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Using Handshake

How do I find my first internship?

Tips for finding your first internship on Handshake, straight from students who have recently been in your shoes.

When it comes to landing an amazing gig using Handshake, we’ve got plenty of advice… but sometimes, it means more coming from people who’ve been there. Luckily, there are plenty of students and fresh grads who’ve secured roles on Handshake and are happy to share their guidance! Check out tips and tricks to securing your first internship or job on Handshake, straight from current Handshake users. Freshmen and other first-time users, this one’s for you!

Make sure your profile is complete

“Having your Handshake profile set up is really important. Employers are going to want to see who you are and learn a little more about you when you’re submitting your applications to them. Personalize [your profile] and give them a short summary of who you are, what you’re looking for, and what your experiences are. I think that’s important to give them a more personal feel than just a piece of paper that explains about you.”

Crystal, Oakland University

Reach out to recruiters first

“Don’t hesitate to reach out either using Handshake or even cold emailing, saying that you’re interested in a position and here are my qualifications. Handshake also has the contact information of the employer, so there’s always ways to reach out to them. And potentially if you’re past the first hurdle and have gotten an interview, you can reach out to people who work in the same position or at the company.”

Deval, UC Irvine

“Something that helped me stand out when I was getting recruited for an internship is contacting the recruiter directly and emailing to introduce myself. I included the candidate number job ID number. It really helped me establish connections even if I didn’t get that internship. I still have connections with those recruiters now.”

Carly, NYU

Don't forget to network

Networking is extremely important. I would say don’t come in [to a networking event] thinking that you're going to get a job from talking to one person; rather it’s for you to learn from your experiences and also learn from their experiences. Going in with the intention that you can learn something from [an alumni or recruiter] is essential when growing as a professional employee.”

Nicholas, California Baptist University

Be authentic in interviews

“Be open and honest in interviews and when you’re applying to jobs. Even if you don’t have all the experience, employers want to know that you’re eager to learn.”

Elena, Oakland University

Keep applying

“Sometimes applying can be a bit of a numbers game. You may feel like you’ve gotten so many rejections, but keep on applying even if you’ve applied to hundreds of jobs. All it takes is one person to say yes and believe in you.”

Erika, UC Berkeley

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