Handshake Improves Student Success with Greater Internship and Job Opportunities

USFSP students at the Job & Internship Fair on campus.

(January 11, 2018) – A new online job database is transforming job searches for USFSP students and recent alumni while improving chances for landing a coveted position.

In May 2017, USFSP launched Handshake, an online platform and employer network where students can find available internships and jobs locally to internationally. There are more than 200,000 employers on the network that are connecting with 475 universities and more than 8 million students and young alumni.

In contrast to search engines like Monster or Indeed, the postings on Handshake are targeted directly for students and recent graduates, with every job filtered by USFSP staff.

“We review and vet each posting for job location, company reputation and possible scams so students and recent alumni are only seeing the most relevant and best opportunities,” director of the USFSP Career Center Lesa Shouse said. “Handshake should be our students number one place to search for jobs.”

The vetting process makes searching more efficient for students, so they spend less time trying to find the right internship or job. The smaller pool of candidates on the site makes it more likely to get selected for an interview.

“A student has less competition if they are looking on Handshake versus Indeed or another search engine, where each job posting is getting hundreds upon hundreds of applications,” said Amanda Peters, employer relations coordinator at the Career Center. “You are really being seen amongst your peers, so chances of you being picked are much higher.”

There are currently 8,700 active profiles from USFSP students and recent alumni who graduated within the last year on Handshake. Students are using their profiles to apply to positions, and also to network with fellow peers who may already have an internship or job in their chosen career field.

As for the jobs and internships themselves, there has been an overwhelming response by employers to post directly to USFSP students and alumni.

“We have seen just an exponential increase in job and internship postings since we launched,” said Shouse. “More than 7,000 opportunities have been posted to the site by employers. To give some perspective, that is a 550% increase over what we saw last year using our previous program.”

Moving forward, the Career Center hopes to connect students with mentors – such as CEOs and other successful professionals – via Handshake in order for them to learn more about their chosen career path. A first-destination survey is eliciting information on the types of jobs graduates are getting and graduate schools they are attending as well as initial income to better identify student placement trends to make better connections with organizations and businesses.

And a job and career fair on February 7 is bringing up to 80 employers to campus to speak with students and answer their questions. If you are an employer who is interested in registering for the 2018 Job & Internship fair or connecting on our campus further, contact Amanda Peters at ampeters@usfsp.edu.