Recruitment Guidelines

Employer Policies and Guidelines 

By acting in accordance with these policies and guidelines, individuals and organizations can help Career Success maintain a professional, fair and successful recruiting environment for all parties concerned.

General Employer Policies
Job Posting Guidelines & OCR
Job Offer Guidelines


General Employer Policies

Career Success at the University of California Santa Cruz maximizes employment and internship opportunities for its students by offering a range of services to facilitate recruitment of prospective candidates, including, but not limited to, job/internship postings, on-campus recruiting, career fairs, and information sessions. Career Success requires that any recruiting organization or individual utilizing these services must agree to the Terms and Conditions and must abide by all applicable federal, state, and local employment laws, including Equal Employment Opportunity laws, University of California rules and regulations, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Ethical Professional Practice.  (Refer to the detailed resources below.)

The Handshake system is the web-based portal for publicizing all bona fide full-time, part-time, seasonal, and short-term positions and other recruiting activities for small and large businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, on-campus employers, households, and individuals.  All recruiting organizations or individuals are expected to accurately describe their organizations, positions and position requirements when posting their information on Handshake or when representing their firms and opportunities at any campus recruiting events. We will NOT accept registration requests from residential addresses or from those with public emails. Registrants' email must match the company website domain. Each registrant must also include a full business address (non-residential) and functioning website. All contacts must use a first and last name. Lack of the aforementioned information will likely result in your business being declined in Handshake. Postings requiring donations, application fees, fundraising, payment for training, payment to participate, or investments or offering items or services for sale cannot be advertised on Handshake.

Career Success reserves the right to refuse service to organizations or individuals due to any of the following:

  • requiring personal information at the time of application, such as bank and social security numbers;
  • misrepresentation, whether defined by dishonest information or absence of information;
  • fraud;
  • harassment of UC Santa Cruz students, alumni, or staff;
  • breach of confidentiality as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA);
  • failure to adhere to Career Success employer guidelines;
  • any violation of University of California rules and regulations;
  • any violation of local, state, or federal laws.

Third-Party Recruiters

Career Success defines Third-party recruiters as agencies, organizations, or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities for other organizations rather than for internal positions.  This includes entities that make referrals or recruit for profit or not for profit, and it includes agencies that collect student information to be disclosed to employers for purposes of recruitment and employment.  Examples are employment agencies, search firms, contract recruiters, venture capital firms acting on behalf of their portfolio companies, and online job posting or resume referral services.  

Third party recruiters may utilize Career Success job listing services, participate in on-campus recruiting and attend select career fairs.  They will be required to verify in advance whether they are recruiting for their own organizations or for their clients.  Third-party firms who are recruiting for positions within their own organizations must clearly differentiate those opportunities from their client engagements. Failure to abide by these third-party requirements will result in loss of access to Career Success services.

Third-party recruiters representing client organizations must:

  • Verify that they charge no fees of any kind to student or alumni applicants;
  • Identify themselves as a third-party recruiter in their Handshake employer profile and all client job announcements;
  • If requested by Career Success, provide in advance with a list of the employer clients for whom they are recruiting, and, if requested after review, provide a copy of the retainer(s) signed by their employer client(s) authorizing them to act as their sole campus representatives;
  • Provide accurate position descriptions and include specific client names in all jobs posted on Handshake;
  • Only release candidate information provided to the identified employer in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Re-disclosure of candidate information to any other parties is not permitted.


Career Success has established these criteria for identifying appropriate entrepreneurial employment opportunities for promotion through its services.  Start-ups must have progressed sufficiently in their business development process so that they can:

  • Provide a company name, business address, website and email address, and identify a principal as the key contact;
  • Verify that they are not seeking potential partners or investors;
  • Confirm that they have obtained the necessary business licenses and Tax ID’s as well as sufficient funding, including identifying their funding model and investors, if requested;
  • Offer positions for pay, not just for equity; see Compensation and Fees.
  • Provide clearly defined organization and position descriptions in Handshake.

Those ventures who cannot meet these guidelines may recontact Career Success at a later stage to discuss access to services.


Experiential Learning & Internships

Career Success believes that experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, research assistantships, and volunteer opportunities, create high-impact experiences for students and should be for the primary benefit of the student. Both paid and unpaid opportunities will be reviewed and fully vetted if they align with the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet “primary beneficiary” test, and with NACE’s Criteria for an Internship to be Defined as an Internship.

