Student Q&A in Handshake

Tawnya -

What is Q&A?

 In Q&A (Question & Answer), students can ask career-related questions, and get answers from other students or alumni from any school. They will also receive targeted email digests of Q&A. 


Why Q&A?

We keep hearing from students that they have questions at every stage of the job search process, but it is difficult to get helpful, contextually-relevant answers. After exploring different approaches and conducting significant user research, we found Q&A to be the most effective format to deliver a personalized, engaging experience at scale. 

Through Q&A, we’re able to leverage the power of the Handshake network, and share the collective knowledge, advice and experiences that our community of students and alumni have to offer.


How do you ensure appropriate content is shared?

We’ve done extensive work around content moderation and student privacy, in consultation with employment and privacy counsel. Our main principles for publishing Q&A are as follows: 

  • Content lives across all schools on the Handshake network, alumni and students
  • Student control of identity: Fully Public or Semi-Anonymous (all answers show school, year & major)
  • Handshake moderates content (see below)

All Q&A content is reviewed and moderated by Handshake moderators before it is published to ensure questions and answers meet our content guidelines:

  • Respect privacy: do not post personal information
  • Be constructive: do not ask questions or answers that are unhelpful or unrelated to helping other students advance their careers
  • Be honest, but don’t get personal: do not ask questions or submit answers that contain negative comments about individuals
  • Be professional: do not post profane, vulgar, discriminatory, hurtful or illegal content
  • Respect confidentiality: do not post information violating intellectual property or confidentiality
  • Stay on topic: do not post spam


Where can I find Q&A content?

You can find Q&A on your homepage, and on job and employer pages when relevant content is available.

This is how it will appear on an employer's company profile: 



Can a student ask or answer a question anonymously?

  • Asking: Students can choose between asking questions anonymously or doing so publicly
  • Answering: students have two options when answering questions:
    • Fully visible: Display full name, photo, school, school year and major
    • Semi-anonymous: Hide full name and photo, but display school, school year and major
  • Rationale: After talking to students, the overwhelming feedback was that totally anonymous answers were significantly less valuable. This is because some context around who is behind the answer is important for establishing credibility and understanding if an answer is relevant to a student. For example, an English major at a small liberal arts college may find an answer from an engineering student at a large state school interesting, but less relevant to them personally.


Can students submit questions and answers that are visible only to other students and not employers?

No, all Q&A is visible to other students, employers and career centers.


Do students at my school only see reviews from other students at my school?

Q&A can come from students and alumni from any school across the Handshake network. Harnessing the power of the network will provide a significantly more valuable experience, for students to be able to get insight from a far broader set of “answerers.”

For example, if you are a student at a technical school in Arizona, but are interested in working in design in New York, you will likely benefit from answers shared by design students or alumni from a school with that speciality.

Even students at schools with broad alumni bases will benefit, because no school has a broad enough distribution by geography and industry to help the long-tail of your students who are not otherwise engaging with Career Centers.  


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