Beginner’s Guide to Using GoldPASS Powered by Handshake, Part 1

By: Kendra

What is GoldPASS powered by Handshake?
GoldPASS, Handshake, or GoldPASS powered by Handshake are some of the different names you might have heard before. Regardless of the name you might have heard, the system is the same. GoldPASS is an online platform that connects students and alumni from any of the five University of Minnesota campuses with jobs, internships, and employers. One can find full- or part-time positions, summer jobs, internships, or volunteer opportunities by using GoldPASS. The reason behind the different names is because many different universities and colleges across the United States use the system, which is Handshake, for employers to post opportunities. GoldPASS is just the name that the University of Minnesota chose to distinguish our Handshake platform from others. 

Why use GoldPASS?
Based on my previous explanation, you might be thinking that GoldPASS sounds very similar to LinkedIn … so why use it? The best part about GoldPASS is that employers who post their opportunities in the system are specifically seeking University of Minnesota graduates, as GoldPASS is only for University of Minnesota graduates and alumni. If this weren’t true, they would not bother with GoldPASS and they would just post on LinkedIn or similar sites. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn, because that is a great resource, too. GoldPASS, however, is just for us, which I think is pretty cool. Also, GoldPASS is a smaller platform than LinkedIn or other job posting sites, which means less people will be vying for the same opportunities. 

image: desktop with notebook, computer keyboard, and coffee cup
text: beginner's guide to GoldPASS powered by Handshake

What can GoldPASS do for me? 
Upon completing your profile on GoldPASS, the possibilities are endless. One can see job postings that are curated just for them, events that might be coming up on any of the five campuses, and more. One of my favorite aspects about GoldPASS is users have the option to have their profile private or public. A personal example: When I was in the process of completing my profile, I had it private so employers and other students would not be able to see it until I was finished. This was nice because it allowed me to perfect everything before others were able to see any of it. Then, when I was ready, I made my profile public. This allowed different companies to seek students based on their available jobs and reach out to them. In fact, I have had companies reaching out to me about their positions because my education and skills aligned with what they were looking for. So, while GoldPASS is for students to connect with and find employers that interest them, it is also useful for employers to find future employees.

Where should I start? 
The first thing one should do when starting to use GoldPASS is login and start completing their profile. To login, click on this link: Upon logging in for the first time, users will be prompted to complete their profile as shown below:

Sign in screen for GoldPASS

To have a complete profile, one will need to enter their education information (ie. which campus they are attending, their majors/minors, and expected graduation date), their interests, work and volunteer experience, skills, and more. I think of my profile as a super in-depth resume, because it holds the same purpose as a resume does: to give a viewer a snapshot of what I have done to make myself applicable for the opportunities I am interested in. This process can take some time, especially when done thoroughly and with detail. The great part about this is that users have the option to make their profiles private, which I recommend doing until your profile is complete, or as complete as possible. Here is a snapshot of my GoldPASS profile:

Kendra profile on GoldPASS

As you can see, my profile is only 85% complete, which is entirely okay. I do not have certain areas of my profile added simply because I do not have information to add to them, which, again, is okay. Fill your profile with the information you do have. As you move along in life, you will gain more and more experiences, skills, and information you can add to your profile. Another item that can be added to your profile is your resume. When a resume is uploaded, it must be approved before you can begin applying for opportunities. We want resumes to be approved just so we can make sure they are great before employers get to see them. If you are in need of a resume review, stop by Solon Campus Center 22 and a peer educator would love to help you out. After uploading a resume, you are all set to start searching for and applying for opportunities, which I will dive into in my next post. 

Stay tuned for a second part to this GoldPASS powered by Handshake Guide, where I will go into more detail about how to use the system. If you need any assistance with your GoldPASS account, please don’t hesitate to stop by our office at Solon Campus Center 22 and we would be happy to help. 

Best, Kendra

Of Possible Interest:
GoldPASS powered by Handshake
Internships; Job Search – all our blog posts on the topics
Ace the Job Search – our Pinterest board filled with articles & resources

Read Kendra’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Lukas Blazek

Saving Your Job Searches: GoldPASS Edition

Editor’s note: While this post talks about saving “job” searches, the same tips apply to internship searches.

