Safety: Resume Download Restrictions

Tawnya -

As part of Handshake’s ongoing commitment to the security and privacy of our universities and students, we’d like to share a change that will limit employers’ ability to download student resumes. 

With this change, employers are no longer able to bulk or individually download resumes from a search or student profile page by default. Employers are only able to download a student’s resume if that student has already reached out to them by applying to a job, accepting an interview request, or RSVP’ing to an event hosted by that employer. 

From 2/19/20 forward, employers signing up for new Handshake accounts will face these restrictions upon account creation. Existing employers will see this change rolled out over the next few weeks. 


Background on resume downloads

From the beginning, Handshake allowed all employers approved at a school to search and download public student resumes. This level of access, while nice for legitimate employers, provided too much concern for fraudulent employers that managed to gain approval at schools. 

In an effort to better protect students, we introduced a Trust Score limitation in the fall of 2017 for resume search and download access, which required employers to have a Trust Score of at least 80% in order to use this feature. This change significantly reduced the impact that fraudulent employers had within Handshake. 

Since that time, we have continued to explore ways that we can best protect students while simultaneously helping them gain access to more opportunities. 

The next step in the evolution of Trust and Safety, coming spring of 2020, is to change our default settings so that employers are unable to automatically download public student resumes at approved schools. Specifically, this means employers will no longer be able to download resumes from the student search or a student’s profile.  


How employers can download resumes

Employers will be able to download resumes for students who have interacted directly with an employer. This direct interaction includes applying to a job, accepting an interview request, or RSVP’ing to an event hosted by that employer. 

Any employer who would like permission to download resumes without student contact must request this permission directly from Handshake’s Support team by contacting us here or the Help dropdown within Handshake. Our Trust & Safety team will investigate and decide each request on a case-by-case basis.

The security and safety of students on our network—and the trust we’ve earned from our university partners in this respect—is paramount to how we develop our products, which is why we continue to research and develop new features to increase security on our platform. 



  • Our school occasionally creates events on behalf of an employer. Since our school is listed as the host, will the employer be able to download student resumes from that event’s attendees? 
    • Employers will only be able to download resumes for attendees that have RSVP’d to an event hosted by the employer. 
    • TIP: if the employer has a Handshake account, we’d encourage you to have the employer create the event, so they can have access to attendee public resumes! 
  • Can a Career Services user request resume download access on behalf of an employer? 
    • Our Trust and Safety Team will only be able to process requests from employers directly. Please have your employers contact us here and we'll be happy to help. 
  • How can employers review student resumes or background outside of jobs, interviews, or events?
    • The best way to communicate with students will be to use Messaging, moving forward. This will ensure students have a more 1:1 tailored experience as well as further protects their safety and data. Students should be completing their profiles to include the same work history and experiences on their profile which you still have access to view. You can then message the student directly from their profile. If an employer needs access to more than the standard messaging limits, they can also contact us to learn about other solutions.


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