SDSU Office of Career Development launches Handshake


A handshake is no longer just a handshake at South Dakota State University.

Handshake, a new job search database, was implemented through the Office of Career Development and could bring a whole new career bracket to students. This database replaces Jacks Career Link.

Junior Hunter Klontz, an agriculture education major and career development ambassador, created a Handshake profile and received suggestions for internships that most closely matched her major and interests. Klontz applied to an internship through the employment software after its launch Sept. 2, 2016.

“There’s a lot more opportunities on Handshake than any other place I’ve seen,” Klontz said. “It’s student-based, so it kind of revolves around us, so it’s not open to everyone, it’s just us.”

Handshake had humble beginnings. Garret Lord, a Michigan Technological Institute student, wanted to work at a technology company in Silicon Valley, but knew it would be hard to connect with employers in California. With that in mind, Lord and a team of computer engineers co-founded Handshake and created a network that spans all across the nation.

“[W]e have employers from across the country connecting with South Dakota State University now that have not historically recruited here,” said Sherry Fuller Bordewyk, the associate director of career development,

According to Handshake’s website, the database contains more than 1.5 million student profiles at 110 U.S. universities and has posted more than 400,000 job opportunities to-date.

The Office of Career Development is in the early stages of working with Handshake, but staff members are dedicated to assisting the SDSU student population with navigating the job market.

Bordewyk emphasized the importance of planning a well-thought-out strategy for moving through the job market before graduation.

“You’re going to be looking for work for the rest of your lives, whether it’s an internship or an entry-level position,” Bordewyk said. “Or at some point you’re going to want more responsibility, more pay, I mean there’s all sorts of reasons.”

She encouraged students to learn the fundamentals of job searching: resume writing, good interviewing skills and learning how to search for jobs.

“Another mission that we have is really to serve as a bridge between students, who are the ‘talent,’ and employers, who provide the opportunity,” Bordewyk said. “Most people attend college so that they can be equipped to be competitive in the marketplace for a job when they graduate, and we want to do our part to connect students with those opportunities.”