Kenyon will become the latest in a long line of higher education institutions to partner with Handshake, a leading web-based career services program. The service will replace Symplicity, which will go offline for Kenyon students after Dec. 31, as the College’s primary career network. The Career Development Office (CDO) does not have an official launch date, but it hopes that Handshake will be ready for Kenyon students by winter break.
On Nov. 21, the CDO sent an email to those who had an account with Symplicity announcing the change to Handshake. Handshake will be the campus’ sole resource for CDO appointment scheduling, on-campus interviews and RSVPing for CDO events. In addition, the service will have in-depth job and internship searching tools, including a database containing jobs posted by Kenyon alumni and all on-campus employment opportunities.
Founded by three Michigan Tech graduates in 2013, Handshake currently features over 400,000 employers and 900 school partners.
“Handshake is pretty new on the scene and a lot of schools are switching over to Handshake,” Associate Director of Career Development Lee Schott said. “We did a full review of Symplicity and Handshake this summer … we talked to all these different schools who are now using Handshake who were using previous providers—many of which were Symplicity—and it was unanimous that these schools said ‘if given the opportunity to make the decision again, we would go with Handshake.’”
Many of the concerns the CDO had with Symplicity were that students were not using it as much as expected.
“Every school has said ‘the student experience [with Handshake] is better, students enjoy using it more; they do use it more,’ and for us that’s the major deciding factor,” Schott said.
The CDO also believes students will not only find more job listings under Handshake than they did under Symplicity, but that they will be able to more easily find listings geared towards Kenyon students.
“We’re going to try to campaign to get students looking for jobs that we have labelled as ‘KC Connection Jobs,’” Schott said. “These are jobs that Kenyon has built a relationship with these employers and so we’re trying to bring a little more attention to these jobs.”
After their initial announcement, the CDO sent out another email to Symplicity users on Dec. 9 reminding them about the program’s cessation at Kenyon as of Dec. 31. Before that time, students and young alumni should check Symplicity to download any professional files (such as resumes and cover letters) before they are no longer accessible. As of this Sunday, Dec. 15, Symplicity’s website will no longer accept new Kenyon resumes, which the CDO says is the final day students should apply for Symplicity listings. Additionally, if students have any private letters of recommendation, the CDO asks that students reach out to their office by Dec. 15 to make sure they have ample time to transfer the files over to Handshake.
While the rollout will be incremental, all students with an active Kenyon email will be automatically enrolled, and all alumni will be able to create an account through Gmail.