Finding jobs as a university student can be quite challenging. But there are several tools out there that could help you land the perfect job; LinkedIn and Handshake being two of the most widely used ones. Here, we'll be helping you pick one to help you kick off your job search.
Both platforms are pretty great, to begin with, but they work in completely different ways. While LinkedIn is like a social media platform for professions, Handshake serves to connect university students with employers. LinkedIn does have an integrated job portal, but it might not be useful for people with no prior experience or connections.
So, which one should you try first? Let's find out.
To begin with, let's take a look at what the two platforms have to offer:
Being a social media platform, LinkedIn allows you to connect with colleagues, recruiters and other people from the industry. That not only helps you stay on top of what's happening in your field of work but also opens up some opportunities.
While you can find some opportunities through your connections, LinkedIn's job search portal is where you'll find most of the jobs or internships. It's fairly simple to look for jobs on the platform, and you can use a variety of filters to narrow down relevant openings.
On LinkedIn, some companies allow you to apply for opening using just your profile. Others might require you to finish other formalities on their website to complete the process. Also, you can keep track of all your application and get instant notifications when an employer shows interest in your profile.
Connecting with recruiters also opens up avenues. It gives them access to your profile, and they can connect with you if they have relevant openings. Furthermore, you can set up job alerts on LinkedIn and receive regular updates for new openings based on your filters.
Handshake, on the other hand, works in a completely different manner. The platform directly connects university students to prospective employees, leaving out the social features. It has partnered with over 700 universities and over 300,000 employers in the US, so there are a ton of job listings for you to go through.
If you're from a partner university, you can set up your profile using your official email ID. While setting up your profile, you'll answer a few questions which will help the platform find suitable jobs for you.
To increase your chances of landing a job, Handshake also lists down nearby career fairs that you can attend. It even hosts online workshops to help you in your search. A few employers also require you to apply for campus interviews via Handshake, which makes it a great option to begin with.
Since Handshake directly caters to students, employers are less likely to have unreasonable expectations. Additionally, the platform gives users feedback on their applications and lets them know if an employer went with another candidate. That helps when you've applied for many jobs at the same time.
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LinkedIn vs. Handshake: Which One Should You Pick?
Both platforms offer different features, and each has their own advantages. The job search solutions on each platform are unique and serve a different purpose. But Handshake seems to be a better option for university students looking for their first job.
The platform bypasses all the networking required on LinkedIn, and the jobs you see are already filtered based on your profile. That makes narrowing down opportunities slightly easier. The career fairs and workshops on Handshake also go a long way in guiding students onto the right track.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, gives you access to even more potential opportunities. It lets you connect with people in the industry for mentorship to jumpstart your career. It's also a tried and tested platform which is known to generate satisfactory results for applicants.
While Handshake also has a decent track record, I've come across many complaints about people not receiving any offers; even after applying for a significant number of openings. So you should be wary of that.
In both cases, finding the job of your dreams will require you to put in some effort. So there's no clear winner here. If your university has tied up with Handshake, I'd definitely recommend that you jump on the platform.
If not, you can start with LinkedIn and connect with alumni or recruiters. If you don't mind putting in extra effort, the best option is to use both platforms. That way you can reap the benefits of the great features on offer and increase your chances of finding your dream job.
Next up: Both LinkedIn and Handshake also offer mobile apps, but only LinkedIn has a 'lite' app for users with older smartphones. Check out this article to know the differences between LinkedIn and LinkedIn Lite.