Handshake is Linkedin… but for rookies

Handshake is solving a big time problem for many first-time job seekers: how do you get one without any experience?

October 29, 2020

Ah, memories of that first resume.

Who among us hasn’t — at some point — tried to pass summer lifeguarding off as “internship experience,” or peddle basic math skills as “proficiency with Excel?”

Applying for that very first gig is the ultimate catch-22: no one will give a job unless you’ve already had a job.

Enter Handshake: A platform for college-aged students to get hired

The networking and recruiting startup has made waves targeting a frequently overlooked part of the job market: the college student in search of their first real job.

Fresh off raising $80M, Handshake is ramping up its focus on the job market’s newest entrants. The startup claims it has:

  • 17m job seekers
  • 1k college and university partners
  • 500k employers looking for cheap labor

By de-emphasizing prior experience, Handshake says it’s helping to encourage more diversity in the workforce.

A gradual shift from in-person job fairs to virtual events

This transition predates 2020, but has been accelerated by the pandemic. It’s part of a larger shakeup in education that saw a 16% decrease in first-year student count for the current fall semester.

With these trends in mind, Handshake is broadening its reach to focus on community colleges and more vocational training programs.

If Handshake succeeds, we might lose the greatest corporate meme ever created:

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