By: David

Say you find a list of awesome job postings on GoldPASS, but your 2 o’clock obligation is in five minutes. Yet, you have no idea what you entered to compile such an awesome list. Lucky for you, there is a magic button in GoldPASS that allows you to save your searches. Today’s post will be centered on the importance of saved searches. I cannot recall how many times saved searches have…well…saved me from scuffling and shuffling through a website to find the job postings that I was dying to apply for. Many job posting websites have various ways to go about the saved search process, but today I’ll show you the simple way to go about it through GoldPASS. Let’s begin!

Before jumping in, it’s important to know that GoldPASS can get quite hefty in terms of the amount of job openings that are posted on a regular basis. With this in mind, it’s important to save your searches in GoldPASS before your desired posts get lost in the vast sea of job openings, which is not a pleasant scenario when applying for jobs. Assuming that you already know how to apply and look for positions on GoldPASS, I’ll briefly go over it again in Step 1 and then jump straight into the saving your search process. Fortunately, if you don’t have experience with finding positions on GoldPASS, you can read all about it in a previous blog post, How to Apply for a Position in GoldPASS.

Step 1: Entering KeyWords
So the first step you always want to do is to fill out your desired sections for a job search. To narrow down your search, add specific information and leverage the advanced search option (which I already have opened at the bottom of the image) to better filter your options. A good tip for GoldPASS job searches is to NOT fill out every single section as too many filters can lead you to zero postings.


Step 2: The Magic Button: “Save Search”
Next up is the holy, magic button: save search. By looking at the image, you can see on the right-hand side where the red arrow is pointing to save your search.


Step 3: Entering a name for the search
Upon clicking the button, a small window like this will pop up which will direct you to place a name to represent the search. In this case, I’ve decided to name it “Full-Time Entry Level” as I am looking for full-time entry level positions after graduation.


Step 4: I want to…
Now that you have your search saved, you can always come back to it. In order to do so, go to the “I want to…” button on the left-hand side of GoldPASS as indicated in the screenshot below.


Upon clicking on the button, it will expand and look something like this (see below). To clarify, you will have to click the “Saved Searches” button to further expand the list of searches that you have saved. From there, you will see the names appear in which you have given a name to each specific search option such as “Full-Time Entry Level” as I have in the previous step.


Step 5: Voila!
And there you have it! A five-step process to saving your searches on GoldPASS. Every time you click your saved search options (Full-Time Entry Level, etc.) you will be redirected to the keywords that were saved under that specific category.


Before leaving, now that you know how to save your searches on GoldPASS, I would highly recommend for you to take this concept of saved searches with you wherever online you decide to apply for jobs. Searching for jobs can get messy at times and it’s never fun having to constantly start from square one. So always, always, ALWAYS save your job searches or at least keep track of them when searching. Till then, keep saving those searches and as always, stay gold.

Read David’s other posts

How to Get Your Resume Approved on GoldPASS

By: Cameron

For those who aren’t familiar with GoldPASS, it is a career website owned by the University of Minnesota where employers can post job opportunities for U of M students and alumni. When you first use GoldPASS you are required to upload your resume before applying to positions. The University of Minnesota Duluth Career & Internship Services office will review the first resume you upload, if you are UMD student or alum. When your resume is being reviewed it has the potential of being Approved, Approved with Reservations, or Unapproved. The main reason for this approval process is not to dictate what resumes the office wants on the website. Our office cares deeply about providing students with the necessary tools to succeed. For this reason, the approval process is used to provide students with feedback and help increase their chances of being hired, as much as possible.

The following blog post will list the main reasons why a resume is either approved, approved with reservations, or unapproved on GoldPASS. If you are wondering why your resume received a certain rating or if you simply want to make your resume as professional as possible, then the following list will be extremely helpful.

*NOTE: Each resume is unique, and no one factor renders a resume “unapprovable,” but consider the guidelines below when submitting a resume.


