab to give you more targeted events and internships. A complete profile also helps Handshake populate ideal recommendations for internships, gap year opportunities, shadowing, jobs and events, and helps employers find, recognize, and reach out to you. Pre-professional advising also uses Handshake to set up appointments and help you prepare for graduate school applications. Follow these steps for best results!

Key categories to fill on your Handshake profile

Your name and education (college, major, minor, year) are automatically loaded into your profile and locked in place. Using your resume or CV, you should add:

  • 2+ work or volunteer experiences (student employment, summer jobs and research too!)
  • 1+ clubs or extracurricular activities, like student groups, HopHacks, etc.
  • 2+ courses that are very relevant to your current interests. No more than 10
  • Any key projects like publications, senior projects, posters, Github repos, portfolio, etc.
  • Any technical, artistic or language-related skills. Handshake will suggest some for you
  • Focus on things you’ve done at JHU, especially if you’re a second-year or older


All students can opt in to sharing this information in an SIS form that appears the first time you log onto handshake.jhu.edu. Keep in mind that not opting in means you won’t qualify for jobs that have GPA restrictions.

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 Life Design educator at office hours.

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.

Make your Profile Public

You can do this by clicking on the lefthand side, a bit below your photo. This allows 300,000+ employers to search for you. You can change it back to private at any time.

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 job functions/roles or industries that interest you in this section, which might help the Life Design Lab or employers find better-matched students for their positions.

How to Use Handshake

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 “Life Design Lab (Homewood).” 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
  • 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.

Find Jobs and Internships

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

How to Learn about and Connect with Employers

Make Handshake Notifications Work for You