Handshake is the number one site for college students to find a job. Today, the Handshake community includes 17 million students and young alumni at over 1,000 colleges and universities — including 120+ minority-serving institutions. We connect up-and-coming talent across all 50 states with nearly 500,000 employers recruiting on Handshake — from every Fortune 500 company to thousands of small businesses, nonprofits, startups, and more. Handshake is democratizing opportunity and ensuring college students have the support they need to find a great job and kick-off a meaningful career regardless of where they go to school, what they choose as a major, and who they know.

We welcome all people. We celebrate diversity of all kinds and are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We seek to hire, develop and retain talented people from all backgrounds. Individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups strongly encouraged to apply.

If you are not sure that you’re 100% qualified, but up for the challenge - we want you to apply.

Your Impact:

Handshake is hiring a Director of PR and Communications reporting to our COO and working closely with our CEO, VP of Corporate and Student Marketing, VP of Higher Education & Student Success, VP of Employer Marketing and other key spokespeople. In this role you will lead Handshake’s press efforts to be known as the leader in early career talent among employers, universities, and students. You will build and lead the function across all sides of our business working with a range of media outlets. This role will span opportunities from influencing HR decision-makers at top companies to university leaders, students, and investors. You will have the opportunity to build an in-house team, manage our external PR agency and drive a world-class program to ensure brand recognition and category leadership in career search and higher education.

Your Role:

  • Develop the external communication strategy and strengthen authentic connections for a three-sided marketplace: students, universities, and employers
  • Work with senior leaders to develop key narratives that elevate Handshake’s corporate brand and thought leadership
  • Act as primary contact for top-tier press, giving us both broad and deep connections to business and consumer press
  • Generate rich, engaging coverage of Handshake in areas that will make the biggest impact with our customers, particularly with senior recruiting leaders and senior education leaders, driving near-term business impact and long-term brand awareness.
  • Build and execute an events and speaking strategy that puts Handshake leaders and spokespeople in the right position to build our brand with the right audiences
  • Play a key role in driving and implementing a thought leadership agenda leveraging Handshake’s unique data and user stories to drive coverage and category leadership
  • Coordinate and manage our executive team as spokespeople, including creating positioning, facilitating training, and producing executive communications ranging from ghostwriting to prep for broadcast
  • Proactively report on outcomes, tactics, and program evolution to internal teams (executives as well as the company at large)

Your Experience:

  • 8-10+ years experience with proven track record in PR/corporate communications, including direct experience working with a variety of media, such as print, broadcast, digital
  • Expert skills in communications, media relations, writing, message development and reputation management.
  • Sound judgement and demonstrated ability to work with C-level executives on message development for key corporate priorities and timely issues
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills. Ability to present projects clearly and collect and act on feedback from a broad group of stakeholders
  • Ability to effectively manage high-pressure crisis situations, and work in ambiguity to define a clear path
  • Ability to “see the bigger picture” and ensure you are leveraging Handshake’s resources to greatest impact
  • Experience with analyzing and drawing conclusions from a broad set of data. Ability to work with data teams to turn insights into actionable recommendations
  • Acute attention to detail and highly organized — able to successfully prioritize across multiple projects
  • Ability to work creatively and demonstrate strong entrepreneurial skills in a startup environment
  • Understanding of domestic and international media markets
  • Excellent relationship-building skills

Bonus Areas of Expertise: 

  • An understanding of the higher education landscape and the complex web of factors at play in the college to career transition


  • Stock: Ownership in a fast-growing company.
  • 401k: We care about your ability to save for your future.
  • Family Focus: Parental leave and flexibility for families.
  • Time Off: Flexible vacation policy to encourage people to get out and see the world.
  • Healthcare: World-class medical, dental, and vision policies.
  • Goodies: Whatever hardware and software you need to get the job done.
  • Team Fun: Regularly scheduled events, sports, game nights, book clubs.
  • Learning: Learning & Development opportunities for you to grow your skills and career.
  • Great team: Working with fun, hardworking, nice people who are committed to making a difference!
  • ...And much more!

We value diversity of all kinds, and are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome people of all different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives.

Apply for this Job

* Required


U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Information (Completion is voluntary)

Individuals seeking employment at Handshake are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. You are being given the opportunity to provide the following information in order to help us comply with federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action record keeping, reporting, and other legal requirements.

Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 05/31/2023

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression

1Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.