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Your handshake profile is a way for countless employers to recruit you, so make your profile stand out. When you’re setting up Handshake, make sure to keep everything professional from your photo to your extracurriculars. There are 7 sections on your Handshake profile, here are tips for to build each section.

Photo: Using a professional headshot is always preferred, but if you don’t have one, not to fret. There are simple ways to take a nice headshot to impress employers.

  • Wear simple, business professional clothing. Don’t wear anything too brightly colored or with a crazy pattern.
  • If possible, find a spot to take the photo with natural light and a relatively neutral background.
  • Avoid wearing chunky jewelry, it can distract from your face.
  • Have a friend with a camera or nice phone take the photo from your waist up.
  • You can smile with or without teeth, whatever you feel more comfortable and natural doing.

My Journey: My Journey serves as a short biography. It is space for you to tell employers what you are interested you, who you are, and what motivates you to pursue a field. For a few examples and different styles of these biographies, check out this website to get some inspiration.

Work & Volunteer Experience: The work and volunteer experience section is where you can show employers all that you do outside of school that makes you a good applicant. Use this section to its fullest by doing the following:

  • When writing out your job titles and organizations, avoid using acronyms and write out the organizations full name.
  • Even though location is option, include it.
  • Use active verbs and concise language when describing your experience.
  • Quantify experiences whenever possible.
  • Be specific!
  • Focus on the skills you learned in each experience whether it be a new lab technique or a mastering of strategic communication skills.

Organizations & Extracurriculars: Student organizations can be a great way to build networks on campus and oftentimes build transferable skills employers are looking for like leadership, dedication, organization, and interpersonal skills. You can follow the same guidelines for writing the work and volunteer section to write about extracurriculars too. When choosing which organizations to include, think about which clubs have some component of volunteerism, skill building, professional development, academia, or personal growth. Though a purely social club may be fun, it does not tell employers anything about you as an applicant or professional.

Courses: For the courses section, you are going to want to list relevant coursework to the types of jobs you are pursuing. For example, if you were interested in a lab technician position, you may want to list the laboratory courses you have completed in undergrad.

Projects: In the projects section, you can showcase the quality of your work, something employers find very attractive. You may be wondering what types of things to put in the projects section, here are a few ideas:

  • Portfolios
  • Writing sample
  • Publications in a journal
  • Presentations from internships
  • Websites
  • Class projects*

*For class projects, be sure to disclose whether or not it was a group project.

Documents: If you are applying to one or two related fields, keep a general updated resume in your documents for employers to quickly reference. You will notice there is an option to add cover letters in the documents section. This serves as a place to keep cover letters for past and future job applications, but this is not something you would make visible on your profile.

As always, if you need help writing your resume, cover letter, or Handshake profile, stop by CALS Career Services drop in hours or schedule an appointment with our advisors on Star Fish.

This article was posted in careerservices.