When searching for a new job or internship, incorporating the best practices and information below can help identify the best opportunities for you.
Before you apply to a posting
1. Become familiar with the company and recruiter. Check out the company website to see what you can learn about their culture, values, and business model, and make sure it aligns with your search criteria. If they have a list of staff members, see if you can find the name of the recruiter listed on the job posting.
2. Assess the job posting details. Where is the job located? Does the location match the company? Check out the responsibilities and requirements - if there's a salary posted, does the salary align with the job expectations?
Handshake is a network based on trust - if you happen to see any jobs posted on Handshake that are sub-standard, or if the salary is much higher than the average known salary for that role, feel free to flag so our Trust & Safety team can validate the posting. For more information, refer to Safety: Flagging an Employer on Handshake.
3. Update your CV and craft a cover letter. Check out our US student blog for advice on How to Create a Student or New Grad Resume. For personalised advice, contact your institution's Career Centre!
Before you accept an offer
1. Interview with the employer. Any reputable employer normally requires an interview (and often more than one) before hiring. Speak with a trusted person about your interaction with the company and any documents you are asked to sign, and keep copies of all communication. Don’t accept a job you didn’t apply to, didn’t require an interview, or gives you an unreasonably short timeframe to accept.
2. Agree on your salary and pay frequency. Payment should typically begin after you've begun working for the company, and you shouldn't be asked to deposit or cash a company cheque prior to starting.
3. Ensure the employer has provided clear expectations of what the role will entail and what your hours/schedule will be. Once you start in a role, you should know what exactly what to expect of the role, both responsibilities and time commitment.
Red flags to watch for
Beyond the job description, an employer’s interactions with you can be a red flag. Here are some behaviours to be on the lookout for:
- An employer contacts you by phone, but the number is blocked or not available and there is no way to return the call.
- An employer contacts you by email directly, offering you a job you did not apply for, or inviting you to apply for a job that isn't posted on a reputable site.
- Tip: Check the sender's email address contains the domain @live.com or an @ that is not affiliated with the company.
- You're asked to cash or deposit a cheque on behalf of someone else, then return a portion of the cash to them and keep the remainder.
- Handshake's (US) Student Blog