  • Heading includes name, address, email, and phone
  • Education is in proper location for career stage
  • Proper length (generally 1 page, exceptions may be made for non-traditional students, teaching candidates, or graduate students)
  • Consistency in dates, dashes, spaces, alignment, bolding, etc.
  • Descriptive statements describing experiences; effective use of action verbs
  • Quality use of space; balance of text and white space
  • Proper formatting and order of information; easy to navigate and important information doesn’t seem hidden
  • Font is easy to read and consistent, not too small/large or decorative
  • Appropriate use of bolding and bullets
  • Format and content are appropriate for objective and/or major


Resumes are typically given the rating of “Approved with Reservations” when there are 2-3 “red flags” from the list below, depending on the severity. The rating “Approved with Reservations” will still allow you to use your resume on GoldPASS, but it is highly recommended that some changes be made.


A resume will typically receive a rating of “Unapproved” if there are 3-4 “red flags” from the list below, depending on the severity.

  • Lack of clear format, nothing stands out, difficult to navigate
  • Font style or size makes it difficult to read
  • Difficult to find name or other contact information
  • Lines, colors, or other characters that get in the way of content
  • Paragraphs; essay format
  • Order of headings not appropriate for career stage
  • Order of other information incorrect (i.e. Position Title should be 1st)
  • Lots of high school (>2 yrs out), or other irrelevant information
  • Inconsistencies in dates, dashes, alignment, etc.
  • Lack of descriptive information, “key words”
  • Use of personal pronouns, “duties included” or “responsible for”
  • Use of incorrect wording, abbreviations, etc.
  • ANY misspelling, grammatical errors
  • Overall lack of professionalism

Hopefully this will give you some insight into the thought process that goes into each resume review. Keep working hard on that resume and good luck in the rest of your job search!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Cameron’s other posts

How to Apply for a Position on GoldPASS

By: Cameron

Are you a University of Minnesota student or alumni looking for a job? An internship? Or even volunteer work? If so, then GoldPASS is a great place to start! For those of you who aren’t familiar with GoldPASS, it is a University of Minnesota owned job site where you can find jobs, post jobs, apply for jobs, sign up for interviews, sign up for job fairs, and much more. Within this blog post I will provide you with a brief walkthrough of how to apply for a job, internship, and/or volunteering position using GoldPASS from start to finish.


How to get started.

Once you have visited the website at you will want to sign in using the login ID provided by your UMN institution by clicking on “Students & Alumni: LOGIN” located in the upper right hand corner of the page. From there it will bring you to the homepage.

GP 1

If you are a first time user, you will want to fill out your profile. To do so, click on “My Profile” listed under “My Account” in the upper left hand corner of the page. IMPORTANT: Make sure to fill out your profile completely! Sometimes you won’t “qualify” for a position if you forgot to fill out something small like your GPA. For more information on how and what to fill out on your profile you can read my other blog post titled “Common Questions About GoldPASS.”

GP 2

Next you are required to submit a resume. You can submit your resume by clicking on “My Documents” under the same “My Account” tab located at the top left corner of the page. You can then add a resume by clicking “Add,” choosing a file, naming the file, and then clicking “Save.” If you need to write a resume, start here and here.

Once you add a resume your account will still be inactive until a Career Counselor or Peer Educator in our office has reviewed and approved your resume, if you’re a UMD students/alum. Once it has been reviewed you will receive an email indicating your resume’s approval/denial along with a few suggestions for improvement. This process should take no more than approximately two business days. This approval process only happens to the first resume you upload. Once your first resume is approved, you can submit other resumes or update the first resume without having to repeat the process. We have this review process in place so that we can ensure that you’re using a resume that employers will actually want to see.

If you have multiple resumes then you can select one as your default. The default resume will be the resume that all employers are able to see. Other documents you can add include transcripts, cover letters, references, samples of your work, and more. Typically a resume and cover letter is sufficient.

How to search for a job.

Now that you have your profile filled out and all your documents uploaded you can start searching for openings. To get to the job search engine click on the “Job/Internship Search” tab at the top of the page.

As you’ll notice the search engine has several categories. The main categories I try to stick to are the position type, job category, degrees seeking or attained, and majors. Also, make sure to check the box that says “Exclude Records with ‘All Majors.’” For more methods on searching for positions, reference Common Questions About GoldPASS.

