Transitioning from Handshake Open to Handshake Partner

Tawnya -

Background on Opening Handshake

Handshake's mission has always been to ensure that all students are able to find meaningful jobs, regardless of where they're from or where they go to school. This year, more students across the country will have that chance. 

As of August 20th 2019, any undergraduate student with a “.edu” email address from a four-year college or university can sign up for Handshake, where they will get access to some of the job search and community features we offer our Partner school students today. You can read more about the decision to open up access here. You can also review our VP of Higher Education and Student Success Christine Cruzvergara’s blog post about opening up access here.


Transitioning from Handshake Open to Being a Handshake Partner School

For schools that join the Handshake network post-August 2019, your school will be transitioned from a “Handshake Open” instance to a “Handshake Partner” instance on the platform. This functionally means that you will be starting from the advantageous position of already having interested students using the Handshake platform and employers who already want to recruit them.


Here are some key things to know about this transition:

  • Jobs: Approved Handshake employers are able to post jobs to the Handshake Open Network before a school joins as a partner. This means that you  may see approved jobs when you log into Handshake for the first time.
  • Contacts: Approved Handshake employers who have posted a job to the Handshake Open Network or have identified themselves as an Alum at an institution are automatically added to a school’s Contacts list. This means that you may see contacts when you log in for the first time. All of the employers that are pre-approved are vetted by our trust scoring process and will expand the opportunities available to their students.
  • Students: Students are able to access Handshake as a part of Handshake Open before a school joins as a partner. These students’ data will be updated once the school (your Career Services team) starts running a student data upload.This means that you will see active student profiles when you log in for the first time. 


How will my student data upload impact information that my students have put in their profiles?

School year, major and GPA are the three fields that will be overridden for the students once the school does their first student data upload. We will notify the student that their information has changed once your school starts importing education information.


What do I need to do in order to transition my school from Open to Partnered?

Nothing. Your Relationship Manager will ensure this transition happens when you sign on to partner with Handshake!


What if I want to work on my transition but leave my students in the open network?

We can set your instance so that students can access the platform without seeing any of the career services features. We can enable this setting at any time, so if you'd like to do this, reach out to us and cc your Relationship Manager on the request.

What this means for your students:

  • With this setting, students with an email address ending in your school domain will automatically be approved when they request an account. You will not need to approve any requests.
  • Students will be able to access the job network and community aspects of the platform, but they will not see any information about your career services-specific features (career fairs, appointments, on-campus interviews, career center contact information, experiences, surveys, etc.)
  • Students will be able to apply for jobs that are part of the Handshake Open network. Those jobs are only posted by employers that have a trust score of 80+ and have been approved by at least 10 schools)
  • Students will be able to register for and attend public events and Career Fairs hosted by other schools. 

What this means for employers who wish to connect with you:

  • Employers will not be able to connect with your school or post jobs directly to your school until you choose to launch to them.
  • Employers will not be able to interact with your career center either, including requesting interviews, requesting events, or viewing your contact information for any related issues.

What this means for you and your colleagues in Career Services:

  • You will not be able to view your school's profile (you'll get a permissions error - if you need to see the profile to review changes we could always send you a screenshot)
  • You will not be able to stop students from connecting to your school
  • You will be able to remove students from your school if necessary
  • You will be able to manage students' profiles, and archive or delete their accounts
  • You will still be able to manage and test employer-related features if needed, such as Career Fairs and events, as you can create these from your end without real employers needing to see them
  • You will still be able to manage and test student-related features such as surveys, experiences, interview schedules, and appointments


Where should I go if I have other questions?

Contact your Relationship Manager via email or our Support team at

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