Your Introduction to Handshake

PennWest California enables you to connect with Handshake, a comprehensive online career and internship resource offering powerful search tools and alerts. You'll have access to more than 1 million jobs posted by 200,000 companies, nonprofit groups and government organizations nationwide to help you find jobs that best fit your skills and interests.  

Through Handshake, you'll also build out your personal profile so employers can find and learn about you when they are searching for job candidates. Handshake also enables you to:

  • Access personalized job recommendations based on your major and interests.
  • Schedule appointments with your career coach.
  • Get information about career fairs and other events.
  • Submit your internship application and get information about the internship process.
  • Upload your resume for review by Career Center staff.
  • Manage on-campus interviews - all from your mobile device.

Connect to Handshake

Getting set up in Handshake is an important step as you get ready for internships and prepare for your future career. Click on the questions below to get the next steps and more information about Handshake. If you have problems, contact the Career and Professional Development Center at 724-938-4413 or email You can stop in for quick tips during drop-in hours from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every weekday at the Natali Student Center, Suite 138. 

How do I log in?

For students: Current PennWest California students already have an account. Click here to log in with your VIP username and password.

For alumni:  Click here to log in with your or other email using the "Sign up for an Account" button.

If you have questions or problems logging in, call the Career and Professional Development Center at 724-938-4413.

How can I get started and upload my resume?

After you log in to your account for the first time, you will be asked to complete your personal profile. Then you can upload your resume and start searching for jobs and internships.

Employers who use this site can review your profile if you choose to make it public, so update your information at least every semester. If you've just completed an internship, been inducted into an honorary society or had a great volunteer experience, be sure to add those to your resume.

Follow these steps to upload your resume:

  1. Click on your name in the upper right corner of your Handshake home page.
  2. Select Documents from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on "upload one" under the Resumes
  4. Title and upload the document of your choosing, and click Add Document. (If you want employers to be able to view your resume, click the box to make it public.)
  5. The Career Center must approve all resumes. You will receive notification once your resume is approved.
How do I update my profile?

After you log in to your account for the first time, you can return at any time to update your profile by clicking on your name in the upper right corner of your Handshake home page and selecting My Profile from the dropdown menu.

How do I schedule an appointment with my career coach?

To schedule an appointment with your Career Coach, please follow the following steps:

  1. Log on to Handshake using your PennWest California (VIP) username and password here:
  2. Near the right-hand corner of the screen, click "Career Center"
  3. Click "Appointments"
  4. In the left-hand corner, click "Schedule A New Appointment"
  5. Choose "Career Coaching Appointment"
  6. Please choose the appointment type that fits your reason for the appointment
    1. Resume/Cover Letter
    2. Explore Majors and Careers
    3. Internship or Job Search
    4. Interview/Practice Interview
    5. Graduate School
  7. Click on the various dates until you find a day and time that works for both you and your Career Coach
  8. In the "What can we help you with" box, please type your phone number and your PennWest California email address and any other information regarding your appointment that you want your Career Coach to know. Please note: If you appointment must be rescheduled, we will notify you by phone (if provided) or via your email.
  9. Click the green "Request" button.
  10. You are scheduled for your appointment! If you need to cancel your appointment, please log in to your Handshake account, go to appointments and click "Request Cancellation" for your appointment date/time.

The university does not endorse or recommend employers, and a posting does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. The university explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about job listings or the accuracy of the information provided by the employer. The university is not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, or any other aspects of off-campus employment without limitation. It is the responsibility of students to perform due diligence in researching employers when applying for or accepting private, off-campus employment and to thoroughly research the facts and reputation of each organization to which they are applying. Students should be prudent and use common sense and caution when applying for or accepting any position.

For more information on avoiding job scams, please see the Avoid Job Scams article in the resource section of Handshake.