Get Your Handshake!

Handshake is an extremely powerful career management, networking, and job search tool.  It's also the #1 way college students are finding jobs in the U.S.!!

GCC students can login into their free Handshake account (with their GCC username and password) to:

  • Connect with over 880K employers - including hundreds of regional employers
  • Increase clarity about their career direction
  • Learn remotely about careers and the world of work
  • Find jobs or (paid and unpaid) non-credit internships
  • Participate in virtual job recruitment events
  • Network with peers, professionals and employers

After you log-in, answer questions asked to get customized content in your dashboard.

Release the full potential of this tool by taking


Step 1 - Sign into Handshake.

Simply sign into Handshake with your GCC username and password to complete this step.

That’s all there is to it, on day 1. 

After you sign into your free HandshakeGCC account for the first time, consider answering as many of the pop-up questions as you can. This will make it possible for you to get more out of your account sooner.

Step 2 - Upload your resume - or start drafting one as you fill in your Handshake profile.

Did you know that you can upload your resume into your Handshake account, and respective parts of your Handshake profile will be filled in automatically?


  1. Log into Handshake with your GCC username and password.
  2. Click on your account icon in the upper-right corner of Handshake.
  3. Click My documents.
  4. Drag and drop your file to the screen (OR)
  5. Click the blue Select from Computer button and select a file from your computer.

Watch a short video tutorial for more details.

If you don’t have a resume, here are a few recommendations:

  • As you fill out your Handshake profile over the next 10 days, copy the information added into a blank page. This will be content for the first draft of your resume.
  • Use this resume template to create your first draft faster.
  • Email your draft resume to .

Note: Employers will not be able to see your resume, until you give Handshake permission for that to happen- i.e. for job fairs or applications.

Step 3 - Add your job preferences.

Let Handshake know what you are looking for, so they can provide you with relevant jobs, internships, and employer-hosted events – each time you log into your Handshake account.

  • Towns/cities that you would like to work
  • Your preferred job roles
  • Your ideal job type: part-time, full-time, (paid or unpaid) non-credit internship and/or job.
  1. Click on your icon (aka. initials), located in the upper-right corner of the screen, and then..
  2. Click career interests.
  3. Select (or deselect) the checkboxes as desired in each section: What type of job are you looking for?

Step 4 - Add skills.

Add career-relevant skills and talents to your Handshake profile.  This will help give prospective employers a better idea of the special stuff you have to offer their organization!


  1. Log into HandshakeGCC with your GCC username and password.
  2. Click on your account icon in the upper-right corner of Handshake.
  3. Click My profile.
  4. Scroll down to the Skills section.
  5. Select, search for, and add your skills here.
Tips from Handshake:
  • Identify the skills needed in your industry
  • Keep it specific
  • Skip “soft skills”
  • Remove obvious or irrelevant skills
  • Be honest
  • Keep it up to date

For more tips, read the Handshake blog on skills.

Need help identifying your current skills? 
Need help identifying the occupations or industries you are interested in?
  1. Visit the Marketable Skills webpage
  2. Use the Marketable Skills Checklist
  3. Make an appointment with GCC Career Services.

Step 5 - Add experiences.
Have you had a part-time job, internship, work study, research position, or volunteered?
Whether it was a paid or unpaid experience, employers want to know that you’ve taken on responsibility, and that these experiences have helped you develop valuable skills!
If you upload/ed your resume, some experiences will automatically show up in this section of your Handshake profile.  How great is that?!


  1. Log into HandshakeGCC with your GCC username and password.
  2. Click on your account icon in the upper-right corner of Handshake.
  3. Click My profile.
  4. Click on the Add Work Experience (in the ‘Work & Volunteer Experiences section). Then..
  5. Use the dropdown box to add an employer.
  6. Within the pop-up, respond to the prompts provided.
  7. Click the green button ‘Save’ to add the information to your profile, or the gray button Cancel (to cancel).
  8. To add more experiences, click ‘Add Work Experience’ below your current experience.


When it comes to filling in the Experiences section of your Handshake profile or resume, here are some aids that might help you determine what to include:

Step 6 - Add past courses.

This is an opportunity to show employers that you have completed relevant courses – especially those that are more challenging than others.


    1. Log into MyGCC, and..
    2. Pull up your academic record as well as past transcript information.
    3. Log into HandshakeGCC with your GCC username and password.
    4. Click on your account icon in the upper-right corner of Handshake, and..
    5. Click My profile.
    6. Scroll down to the Courses section.
    7. Add your most relevant and impressive courses.
Step 7 - Add a headshot.

Although a headshot is not essential in the job search, it can help! Therefore, it’s a good thing to have in your “professional toolbox.”

Headshots are normally used in social media profiles – including Handshake – to put a name to the face and help viewers get a better sense of who a person is.

A related aside: Including a headshot in one’s resume is not generally recommended – except for specific occupations where appearance is extremely relevant to the job and industry.  Resumes should be focused on qualifications vs. personal information and characteristics that are not relevant to the job.

Here are a couple of articles about headshots, for your reference:

Now that you have created your profile, use Handshake to network, learn about careers, and/or get a job!

Step 8 - Message 3-5 peers.

Peers listed in Handshake include students and alumni from GCC and many other institutions.

Use Handshake to build connections by messaging peers – at GCC or other institutions.

    • Do they have similar interests?
    • Have they completed an internship that you are interested in?
    • Are they studying in a field you are considering?

Take the risk. You’re worth it!  Simply say “hello”, ask a question, and see where it leads. If they aren’t receptive, reach out others.  This is how we build a wide and strong network. This is important, since networking is the #1 way people find jobs.

Step 9 - Follow 3-5 interesting employers.

Following an employer in Handshake is one way you can signal your interest in a business or organization. The more you can network with them, the better!

Consider using these additional proactive strategies:

    • Learn as much as you can about their business or organization.
    • Visit their website, and:
      • Sign up for free newsletters and/or events.
      • Bookmark their webpage that includes job openings.
    • Make a plan to get on your dream employers’ radar.
    • Find out if anyone in your network works there or knows someone who does.
    • Network with relevant individuals at in-person events and online.
    • Consider conducting an informational interview.
Step 10 - Favorite &/or apply for 3-5 jobs or non-credit internships.

Even if you are not quite ready to apply for internships or jobs yet, favoriting a position in the Handshake Job tab is a great step to take – sooner than later.

You’ll get invaluable perspective about the employment landscape.  You will also be able to zero in on the skills, education credentials, and level of experience employers are actually looking for.  Last but not least, you might notice opportunities that you just can’t pass up!

TIP: When you apply for a position, be sure to follow employers’ application instructions and customize your resume for each position you apply for.

Need more information or assistance?

BONUS! - Register for a free employer-hosted event!

Go to the Events tab in your Handshake dashboard. Then favorite or register for career exploration, networking and/or job recruitment events. 

TIPS / Professional Etiquette:

    • If you register, be sure to cancel your registration, if it turns out you will not be able to attend.
    • Show up on time.
    • Dress for success (even if it is a remote event).
    • Be visually present / turn your video on – ideally the whole time, but at least during the beginning and end of the presentation.
    • Remember to unmute, when you are not saying anything.
    • Ask thoughtful questions.
    • Follow-up on the presentation with a thank you note, if you are inspired by or interested in a presenter / employer.
    • Favorite the employer and/or add the employer (and their representative) to a contact list, if you would like to pursue immediate or future employment with them.
Some content in this webpage was adapted from a blog by Handshake on 04-01-2022.