Handshake Student & Alumni FAQ

Need help with Handshake? Not a problem! Below is a list of answers to FAQ specific to the University of Washington. In addition, please note the following resources:

  • Handshake Help Center – Handshake created articles specific to student/alumni users to assist you with navigating and utilizing the platform! This help article includes general Handshake FAQs for student accounts.
  • Handshake Support Team – Contact the Handshake Support Team directly for any technical difficulties you may be experiencing or general questions about utilizing Handshake
  • Handshake Blog Series – Handshake creates dozens of blog posts every quarter with helpful tips about using Handshake, navigating the job search and interview process, attending career fairs, and other topics.
  • UW Career & Internship Center – Email us with any questions you have specific to the University of Washington on Handshake, such as log-in issues, locked profile fields, events & appointments with a specific Career Center, etc.

Accessing Handshake

Question: I tried to log into Handshake with my UW NetID credentials at uw.joinhandshake.com, but was led to a screen to either ‘Set Up Single Sign On’, ‘Register an Account’, or ‘Cancel SSO Configuration’. What should I do?

  • In order to have an account set up for you in Handshake, you must be registered for the current or upcoming academic quarter in a degree-seeking program at UW Seattle or Bothell.
    • Please do not attempt to create an account in Handshake, as it will NOT be connected to the University of Washington!
    • If you are a registered student still encountering access issues, please email handshake@uw.edu with your full name and student ID number.
  • UW Seattle/Bothell degreed alumni should complete a request form to have an account created for them.
  • UW Tacoma students and alumni are served by an exclusively UW Tacoma Handshake platform and may sign in at tacomauw.joinhandshake.com. Any access issues for the UW Tacoma Handshake platform can be directed to tcareer@uw.edu.

Handshake Profiles

Question: The ‘College’ listed within my Primary Education is locked and I need to change/update it. How can I do that?:

  • Students can edit all information in their profile except their college and school – find instructions how here.
  • Handshake reflects your current or most recent UW college for which you are working toward a degree. If you have been accepted into a new program/college, Handshake will be updated at the start of the quarter that you begin your new program.
  • Please email us at handshake@uw.edu for questions or to inquire about changing to the ‘College’ field in your profile, and include your full name as well as your student ID number.

Question: If I set my profile settings to “Employer” or “Community,” how can employers find me?

  • Employers can search for and identify student profiles by class level, major group, individual UW majors, a graduation date range, an overall and departmental GPA range, and the career interests and skills to add to your Handshake profile.
  • They may also directly message you through Handshake if your skillset or interests match a role they are looking to fill, so keep your profile information up to date!
  • Find out more about privacy settings here.

Question: Why should I complete my profile?

  • A robust Handshake profile can be as helpful as a detailed resume or LinkedIn page.
  • Employers are searching for students on Handshake based on the information in their profiles, and messaging candidates with event invites or to encourage them to apply for new job opportunities.
  • See more ideas to maximize Handshake by checking out our Handshake Profile Challenge and Handshake’s profile guide!


Question: Where can I find/How can I see Appointments in Handshake?

Question: I’m seeing a message that reads “Your career services center has restricted your access to this feature. Below is a list of staff members you can contact”. What does this mean?

  • Appointments are offered to currently registered, matriculating students and/or recent UW graduates who graduated within the past three years (36 months). If you are seeing the above message it means that you are not one of the above listed groups. If you believe you are seeing this message in error, please contact handshake@uw.edu.

Job Search

Question: I’m an international student. How can I search for jobs that I am eligible to apply to?

  • Once you’ve indicated your Work Authorization status as well as OPT/CPT eligibility from within your profile, you may search for opportunities that are open to international student applicants.
  • From the job search page, simply select the ‘Filters’ button, and scroll down to the “Work Authorization” section.
  • If you’re unsure of your status, we recommend connecting with UW’s International Student Services office.

Question: How can I search for jobs within one city only, without pulling in hits that are in the surrounding areas?

  • Type in the city within the ‘Keyword’ search rather than the ‘Location‘ search. This will ensure you are presented with a list of opportunities located in the exact city you’re looking to pinpoint. However, if you do use the ‘Location’ search, you can edit the default radius of 50 miles to a much smaller area.

Fraudulent or Scam Postings

Question: Are there any fraudulent or scam postings in Handshake?

  • Using Handshake, the Career & Internship Center strives to maintain a job and internship board full of compelling and legitimate opportunities. Handshake’s Trust and Safety team uses a multi-step process to screen employers for legitimacy and investigates any reports of potential fraud.
  • Ultimately, however, a student’s safety during their job search process is their own responsibility. The University of Washington and the Career & Internship Center are not liable for any losses incurred by students, financial or otherwise.
  • Familiarize yourself with security-related tips and resources that will help you evaluate job and internship opportunities and avoid any potentially fraudulent postings by reviewing our Identifying Scam & Fraudulent Job Postings resource.
  • The University of Washington’s Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has also created some resources with phishing examples, tips for identifying scams, and how to protect yourself.