How Alumni Can Request to Access Handshake

Tawnya -

The goal of this article is to highlight the alumni account creation and approval process from a Career Services perspective, including options that the Career Services team might consider to customize this experience for your school.

Log in Refresher: There are two ways for students and alumni to log in/authenticate to Handshake:

  • Log in with SSO (SSO must be configured + auth ID set in student profile)
  • Log in with a unique set of Handshake credentials

If a Student (Alum) does not have an active auth identifier in their profile (or if this is blank) they will just be prompted to set a unique Handshake password in order to log in.


Student (Alumni) Registration Process:

Alumni are always able to create and request an account on either the main page or your school-specific domain.

For example:


Students/Alumni would enter their email address here: 




The next page will allow them to select their school. If their email domain matches what is attached to your school in Handshake, the field will be pre-populated with the school name. If not, then they will need to select their school from the dropdown menu.

Once they choose their school name from the list, if your school has chosen to add an additional set of instructions specific for your school, these will appear below. We recommend that you customize a University Request Custom Message in your School Settings.

This can help minimize issues with duplicate accounts. It can also prevent confusion for current student vs alumni confusion, as it enables you to link a form for any additional questions.



Next, they will need to select a password for the account.



After entering the password, the student/alum will need to fill in some basic fields: 

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Major
  • Grad Month
  • Grad Year



Once these fields are completed, this will create the account and send an email confirmation. The student/alum must click the link in the email confirmation to confirm and use the account.


Until the student (alum) is approved by a Career Services admin and connected to your school, they will not be able to access any of the school-specific features on Handshake such as:

  • Jobs/internships
  • Events
  • Fairs
  • Approved Employers


Managing Student (Alumni) Requests

Use this process to approve any pending student requests.

Note: If you are in implementation, we recommend that you hold off on alumni approvals until you are live to all students.


Collaborating with Alumni Offices 

If you have a particular office involved in alumni engagement and approvals for resources like Handshake, you might want to:

This will ensure they are onboard and familiar with the generic workflows, processes, and value of Handshake.


Inviting Alumni to Create Student/Alumni Accounts

If you have a database of alumni that you'd like to invite to explore and apply for positions on Handshake, you might want to send something like the message below to outline the process.

We also encourage you to leverage the Handshake Community for any insights. This is a great place to lean on the insights of over 500+ university partners within the network!

 Example email copy you might want to send to alumni once you're live to all students:

Hello {alumni},

Finding a job and building a career can be daunting. Whether you’re looking for an internship, full-time job or don’t know where to begin, Handshake is here to help.

You can use Handshake to discover employers and opportunities, submit applications, and attend career fairs and other events.

Register for an account on - and complete your profile to make the best impression.

A team member from {alumni/career office name} will approve your alumni request- from there you can then explore thousands of opportunities that are tailored to your interests!

{include any additional custom instructions here}

~ {signoff}


Updating Imported Graduating Students to Alumni

Once you're live and need to update any graduating students whose accounts have been imported, explore the following resources:

The key processes will be to:

  1. Gather personal email addresses from students (whether this is from your First Destination Survey or from an external graduation application).
  2. Run a manual student import to update seniors' .edu email addresses, auth ID, and school year through the importer

Upon losing access to SSO (usually this is within 6 months of graduation) and their next login, students (Alumni) will be prompted to log in via email and password (and configure a set of Handshake credentials)  If they haven't yet set that password it will prompt them to do so. 

Students won't receive a standard email from Handshake prompting them to set up these credentials, but you can certainly send a "heads up" when you update the school year and to their personal email address.

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