Student shaking hands with employer

Handshake Profile

Make Your Profile Work For You!

Students who complete their profiles are 5x more likely to be contacted by a recruiter on Handshake.  Additionally, the information in your profile helps you receive the most relevant job recommendations, and helps employers find you in their candidate searches.


The quickest way to complete your profile is to use the resume auto-upload feature to pull information directly from your resume. Review the extracted information and confirm that it is accurate and correctly formatted.

A complete profile allows you to present a picture of who you are as a student and professional.  A complete profile includes:

Name and Headshot
  • Your name, as well as some academic information, will already be populated for you. Check to make sure everything is correct.
  • Profiles are 7x more likely to be viewed when there is a photo. Your photo doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it’s current, professional, and simple (no busy background).
Your Journey
  • Think of this as your elevator pitch.  Use this space showcase your goals, interests, and what motivates you.
  • Include all relevant education information, such as program of study, degree, expected graduation year, and GPA.
    • It is up to you whether or not to hide your GPA.  Our recommendation is to display your GPA if it’s a 3.0 or higher.  Note, some employers will require you minimum GPA in order to apply for a position.  Hiding your GPA will not exclude you from applying to these positions, as long as you meet the minimum requirement.
  • If you transferred and/or attended another university while studying abroad, be sure to include education information for those as well!
Work Experience
  • Highlight your work and volunteer work.  Do not shy away from listing part-time jobs, volunteer, or seasonal experience.  Often these types of positions help you refine your career competencies and soft skills, such as communication, professionalism, critical thinking, etc.
  • Organize experiences in reverse chronological order, similar to how you would on a resume.  This means your most recent work experience should be listed at the top and your least recent experience at the bottom.
  • Use strong action verbs, be specific, and quantify experiences whenever possible, and focus on the skills.  Don’t forget to use past tense forms of these verbs when discussing actions that you have already completed. Here are a few examples of action verbs:
adapt administer analyze
approve arrange compile
coordinate conceive conduct
control create develop
demonstrate design determine
direct earn edit
establish expand expedite
generate increase initiate
increase innovate improve
instruct maintain motivate
negotiate originate promote
produce recognize reduce
revamp research revise
simplify solve support
Organizations and Extracurriculars

  • Include any organizations and extra-curricular activities in which you have been involved, such as student organizations, greek life, clubs, athletic teams, service trips and musical ensembles.  Involvement in these activities showcase transferable skills like leadership and collaboration
  • Remember, employers may not be aware of an organization or its acronym.  Be sure to spell out the organization’s full name and include a description of the organization as well as your specific involvement.  For example, use “Student Government Association” rather than “SGA” in this section of your profile.
Courses and Projects
  • If you have little to no work experience, be sure to spend more time completing this section of your profile.
  • Add courses that align with a particular field of study or industry.  Use this section to inform employers of hard skills that you’ve acquired through your study, such as technical, analytical, project management, presentation, and marketing skills.
  • Include any projects that showcase your work, including a portfolio,writing samples, websites you created, hackathons, case competitions, publications,presentations or class projects.
  • Adding skills to your profile is important and easy to do.  Employers can search for candidates by skills. If you make your profile public, employers may contact you if you match a skill they are looking for
  • Either type in a skill or select some of the suggested skills. Add language skills, technical skills, and any certifications you hold.  But always be honest; if you do not possess a desired skill yet, then do not list it.
Career Interests
  • In this section, indicate if you are currently looking for a job or internship, and list the types you would consider (i.e. part-time, full-time, on-campus). Also, add specific information about location, roles and industries if you are limiting your job search
    to certain cities, positions or fields.
  • Note: If your profile is visible to employers, interests are not listed on your profile, however, employers may use advanced search filters based on Location Interests, Job Role Interests, Job Seeking Interests, and Job Hunt to help them connect with candidates.
  • Select (or deselect) the check boxes as desired in each section, then click Save My Career Interests in the lower-right corner of the screen.
    Handshake Career Interests Page

Public vs. Private Profile

Upon logging into Handshake, you will be prompted to select from one of three privacy options. You can always change your privacy selection by navigating to the Settings & Privacy section of your account.

Community: Visible to other students and alumni across all Handshake schools, as well as to employers approved by Montclair State. This option will give you access to Peer Messaging. Any student or alum you see in Handshake with a “Message” button listed on their profile has indicated that they are open to connecting.


Employers: This option will make you visible to employers approved by Montclair State. You will not have access to Peer Messaging. Employers are performing over 25,000 searches for candidates like you every month!  You’ll need to set your profile to “employers” or “community” in order for your profile to appear in these searches.


Private: Your profile will not be visible to other students, alumni, or employers. You still have access to Handshake jobs, internships and other resources.

How Complete is Complete?

Handshake provides a “level of profile completion” with a colored progress bar. As you add content to your profile, your profile completion will progress and the color of the bar will change, starting from red.

But don’t be discouraged if your profile progress bar isn’t full. Even after adding the above content – one work experience, an organization or activity, and one skill, the bar will not say your profile is complete.  Be sure to continue to update your profile as you gain more experience and as your career goals evolve!

Login to Handshake and get started on your profile. Let people know who you are and what you can do!

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