Skip to main content

Handshake Terms & Conditions for Employers

The Career Centers at all University of Wisconsin institutions serve as key connection points for employers and students/alumni throughout the educational, experiential and recruiting process. Listed below are terms, conditions and expectations for employers who seek to utilize Handshake for employment/career-related purposes.

Career Management Systems

Each institution provides free access to Handshake to support employer and student connections. The technology allows employers to post positions and register for on-campus recruiting events including career and job fairs, on-campus interviews, etc.


  • Each UW institution may use the systems in slightly different ways and to varying degrees. Employers should review individual institution websites for specifics. Contact information for each institution is provided at the end of this document.
  • The word "students" throughout the document may include alumni depending on the UW institution.

While each institution reviews employers and job postings, the acceptance of and participation by employers in the activities listed above is not an endorsement or recommendation of a specific employer or opportunity by the university to its students. The universities act solely as a referral service that is free of charge for both employers and job seekers and makes no warranties or representations regarding the employers or positions posted


When using Handshake, please provide detailed, thorough, and accurate information. This will allow UW institutions to review companies, opportunities and recruiting requests more easily (potentially increasing the chance of approval), as well as help companies recruit the best-fit individuals for their organizations. Below are suggestions to maximize an employer’s approval chances:

  1. The employer organization's name, location and contact information, including phone, website and email address, must be clearly indicated in the account.
  2. The employer’s email address should match the company’s website domain and no personal email addresses should be used by the employer.
  3. Full-time professional jobs and internships/co-ops posted should be career-related and require (or prefer) candidates pursuing or already possessing a university degree.
  4. Position descriptions must be detailed and appropriate. Career Planning & Professional Connections staff may ask for clarification or additional information if they believe a description is lacking details.
  5. The application process must be well-defined and outlined for students to review.
  6. If a position is 100 percent commission based, the commission information must be clearly stated and defined in the position description.
  7. Positions should target a specific audience such as a group of majors, but the employer shall also consider other students unless the position is so specific as to eliminate a non-major from meeting the criteria of the position (e.g., accounting).
  8. Employers must use respectful language when communicating with staff and students through Handshake.

Event Registration

Many UW institutions require employers to use Handshake to register for on-campus recruitment events. Each UW institution will set their own fees, deadlines, cancellation and refund policies. Please see each institution’s website for specific details.

Additional Expectations

All organizations recruiting with UW institutions are expected to abide by the following legal and best practice guidelines:

Equal Opportunity Policy

Employers are expected to comply with local, state and federal laws related to equal opportunity. This includes but is not limited to the following areas: discrimination against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. These laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages and benefits.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with Internship Opportunities

Employers are expected to comply with the FLSA with regards to intern compensation. The FLSA outlines a “primary beneficiary test” to help determine if an intern legally needs to be compensated for an internship. Find details on the U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet.

National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE)

Principles for Ethical Professional Practice

All employers should follow the NACE Principles for Ethical Professional Practice:

  1. Practice reasonable, responsible, and transparent behavior
  2. Act without bias
  3. Ensure equitable access
  4. Comply with laws
  5. Protect confidentiality
Internship Criteria

Internship postings must meet the definition and criteria established for internships by NACE:

“An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.”

Seven Criteria for Identifying an Internship
  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
Third-Party Recruiter Policy
  1. Third-party recruiters operate in congruence with the university policy of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, handicap or national origin. An employer or agency using the services of Career Planning & Professional Connections understands that compliance with all related federal and state statutes and regulations is required for initiation or continuance of Career Planning & Professional Connections.
  2. Third-party recruiters will abide by the Principles for Third-Party Recruiters as described in the NACE Principles for Professional Practice.
  3. All positions listed by third-party recruiters with Career Planning & Professional Connections require a fee paid by the employer.
  4. Third-party recruiters will provide information about their operations and services to Career Planning & Professional Connections for candidate review (if requested).
  5. It will be the responsibility of the candidate to contact the third-party recruiter. Candidate names and/or information concerning candidates will not be released to third-party recruiters unless candidates provide a written release, signed and dated by the candidate, for that specific agency. Federal law requires that confidential letters not be shared with candidates.


Staff will investigate complaints by users of the services. If it is determined that a complaint is justified, staff may need to suspend recruiting activities for that employer in the future and may revoke access to Handshake.

Right of Refusal

Registration with a UW institution is a privilege and can be revoked at any time if an employer is found in violation of any of the terms and conditions listed here. The use of the career management system is intended to serve students enrolled at a UW institution, and the university reserves the right to decline or remove any posted opportunity they feel is not in the best interest of their students.

UW Institutions May Deny Services to Employers for the Following Reasons
  1. Lack of compliance with the expectations outlined above.
  2. The organization requires an initial payment or investment - with the organization itself serving as an umbrella or parent corporation. Investments of this type may include but are not limited to: requirement to attend unpaid orientation or training sessions; direct payment of a fixed fee; payment to attend orientation or training sessions; and/or purchase or rent of a starter kit, sales kit, samples, or presentation supplies.
  3. The organization fails, for any reason, to provide essential information concerning the nature of the position or compensation, including but not limited to: commission only, job responsibilities, salary range, applicant requirements.
  4. Providing fraudulent information and/or misrepresentation of positions or company information through dissemination of dishonest information or absence of information to Career Planning & Professional Connections or to students.
  5. Breach of confidentiality of student information without prior written consent of the student – including information obtained via student’s public profiles.
  6. Requiring, at the time of application, personal information such as bank and social security numbers or photo of the applicants.
  7. Requiring students to pay personal funding to obtain the position.
  8. Companies or organizations that hire independent contractors or employers that do not provide a W-2 may have limited access to Handshake and on-campus services as deemed by the individual campuses.

Individual School Recruiting Information

More information and university-specific information can be found on each university’s individual websites or by contacting their staff. Listed below is the office that manages postings and registrations at each university.