Handshake, RWU’s New Employment Platform, Matches Students’ Skills with Opportunities
Handshake replaces RWU’s previous job finding database, Hawks Hunt
BRISTOL, R.I. – When RWU students and alumni of any major or year begin their search for an internship or job, their first stop should be Handshake, the university’s new employment management platform which has replaced Hawks Hunt.
Launched earlier this year by RWU’s Center for Career & Professional Development, Handshake allows the university to connect students and alumni with a wider range of employers than ever before and helps them match their skills, qualifications and interests with posted positions in an easy-to-use interface that resembles a social media platform.
“It allows us different tools we didn’t have in the past,” said Stephen Cantine, associate dean for the CCPD. “It helps us reinforce that there’s a lot of different opportunities out there.”
RWU is currently connected to almost 2,500 employers through Handshake – including giants like Facebook, Google and the Smithsonian – and has over 1,800 internships and jobs posted in the system. Students and alumni can easily browse through employers and their postings in a robust search system, but what makes Handshake really stand out is that these positions can be served directly to students according to their interests and skills.
Users create Linked-In like profiles where they list past experiences and answer questions on the types of careers they are interested in, their qualifications and courses they’ve taken. The system can then display internship and job opportunities in a Netflix-like category display that’s based on a user’s answers.
Categories can be wide ranging like jobs in human resources or sports and leisure companies, but they can also focus on lifestyle and culture, listing jobs according to locations with outdoor activities, a big sports culture or a thriving nightlife.
The social media like aspect of Handshake allows the CCPD and students to connect with larger companies than it could in the past. RWU can request to connect with employers and vice versa, so a specific partnership does not have to be developed for employers to feed jobs into the system as it did for Hawks Hunt.
“It’s really provided us an opportunity to gain better access,” Cantine said.
It has also helped the university find a wider range of job and internship opportunities for it’s more historically non-targeted majors like creative writing or dance. It’s why all students and alumni should go into Handshake, sign up with their myRWU email and password and invest in their profile, Cantine says. “There is nothing preventing you from going into the system and seeing what opportunities are out there.”
RWU launched its Handshake system in July. Along with jobs and internships, Handshake also allows students to see career development resources, obtain CCPD event information and register for career planning seminars.
Handshake partners with 500 colleges and universities and over 250,000 employers. It was started in 2014.
RWU’s Handshake platform is available to all RWU students with their myRWU email and password.
Handshake is also available to all RWU alumni. Alumni who graduated 2017 or before have to make a manual account. Go to https://rwu.joinhandshake.com/register and select "Student/Alumni." Students who graduated in 2018 have pre-populated accounts, they should go to https://rwu.joinhandshake.com. Select "single sign on button" and use your firstname.lastname@example.org email and password.