Handshake for Students

Handshake Logo


Handshake is the university's platform to connect students, alumni, and employers.  Discover information on jobs, internships, co-ops, events, and on-campus recruiting opportunities.

Before you dive in to Handshake and all it has to offer, we at Career Development recommend that you ensure your resume is in tip-top shape. Schedule an appointment for a Resume Review if you're looking to give yourself a competitive edge in the job market.

Handshake Student Log In


Getting Started with Handshake

▼   Accessing Handshake

All USA students are automatically provided a Handshake account. However, you must activate the account using your JagMail email address and by following the steps below:

  1. Go to https://southalabama.joinhandshake.com and enter your university issued email address.
  2. (Current or returning students): Enter your university issued email address in the box below 'Please Sign In' and an automatic email will be sent from Handshake for a 'Password Reset Request'. Click on the link in the email and then type in your new password for your Handshake account.
  3. (Alumni): Select
    • 'Sign up for an Account'
    • 'Student/Alumni'
    • 'Register a New Account'
    • Input the required information. An email will be sent to you when your account has been approved.
▼   Completing Your Profile

You’ll need to decide whether to make your profile public or private.

  • A public profile, and most information in the profile, can be seen by any employer on Handshake. (Note: There are some Handshake profile components, like GPA, that have their own privacy settings. You can make your profile public, but your GPA private, for example). Your profile can’t be seen by other students or by Career Services Centers at other schools.
  • A private profile can only be seen by you and University of South Alabama Handshake Administrators.
  • You can switch your privacy status at any time, from private to public or from public to private under the 'Settings & Privacy' tab.

When completing your profile, remember the following:

  • You can complete the profile sections individually or upload your resume. Should you upload a resume, you can choose to pull information directly from your resume document into your system profile, including: work experience, extra-curricular activities, and skills.  Be sure to check the details to make sure everything is correctly listed in your profile.  For information on building and perfecting your resume, visit our Resume Writing page.
  • Include your expected graduation month and year since employers may screen on this criteria.
  • Importantly, most employers search for candidates based on skill sets, so be sure to add a thorough list of your skills to your profile.
  • When adding a profile photo make sure you are professionally dressed and alone in the photograph.
  • 8 Dos and Don'ts of LinkedIn Profile Pictures
▼   Reviewing Documents

Please note that the following process only applies to current undergraduate students.  

Upon uploading your documents to Handshake:

  • A Career Development team member will review your document
  • A label will be given to your document; either ‘Reviewed’ or ‘Changes Suggested
  • A Career Development team member will suggest the next steps (if needed) to ensure your document meets industry standards for quality

Additional Review Info:

  • Documents do not require a review in order to apply for positions in Handshake
  • Contact Career Development if you need immediate feedback (see below)

To ensure documents are of competitive quality, have them critiqued by Career Development prior to uploading and applying for positions in Handshake. Consider these resources to assist you in building or perfecting your documents:

  • Review the Resume Rubric to ensure your resume contains the appropriate content and format.
  • Awato document creator assists in creating a resume document from scratch or updating an existing document and receive suggestions.  Awato will analyze your job or related industry posting and suggest key words, content, and formatting.
  • For information on building and perfecting your resume, visit our Resume Writing page.
  • For a quick 15 minute review of your resume come for Drop-In Career Advising.
  • Request a resume critique appointment via Zoom or telephone by contacting our office at (251) 460-6188 or careerdevelopment@southalabama.edu.
▼   Managing and Uploading Documents

Setting Visibility & Privacy

You have the option to have your documents visible on your profile, allowing employers to view and download these documents if they'd like. Many students have numerous documents saved, but only a couple that are listed 'visible' for employers.

  • Documents can be attached to specific job applications (even if it is not set as 'visible' on your profile)
  • Documents are only viewable by the employer who receives your application
  • Other employers searching on Handshake will not be able to view documents not marked 'visible'
  • Documents tailored for a specific job application should not be made 'visible' (cover letters or resumes)
  • Handshake allows you to upload one visible resume to reduce confusion

You can see which documents are currently 'visible' by clicking 'Manage Documents' from your profile page.

Uploading Documents:

Handshake 2-Minute Training Video

Uploading Documents


  1. In the upper right corner under your name select 'Documents' from the drop down menu.
  2. Click 'Add New Document' in the upper right corner.
  3. Complete the 'Document Name' field and then select if the uploaded document will be a resume, cover letter, transcript or other document.  Files should be in a .pdf, .doc, or .docx format.  
    1. Note: the preferred format is .pdf. Handshake will automatically attempt to convert any .doc or .docx format into a .pdf.
  4. Select 'Add Document' to upload your resume.
▼   Searching for Jobs and Internships

Handshake 2-Minute Training Video

Search for, Save, and Apply to Jobs in Handshake


View Handshake's article on How do I search for jobs and internships?

  1. Click on 'Jobs' from the top navigation bar.
  2. From here, there are various options available to view jobs and narrow your search.  
    TIP: Start your search broadly and check the results. Then, if necessary, narrow your search one step at a time.
    • Keyword: To search for jobs using keywords, use the search box at the top left to a few keywords (job title, employer, etc.) and click search.
    • Filters: You may also filter your search using the terms on the screen (e.g. Full-Time Job, Part-Time, Internship, On-Campus).
    • Location: If you are looking for a job/internship in a specific city, you can enter the city, state or zip code in the search box.
  3. To save a custom search, simply select your filter options, perform your search, and click on 'Save Your Search' for your search criteria to be saved. To edit the search and notification criteria select 'Edit
    Your Notifications'. and a pop-up screen will appear and you can name your search, select the method you would like to be notified as well as how often.  For more information about saved searches read Handshake's article How do I save a search?

Safety Considerations During Your Job Search

  • Understanding job postings: How to Stay Safe on Handshake 
  • Be aware of fraudulent job activity!
▼   Applying for Jobs and Internships

Handshake 2-Minute Training Video

Student Job Search and Apply


  • Click on 'Jobs' from the top navigation bar.
  • Select the job type filters (Full-Time Job, Part-Time, Internship, On-Campus) to indicate which type of position you are seeking.  For additional job types select the drop down box on 'Filters'.
    Search for the job that you are interested in applying for and review the details and qualifications for the job to make sure it is a good fit.
  • Select the documents you would like to upload from your document library or upload documents directly from your computer.

IMPORTANT: Employers are able to view your resume or other documents when you apply to positions or when you make them visible on your profile. To ensure that your documents are of competitive quality for employment purposes, we highly encourage you to update your resume and cover letter and have them critiqued by Career Development prior to uploading and applying for  positions in Handshake. 

For information on building and perfecting your resume, view our Resume Writing page.

To request a face-to-face resume critique appointment or telephone resume critique appointment (for distance learners or those with scheduling conflicts) contact our office at (251) 460-6188 or careerdevelopment@southalabama.edu.

  • Click the green 'Apply' button when you are ready to submit your application.  If the job requires that you also apply on their external website you will select, 'Apply Externally' and follow the link to complete the external application.  Please be sure to thoroughly read the job description to ensure you have followed the application instructions.
  • You will see that your application has been submitted.