Last week, we talked LinkedIn, but now our focus is Handshake. Have you heard a lot about Handshake, the hub for Bentley students to connect with employers and directly apply for roles? It’s very new, so don’t worry if you haven’t, but definitely look into creating an account and logging on… today!
A handshake used to be the ultimate professional ice-breaker. Networking with employers at a career fair? Better practice your handshake first. Beginning an interview? Say your name and reach out your right hand, keeping eye-contact while preparing for a firm and decisive gesture. There was always advice on how to properly shake somebody’s hand, for improving the break-or-make beginning of an interview or networking event. Now, with the pandemic and a lot of working from home, we still have Handshake, it’s just a little different.
Some of the benefits of a fully-developed Handshake profile include getting invites to exclusive events from employers and being able to better network. Networking, although now limited to mostly virtual events and interactions, is still so important to get your name out there! Many recruiters use Handshake to scout new talent, which is why it’s so crucial to continue updating your information and making sure that all of your profiles Link(edIn).
Let’s build our Handshake profile to match our LinkedIn!
- Make sure that all of your work experience, as mentioned on LinkedIn and on your resume, is in your Handshake experience section. Additionally, make sure that the timelines make sense, and that the bullet points are not outdated (as in, make sure that if it is no longer a current position, you’re not using present-tense).
- Profile a picture! Add a profile picture to your Handshake profile to introduce yourself right away, preferably the same one as on your LinkedIn, as the consistency will help recruiters better identify and recognize you!
- The Handshake “Journey” section should be almost, if not identical, to your “About You” LinkedIn section. Both are supposed to introduce you and highlight specific and relevant professional accomplishments, as well as allow your personality to shine through!
- Add extra projects or relevant course-work, just as you would your resume. Have a publication? Add it. Have a club leadership position? Add it. Handshake has specific sections for this, so make sure to follow along when completing your profile.
- PRO TIP: Handshake will tell you how far along you are in your profile-building, with percentages and tasks (such as “85%” or “Add a Project”). As long as you follow along, you’ll be done in no time!
- If you would like, link or attach your *updated* resume to even more clearly identify the connection. If you have several tailored resumes (which is really smart and recommended), don’t put those. Attach a general one that you can use across most roles you are interested in (as a baseline).
- Make sure that your information is reliable, consistent, and applicable to all of your different professional achievements. This means that when an experience becomes too old or irrelevant for your resume, it may make sense to take it off Handshake as well. This is NOT the case if you just have too many experiences to fit on a one-page resume, because Handshake profiles can, when used properly, hold much more information than a resume, in a classy and professional way.
General Handshake tips:
- Include Handshake in your updating process. Meaning that when you block out time to improve your resume or LinkedIn, make sure to also remember to put a little time into Handshake.
- Be attentive when it comes to Handshake. Employers very frequently use Handshake to send you messages or invite you to events, so make sure you’re logging on fairly frequently. Also, setting up a Handshake profile using your Bentley credentials will allow you to receive email notifications when you receive messages.
- Check out jobs and make sure to “Quick Apply” if that’s an offered option! Often, having a fully-created Bentley Handshake profile will let you apply at the press of a button, rather than go through a drawn-out process.
Thanks for keeping up with this blog series! Next week, we will be finishing off with the connection of your resume to these platforms (Handshake and LinkedIn), so make sure to check that out!