WOU’s Handshake May Lead to a Handshake

Picture of a computer screen

Western Oregon University students and alumni seeking employment opportunities should start with Handshake.

And, hopefully that leads to a congratulatory handshake.

Handshake is a job and information site used by employers and recruiters to post jobs, internships and events available for WOU students and alumni. The site is accessed through the WolfLink program in students’ Portal.

Service Learning and Career Development’s (SLCD) Career Development Coordinator Jennifer Hansen encourages students to take five minutes and sign-up for Handshake, even if they aren’t ready to look for a job.

“What I like about Handshake is the employers who are posting jobs on it know the site is for students and recent graduates so the jobs are more geared for them,” she said. “Students can find all the information they need in one place when they are looking for a job. It’s great for graduating students or alumni because they can research companies and learn about upcoming job fairs.”

Handshake provides students with information on events at all seven public universities in Oregon. Hansen said by completing a profile, students can choose to receive suggestions for jobs and internships on-campus and nearby communities.

Stir fry station
One of the many job opportunities on campus for students is working in Valsetz Dining Hall.

“If a student expresses an interest in something, then Handshake will show jobs that meet their interests,” she said.

During a recent job search, Hansen said there were more than 7,500 jobs on Handshake, ranging from campus jobs to jobs in Washington, D.C.

“Students can use the search tools on Handshake to narrow the focus of their job search,” Hansen said. “They can choose if they want to work on-campus or off-campus or part-time or full-time. Every job opening at the university has to be listed on Handshake.”

Handshake is just one of the free resources available to students and alumni at the SLCD.

“We can provide students with feedback on their resumes and cover letters, work with them on interview skills and introduce them to employers,” she said.

WOU hosts five career fairs throughout the year. The next one is Nonprofit and Government Services Career Fair 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 in the Pacific Room, WUC.

“If students want to research who will be attending a career fair, they can look at the list of employers on Handshake and learn more about the organization,” she said. “We have more than 40 agencies registered for the Nonprofit and Government Services Career Fair.”

Every job provides students with valuable learning experiences and prepares students for careers once they graduate, Hansen said.

Hansen and her colleagues at the SLCD enjoy working with students and alumni and helping them find jobs.

“We want to see our students succeed, whatever success means to them,” Hansen said. “Handshake is a tool that can help our students be confident, prepared, informed and knowledgeable when applying for jobs because they are not just casting a net out for a bunch of jobs.  Students have the ability to research careers and narrow their scope.”

To learn how Service Learning and Career Development can assist you, stop by the Werner University Center and visit SLCD in room 119.

SLCD is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and provides times from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone to drop in and have resumes or cover letters reviewed.

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