GP 3

Once you have narrowed your search you can click on the position labeled in red to see the description. If you are interested in the position, you can click on the button at the top of the page that says “Add to Favorites.” Make sure to read the posting carefully. Each posting is created from a form that the employer fills out. For this reasons there is always a chance that they have not filled out certain information.

GP 4

How to apply for a position

Once you have found a position you like, start building a cover letter. It is important to always customize your cover letter and even your resume to include keywords from the job posting. For more information on how to do this, you can refer to my other blog post titled “How to Break Down a Job/Internship Posting.”

Once your resume and cover letter are ready to go and uploaded you can start applying to the position. You can start by clicking on the button at the top of the posting that says “Submit Resume.” This will take you to another page where you can select the resume and cover letter that you want to submit. Make sure to select the correct documents. You can even write the employer a brief message expressing your interest in the position.

Some postings don’t have the button at the top that says “Submit Resume.” Whether the posting has this button or not, you will want to check the category within the job posting that’s labeled “Application Method” and “Application Method Details.” Most postings will ask you to both apply via GoldPASS and email or their company website. Regardless, you will want to apply every way that you can. If they ask you to submit it via email but there is no email in the “Application Method Details,” then scroll to the bottom of the page and you can typically find an email address in the section under “Contact Information.”

There you have it! Here is a brief overview of how to apply for a position using GoldPASS from start to finish. Hopefully this will help you obtain that position you’ve been searching for. Good luck!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Cameron’s other posts

Tools to Help with Job Searching Outside of Minnesota

By: Ashley

Hey everybody! So this time around, in the spirit of graduation season, I am going to be writing about how to find jobs outside of Minnesota. I, like many of you, will be saying goodbye to UMD this May and trading in my sweats for business professional. With commencement around the corner, conversations about where you want work, how much you’re going to make, and what you actually want to do with your life are going to be the centerpiece of your life these next few months. I hope this post will help those of you looking to find work outside of the state of Minnesota. I would say the two biggest resources at your disposal as UMD are GoldPASS and Going Global.

Job Search outside MN

GoldPASS is a handy resource that allows employers to post full-time, part-time, intern, and volunteer positions, for all University of Minnesota students to see. GoldPASS, alongside allowing you to search for job listings based on major and position type, also lets you search for jobs based on location. Many companies based outside of Minnesota post positions in GoldPASS. For example, say I wanted to work in Madison, WI, I would just input the city and state in the “job location” field in GoldPASS and hit search. In this example the first result that pops up is for an Apprentice Business Analyst for PCG, who are located in Madison. Within the position description they give detailed instructions on how to apply as well as the requirements for the job. This, of course, is just an example, but I think you all see where this is going. With a plethora of jobs relating to dozens of majors, in even more cities your options are abundant when using GoldPASS.

Going Global is a small organization who provides advice for finding jobs at home here in the US and abroad. To access Going Global, all a UMD student has to do is login into their GoldPASS account and click on the Going Global banner on the homepage. A few years ago, I wrote a more in depth post on Going Global which explains on the website there are “Career Guides” for a multitude of states and major metro areas. When you look through these career guides you will find an abundance of information. For example, if I wanted to know about cost of living, top companies, and job resources for the city of Atlanta, GA, I would click on the Atlanta career guide. Back on the homepage of Going Global there is a “Job Postings and Internship listings” link, once you click it you can search by location, job title, industry, academic degree, job type, and even company name. So for example, say I wanted to work in Madison, WI, and I wanted to work as an accountant, once the information is put in the correct fields all you have to do is hit search. In this instance a position as an accountant for the company The Edgewatter, located in Madison was the top result. When I selected this listing I was redirected to where all the information about this job was listed and to the right was an “apply now” button. Easy as that, the nice about Going Global is everything is concentrated into this one site which makes searching for jobs out of state, or even out of the country very easy.

I hope this very short post on how to search and apply for jobs outside of our state was informative and helpful. I know that the thought of joining the global workforce and leaving the comforts and familiarities of UMD is scary, but we all have to do it at some point, and we don’t have to do it alone. As always, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, confused, or if you just have a few questions please stop by our office (SCC 22 in the Wedge). We all have at least a basic understanding of GoldPASS and would be more than happy to help you with your job search. After all, our career counselors (and our office) are here to help you figure out what life after graduation will look like. As our mission statement says “to empower students and alumni to discover, develop, evaluate, and implement their unique professional goals as they prepare for careers in an evolving global workforce.”

