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Handshake is the Most Verbose Contact In My Phone

Courtesy of Handshake
Villanova students receive many emails a day from the online platform Handshake.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of your day when you suddenly feel the desire for the constant nagging of a clingy ex? Or, maybe you are feeling a little homesick and miss an annoying little brother? Do you have a spontaneous yearning for never-ending reminders, exaggerated announcements endlessly repeated, all in an attempt to capture your attention? 

Look no further than to opt for the digital equivalent: signing up for Handshake’s email registry, “the #1 way college students find jobs.”

If you have done even the slightest of research about summer internships or job opportunities for post-college, you have most likely come across Handshake. Handshake is a website that allows students to sign in through their schools in order to connect with and potentially be hired by the employers advertised on its main page.

Many students have used this application, and the Villanova University Career Center even has specific career resources directly related to Handshake. These include special invitations to meet-ups, panels, boards and fairs that revolve around prospective career events. Villanova encourages students to join Handshake in its many “Career Connections” emails. 

Handshake also has a curated space that shows employers in the area who have hired from the University before, as well as other organized criteria to help users with their job search.

The website’s layout is pleasing to the eye, well managed and put together, and advertises its relationship with big-name companies. This alone makes Handshake the attractive platform that it is to its high volume of users. It remains the top result when one is on the search for recruiting and hiring programs.

 As every hero has to have his tragic flaw, every massive online platform harbors a significant shortcoming. Handshake is no exception, and it seems that there is one big aspect of its promotion that isn’t so perfect: its overwhelming number of emails. 

If you have ever fallen victim to the relentless nudge of being on Handshake’s email registry, you will understand how frustrating it is. An email a day is pretty extreme, but often, a student will hear from Handshake far more than that in a 24-hour period. Villanova students, although appreciating the help, have things to say about this treatment online.

“I receive more emails from Handshake than anyone or any other platform,” junior Caroline Casey said, affirming the high volume of emails students receive.

The emails seem to increase throughout the years in college, only becoming more and more frequent as students approach their senior year and the job market. 

“I already have a job for post-grad and I still receive emails from Handshake trying to set me up with various employers,” senior Victoria Dattilo said.

It doesn’t end there. After a long hard day of dodging these emails, you may be relieved at an email notification from someone else, and it is even addressed from a human name. You excitedly click on the email preview when you are suddenly blindsided by Handshake’s cunning technique: an alias. Handshake is able to catch you when your guard is down. 

The question is: are these emails effective in its search for new users, or do they deter its audience instead? 

“Handshake treats me like a 60-year-old woman who doesn’t understand technology,” freshman Hannah Sullivan said.

The sheer number of emails Handshake sends causes many, like Sullivan, to be discouraged from actually reading the emails. 

Senior Kayla Verga felt similarly. 

“I don’t usually look at emails from Handshake anymore, and as a senior, I am definitely [its] target audience,” Verga said. “If [it] really want[s] for students to respond, [it] should probably limit the number of notifications [it] sends us daily.”

However, forcing its name and idea, whether subconsciously or not, into the reader’s head may actually be the source of Handshake’s popularity. It is obvious that Handshake’s many emails have caused some stir, which could then circulate its name and build enough curiosity that leads people to potentially sign up. Ultimately, this would render its approach effective. 

In the end, even though Villanovans may find these emails annoying, Handshake may be playing the long game: the overabundance of emails may lead to people having discussions surrounding its service, or even, if it is lucky, an article written about it.  

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    Hugh SalvaNov 8, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    God I hate handshake smh