Using Handshake Like a Pro

Now is a good time to start thinking about where you want to teach at the end of your program and how to find these opportunities. I’d recommend that you start this search by using Handshake to help you identify possible opportunities or potential school districts of interest. Although Handshake is just one job search resource, if they’re posting on Handshake they REALLY want to hire an MSU teacher.

How To…Log in to Handshake

Go to and log in with your MSU Net ID and password. FYI – you will keep your access to Handshake for 2 years after finishing the program.

How To…Navigate the Site

Handshake is pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. Use your Home page to see suggested jobs or events that match your career interests as set in your Profile. If you see a school district or other company that interests you, Follow them! This will help the system share others in the future. Click on the links to the left (in Handshake) to explore Jobs, make an Appointment with your career advisor, or find out more information on the MSU Teacher Fair. Give it a try!

eduhandshakeWhy it’s important to update your profile, favorite jobs and follow employers

Handshake works a lot like Netflix in the way that it remembers what you’ve viewed. If you favorite a job at say, my former high school Carman-Ainsworth, it will remember that and suggest similar positions or districts as they become available on Handshake. It will also read your profile to determine if you have all the qualifications needed for the positions. Remember, a lot of companies look for transferable skills, not major. So don’t be surprised if you see suggested positions that aren’t education-related. That’s OK! If you’re not interested just skip over them.

How To…Search for Jobs

Keyword searches are best when using Handshake. Choose keywords that match your teachable area(s), such as “secondary science,” “elementary teacher,” “ESL.” Or you can keep your search open by just searching simply “teacher” to see what school districts are hiring/posting on Handshake. Just because you don’t see something you’re eligible to teach on Handshake now, doesn’t mean you won’t the next time you log in.

eduhandshake2When Should I Start My Job Search? 

This will depend on where you want to teach. Out of state schools (especially opportunities overseas) might start posting positions as early as January for the next school year. While Michigan school districts likely will not share their open positions until the summer – and sometimes that could be VERY late summer. My best advice would be to start early and check often.

For more information about job searching check out Tips for the Michigan Teaching Job Search and Navigating Consortiums.

If you’d like additional help navigating Handshake or preparing your job search, be sure to check out Handshake’s tutorials. You can also make an appointment with your Career Advisor(s) using Handshake of course.

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