Of Possible Interest: 

  • Reference USA – database for researching organizations, available through UMD’s Library (UMD Login info required if off-campus)

Read Ashley’s other posts

Common Questions About GoldPASS

By: Cameron

What is GoldPASS?

GoldPASS is a University of Minnesota owned website where employers post job and internship opportunities. All University of Minnesota students and alumni have access to the site. Find it here.


How do I get started?

Once you log in with your University of Minnesota login information you will want to fill out your profile in the “My Account” tab at the top of the page. Then you will want to go into “My Documents” in the “My Account” tab and upload your resume. Your resume will be reviewed and either approved or unapproved for use on GoldPASS. If it is unapproved, make the suggested changes and upload the new resume.

How many skills should I include when filling out my profile?

It is not uncommon to have even twenty or more skills listed so feel free to be somewhat liberal when selecting skills. Having said that, there are a lot of skills out there that basically anyone could list such as numerical skills or writing so try and stick to the most relevant skills that will set you apart.

How do I search for positions?

Click the “Job/Internship Search” button/tab at the top of the page. This will bring you to a page with categories to search by. At any given time there are two or three thousand postings so it is important that you narrow your search. The main categories that you will want to search by are:

  • Degree(s) Seeking or Attained (select all that apply)
  • Job Category (select up to 5)
  • Position Type
  • Majors

You will also want to make sure and check the box that says “Exclude Records with ‘All Majors.” If you find some postings that you like you can always add them to your favorites.

How do I apply to positions?

In each posting there is a section titled “Application Method” that typically says to submit application through the company’s website. Then there will be a section below providing a link to the company’s website. Some positions also have a button at the top of the posting that says “Submit Resume.” Clicking on this will allow you to submit your resume and a cover letter. It is recommended that you apply using both methods whenever possible.

What else can you do on GoldPASS?

On GoldPASS you can also sign up for on-campus interviews, check the calendar for upcoming career fairs and events, and checkout the resource library which provides tons of information about all kinds of career-related topics.

Of Possible Interest:

Read Cameron’s other posts

Conduct a Successful Internship Search

By: Megan

An internship is an invaluable experience that will help you to build your resume. We’ve talked about them quite a bit, but before you even think of what to wear and how to act, you have to find that internship.

Internship Search


First place I’m going to send you is GoldPASS. We’ve talked about it before. There are tons of postings on there, and you can apply right on the site generally. Internships (especially those on campus) can be posted on the U of M HR website. Use your LinkedIn account to expand your network. Sometimes former classmates end up exactly where you want to be, and you can talk to them about how they got there. You can also look at our Internships page for more places to look online.


Go to your department! Some majors require an internship. If so, it is almost certain they have a list of where students have interned for in the past. Sometimes you are required to go through an internship prep course which will help you find and prepare for an internship. Even if your department doesn’t have an institutionalized internship program, your Professors might know of some places students have worked with. They might know of some open positions right now!


Start with your professors, supervisors, advisors, and people who worked with your student group and know your field. Use your network to find out all the opportunities you can take advantage of. If you have volunteered in a related field, talk to your supervisor there. Human Service fields tend to all be connected, and they will definitely know something. Find a mentor, and be sure to thank them when you get the job! Our Career Handbook has some great tips on networking.

Career & Internship Services

This is a lot, right? If you feel like you need some help sorting through listings or even finding them, you can set up an appointment and talk to one of our Career Counselors. You can also stop in to our Career Resource Center and go over your GoldPASS and LinkedIn accounts with a Peer Educator, and take a look at some of our books on different fields and careers.

Hopefully I’ve given you a little bit of a game plan. You can always ask for help. We’re students; we’re supposed to be learning! Don’t worry if you don’t find the perfect internship (or any) just yet. Sometimes they just fall in your lap. If you’re looking, you’ll find something when it’s available.

Good luck!

Of Possible Interest:

Read Megan’s other posts