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Work Experience Internships: Employer Resources

Employers have access to over 70,000 students in the Sacramento region through our Work Experience Internship Program. We are proud of the long-standing partnerships we have fostered with local businesses through the program – and we hope you will join us!

Benefits for Employers

"The people that we hire are typically interns. They know how we do things. They are reliable. They are the ones most capable of taking on a paid job without having to spend months on additional training."

— Gary Martin, Executive Director of Access Sacramento and 7-year provider of WEXP internships

Interns provide a host of benefits to employers, including:

  • Allowing employers to discover and nurture new talent
  • Creating productivity surges by getting simple, short-term tasks done
  • Allowing you to recruit, train, and evaluate future employees on your equipment and processes
  • Providing an opportunity for current employees to practice management skills
  • Gaining insight into new and emerging trends from a younger generation
  • Increasing retention, since most interns who are hired full-time choose to work long-term with their employer
  • Promoting closer ties between your organization and the community

How to Set up an Internship

1. Register on Handshake

Visit Handshake to register as an employer.

2. Post Internship

How Early Do I Need to Post an Internship?

We advise that employers post internships several months before the start of a semester. This ensures that there is enough time to screen and interview students.

How Do I Write an Internship Description?

Be as specific as possible when writing your internship description. Ask yourself:

  • What qualifications or skills does the intern need?
  • Is there a preferred major or required coursework?

Please note that internships for college credit must be a learning experience. The tasks and responsibilities listed in the internship description cannot mirror a job description. Internships should be educational and should not replace the duties of a paid worker, according to federal law. Learn about internship programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act from the US Department of Labor.

See Handshake resources for additional tips and information.

3. Receive Pre-Screened Candidate Resumes

Our staff will pre-screen students and send you qualified resumes. We will refer as many students as possible who meet the internship requirements.

Our prescreening process involves identifying students with career interests and academic goals that match the internship posting. Students are also screened for eagerness to learn and attitude toward work.

Students referred to you will:

  • Match your minimum qualifications
  • Be in good academic standing with a grade point average (GPA) above 2.5
  • Have a declared major and have completed the necessary coursework specified in the internship description

We help students with their resumes and provide interview coaching. As part of the referral process, you can expect to receive an email and a cover letter along with each student’s resume.

4. Interview Candidates and Select Intern

In selecting an intern, employers need to adhere to federal guidelines on non-discrimination practices. Read our equal opportunity in education policy to learn more.

Once you select an intern, report the hire in Handshake. Make sure you notify all students you interviewed whether or not they got the internship.

6. Review Employer Requirements

Learn about your role as the employer, including information on hours and establishing learning objectives. Additionally, learn about paid vs. unpaid internships.

Handshake Resources

The Handshake support website has many useful articles and resources, including the following:

Handshake Support for Employers

Best Practices for Employers

  • Build a complete company profile with interesting facts that make your workplace stand out and attract candidates.
  • Make your job posting as dynamic as the job: your job description is the main hook for students. Include specific skills, responsibilities, minimum and preferred qualifications, and personal or professional growth opportunities in your description to attract more applicants.
  • When posting a job that allows remote workers, include verbiage indicating this in your job description as well. Students can search for positions using keyword search.
  • While Handshake allows any student to apply for any job, students can see when they don't meet your preferred major qualifications, and that may deter some otherwise competitive candidates from applying. Expanding those qualifications may provide you with a greater pool of candidates and improve your overall recruiting experience with Handshake.
  • Avoid using "school year" and "graduation year" preferences/filters to increase your pool of candidates.