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Facing high youth unemployment rates, many first-time workers are looking for jobs but don't know where to begin. We explore the insights behind how recruiting platform Handshake aims to level the job-seeking playing field.

Handshake, which has secured $80 million in Series D funding, is a social media app and website for job-seekers, like a less formal version of LinkedIn. The platform allows its 17 million users to personalize their profiles with the kind of career they are looking for. These profiles are then made available to 500,000 employers looking for workers. The app is made specifically for students and graduates, and it’s supported by over 1,000 American colleges and universities. “We're delighted to join forces with the Handshake team to help the company further expand its impact by delivering innovative, industry-leading recruitment solutions and expanding into new markets," says Jeff Richards, managing partner of GGV Capital, which led the financing round.

The app is made specifically for students and graduates in the US
Cole Keister (2020) ©

In April 2020, US unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds was at 27.4%, with the pandemic playing a significant role. And with many available jobs not actually posted online, there’s a barrier to access for young people who may not have professional connections. At the same time, undergraduate populations are dwindling, with a 16.1% decrease in enrolment during the 2020 fall semester. "Since day one, the vision for Handshake has been to build the largest, most inclusive community for early talent, one where no network is required, to provide members opportunities no matter where they go to school, what their background is, who their parents are, or where they are located," says Garrett Lord, co-founder and CEO.

Ope Oduwole is a junior behavioral analyst at Canvas8. He has a BA from the University of Nottingham and leans on the inquisitive nature of his studies. With an avid interest in all things creative, if he’s not at a concert or poetry reading, he’s buried inside a book with a cup of green tea.


13 Nov 20
2 min read

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