Campus Life

We Tried Handshake and Here’s What Happened

In case you missed it, UWF has replaced JasonQuest with Handshake as their career development platform. But, besides a name change, is there a real difference in what these services have to offer? Is this replacement actually useful in job hunting? I spent some time checking out what Handshake has to offer and found that it held some pretty beneficial tools for seeking out positions. 

1. First Off, It Looks so Much Better Than JasonQuest

If you ever had to use JasonQuest, then you know that, visually, it was basically a website from the late 90’s. Now, if you’re anything like me, websites that look like they were drawn in MS Paint feel clunky, obtuse and are just hard to use. The fact that Handshake’s interface is pleasant to look at automatically makes it easier to understand and navigate. Beside the aesthetic upgrade, Handshake also has more helpful features than JasonQuest did, like Q&A.

2. Q&A Is like If Yahoo Answers Was Helpful 

Q&A isn’t, as you’d probably think from the name, a section for questions about how to use Handshake, but rather a place where applicants can ask questions about their job search or for tips about how to break into their desired career field. The reason this is an actually attractive feature is the people that answer those questions are qualified to do so based on the resume they uploaded to Handshake, the gist of which is displayed above their response to the user’s question. Also, the questions can get freakishly specific, like “What’s it like to intern for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin?” and find their perfect responder, like a former intern for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.

3. Setting Up You Profile is Incredibly Simple

To make a godawful pun, Handshake really holds your hand through the process of setting up your profile. It’s connected to your MyUWF account and will automatically upload some information, like you major and GPA, to save you the pain of having to fill out ALL of those boxes. Those other boxes appear redundant, as most information can be pasted straight from your resume, which is easy to upload to the profile itself along with other documents. However, employers can search for and contact you on Handshake, and your clean and readable profile, along with your ability to tag yourself like a human Instagram post with your skills and experience, makes you appealing and easy to find.

4. Searching for Jobs is Also a Breeze

The internship and job search feature is easily Handshake’s greatest attribute. Besides using the keyword search bar, in which Handshake suggests terms to use to find positions that match your major, I was able to narrow my results by their locations and whether they were paid or full time. I was worried that there would be limited options for students looking for something local or not interested in STEM fields, but Handshake offered a healthy mix of positions both local, far-flung and even remote. There wasn’t an over-representation of any one field, but it definitely offered more for students looking for part-time positions and internships rather than a place to start their careers. It was easy to keep track of my applications; however, most positions were easy to apply for because there was no link to a separate application website. Most positions allowed you to apply directly through Handshake by dragging your resume into a drop-box and hitting submit.

Overall, Handshake seems like a colossal upgrade over the prehistoric JasonQuest. It provides more information about fields you’re curious about while also making it easy to seek a variety of opportunities in those fields.

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