Written by Payton Davis, Career Center Digital Marketing Internship and Public Relations Major.
- A senior in college who has told herself semester after semester that she will go to the Career Center to take advantage of the free resources.
- A senior who waited until last month to create a proper LinkedIn account.
- Ironically, this senior now interns for the Career Center.
- The senior is me.
The motivation to get my life together came at the perfect time, as the Career Center just launched Handshake, a new career-search platform for students and alumni of Missouri State University.
My new motivation + being required to learn about Handshake for promotional purposes = the perfect mix.
There were many aspects of Handshake that drew me in, making me excited to create an account. First off, I want to preface by saying that Handshake seemed way too good to be true. I mean, having all of your career options and resources in one place seems unheard of, right? Not to mention you literally have all of this in your hand thanks to the mobile app. If I wanted to apply to jobs and edit my profile straight from the Handshake app on my phone while waiting in line at Starbucks, I could do that.
Signing up for Handshake was so easy. It is done through My Missouri State, so that means one less password to remember. After I successfully signed in, I was greeted by a Welcome message and prompted to begin building my profile. I filled in my education, skills, work and volunteer experiences, and courses. Then I uploaded a professional headshot. After this, I went to look at my profile progress, and it was already at 50%! The only step I have left to complete my profile is uploading a résumé, but I’m going to need to polish it first.
So it’s easy to set up and use, and it keeps all of your resources in one place. If you are like me, you’re probably doubting that there can really be an extensive number of employers recruiting from Handshake. Although those doubts are valid, they are not applicable to Handshake, and I’ll tell you why. Handshake houses 300,000 employers of all different types of teams and industries.
Numbers are important, but personal experiences and opinions matter too, especially when it comes to choosing a career. This is why Handshake features an abundance of student testimonials. I love reading about how other students found the opportunity of a lifetime because of Handshake. It gives me a glimmer of hope that I will one day be able to give my testimonial.
What’s more, there is a Question and Answer section in which you can use keywords to search for a question you might have about a certain company or type of job. If your exact question hasn’t already been asked, you will be able to ask it and get it answered by other students and professionals. The Q&A and messaging feature are both very useful for networking and getting assistance. The people who respond to your questions obviously want to help you, so this makes messaging them separate from the Q&A section acceptable. It is never too early to start networking!
Although I should have started preparing for a career much sooner, I am confident that with something as groundbreaking as Handshake, I will be just fine. By the time fall semester arrives, my profile will be complete and I will be “on the market.” Additionally, I have zero excuses to neglect Career Center resources this year, as I have all the event dates on the Handshake Events Calendar right at my fingertips. I now understand the magic of the Career Center after having the opportunity to work with and get to know the amazing staff this summer. Time and time again you will hear “It’s never too early to utilize the Career Center,” so do not ignore it like I did—join Handshake today. #CareerReady #CareerBears