Handshake 101: What it is & how to use it

CAPD is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for everyone we serve. If you need any disability-related accommodations to access Handshake, please email capd@mit.edu and our staff will be happy to set up appointments or assist in navigating other Handshake resources.

What is Handshake?

Handshake is an online career management system — in other words, it’s a website where you can find job and internship listings, upcoming events to build your career, and helpful resources from around MIT. The platform was built around the belief that software could help democratize career opportunities, equalizing access to meaningful careers.

All MIT undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and recent alumni have access to the platform.

Why use Handshake?

  • It’s a robust job and internship platform — there were nearly 50,000 opportunities posted on Handshake in 2020-21.
  • More than 14,000 employers are specifically searching for MIT talent through Handshake.
  • Since Handshake is designed for students, postdocs, and recent alumni, employers come to Handshake looking for people with your exact level of experience.
  • The events and resources on Handshake are vetted by CAPD and MIT’s Career Centers, and you’re able to filter everything by your specific interests.
  • We schedule appointments through Handshake, so your account will let you to connect with CAPD experts. Use Handshake to set up appointments with our career advisors, Distinguished Fellowships staff, and Prehealth Advising team.

Learn more:

In your first years on campus, use Handshake to find internship and job postings, learn about events that can help your explore career paths, and find resources from MIT’s career centers. If you plan to start working after your senior year, Handshake lets you find great job opportunities that are filtered by your skills and experience.

Once your profile is set up, Handshake’s filtering and machine learning start working for you. Thanks to the filters, it’s easy to find job listings, internship opportunities, events, and resources that are created with graduate students and postdocs in mind.  To save time, you can also sign up for Handshake’s automatic alerts that notify you when new postings might interest you. You can also use Handshake to set up appointments with the CAPD staff who specialize in serving your classification.

If you’re a recent alumni, CAPD’s resources are still available to you, including Handshake’s catalogue of opportunities and appointment scheduler. All you have to do is log in and start searching!

CAPD is not the only MIT department or program using Handshake. There are over 15 different departments or programs with “career centers”. This means that career related events, jobs, and other opportunities offered by the following MIT departments and programs can also be found in Handshake.

Biological Engineering
Center for Quantum Engineering (CQE)
Chemical Engineering
Chemistry Department
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)
Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE)
PKG Center for Public Service
Sloan Career Development Office
Sloan Undergraduate
Supply Chain Management Program
System Design & Management (SDM) and Integrated Design & Management (IDM)
The MechE Alliance
Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program (UPOP)

How do I use Handshake?

Getting started on Handshake is easy, and you can use it on your computer or your mobile device. To set up your profile, visit joinhandshake.com and log in with your MIT email address. Handshake provides a detailed walkthrough of getting your account set up to help you begin.

To get the most out of Handshake, be sure to complete your profile.

Since Handshake uses machine learning to understand your interests, your feed of opportunities will be better-matched when your profile is complete and you’re actively using the site.

These articles can help as you create your profile:

Create job alerts to get updates straight to your email or app’s push notifications.

To stay posted on new opportunities, set up Handshake’s automated job alerts. You select the searches that you want to watch and how you want to receive updates, so the notifications stay relevant.

Let us know if you cannot access your account, or if you need an account.

You can reach us to register for, or inquire about, your Handshake account through our form. To find out if the form will be helpful for you, check details for your affiliation in the listing below.

Please email capd@mit.edu if you have any questions or concerns about the process.

CAPD staff monitor this form, so please be aware that there will be a delay if it’s filled out outside of business hours or during an Institute closing.

As an alumni within 6 months of graduation, you only need to update your Handshake account with your new email.

You can “add another email” with these steps:
1. Log into Handshake
2. Click your initials or photo in the top right-hand corner
3. Settings
4. “Add another email”

It’s that easy. With your Handshake account, you can continue to participate in workshops, presentations, career fairs, job applications, and more!

If you graduated before 2018 and never had a Handshake account with MIT, please fill out the form below. It was designed for you and we want you to have access to the events, employers, jobs, internships and more!

If you graduated after 2018, you should have an existing MIT Handshake account. Please feel free to complete the form and we will help you gain access to your account, or create an account for you if one does not exist.

All students are given a Handshake account within two (2) weeks of starting/registering for classes. Please go to the Handshake and sign in using your MIT email and SSO.

If you are having trouble accessing your account, please fill out the form below. Please DO NOT use Handshake to request an account.

All postdocs are given a Handshake account within two (2) weeks of starting work. Please go to the Handshake and sign in using your MIT email and SSO.

If you are having trouble accessing your account, please fill out the form below. Please DO NOT use Handshake to request an account.

This form is intended for students, postdocs, and alumni. Please contact CAPD at capd@mit.edu to request an account.

Visit Handshake