  • Positions that do not comply with Department of Labor regulations listed above will not be approved (both paid and unpaid).
  • Positions requiring interns or employees to market/promote or create/develop free or fee-based programs, products, services, events, etc. and/or collect student information on the UC Santa Cruz campus on behalf of an organization are prohibited.
  • Commission-only internships are prohibited.
  • Stipend-based internships are allowable and must meet the federal minimum wage requirement.
  • Remote/virtual internships, both paid and unpaid, will be considered and must comply with Department of Labor regulations and NACE’s criteria to ensure a high-impact experience.
  • Opportunities that provide all resources, equipment, and facilities are highly favored.
  • Postings for internships located outside of Santa Cruz that take place during the academic year are allowable, but please note that some UC Santa Cruz colleges and schools do not allow their students to accept these positions.

Definition of an Internship

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. 

Internships can be:

  • paid or unpaid,
  • credit or not-for-credit,
  • on or off campus, and
  • between 1 - 12 months (one quarter for 80-120 hours is typical) 

In alignment with the definition above, we have outlined clear expectations of an internship experience as well as recommendations for best practice.

Internships should:

  • articulate clear learning outcomes for students, which may be defined in a learning agreement,
  • include opportunities for reflection and meaning-making,
  • follow all employment and labor policies,
  • offer students greater net benefit than employers ("The intern must be the primary beneficiary of the experience," per Department of Labor),
  • provide professional supervision with regular opportunities for student interaction,
  • include professional development experiences as part of students' work hours,
  • offer exposure to a broad range of work experiences in the field,
  • offer students a designated and accessible work space in the office, and technology infrastructure if remote work is expected,
  • provide the resources (hardware, software, phone, etc.) needed by the intern to complete the required duties/responsibilities,
  • result in a product or a developed skill/competency that is evaluated by a professional and may be reflected in students' resumes or portfolios, and
  • include two-way evaluation of students and employers, ideally at multiple points during the experience.

As an outcome of the internship, students will:

  • understand what it is like to work in a particular field,
  • discover their preferences for specific work environments and work tasks,
  • build professional contacts,
  • learn about general office policies and structure,
  • develop NACE career readiness competencies,
  • be able to articulate their growth on key NACE career readiness competencies, and
  • be able to place the experience on their resume that demonstrates work in a professional environment


Recruiting Volunteers

Organizations recruiting volunteers must be classified as either non-profit or governmental agencies and will be permitted to post on Handshake but will not be provided with any additional recruiting services. Private, for-profit companies will not be permitted to post volunteer opportunities. Volunteer positions must support public service, religious or humanitarian objectives and the activity must benefit the community at large. There must be no expectation of compensation or entitlement to a paid position at the conclusion of the experience. Volunteer positions must be short term, less than 6 months, and only require a few hours per week of commitment. 

Recruiting Campus Ambassador or Related Positions

Organizations recruiting for campus ambassador positions must follow these guidelines:

  • Positions must be paid an hourly wage that is minimum wage or higher. Stipends or swag compensation will not be considered.
  • Students cannot be required to promote products or services through their social networks or on their personal social media profiles as a condition of their employment.
  • Students cannot be required to promote products or services in their residence halls as a condition of employment.
  • Third-party agencies that work as intermediaries between brands and campus ambassadors must follow the third-party recruiter policies.

Teach/Volunteer Abroad Companies

Career Success will not approve teaching or volunteer abroad positions in Handshake and is hesitant working with companies who place and organize teacher/volunteer abroad positions due to the financial requirements of the applicants to partake in such opportunities. Career Success does not currently have the ability to review and vet teach/volunteer abroad companies.

Alcoholic Beverages

In compliance with the University's policy prohibiting the use of alcoholic beverages, employers should not serve alcoholic beverages at any employer-related functions held on or off campus.

Marijuana and Cannabis Industry

UCSC Career Success will not accept companies or positions involved with the use, production, testing, or distribution of recreational or medical marijuana. As the use of marijuana is illegal at the federal level and UCSC receives federal funds, we must comply with federal law. In addition, the use of marijuana violates the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and continues to be banned on campus.

Exceptions to Policies and Guidelines

Career Success reserves the right to make exceptions to these policies and guidelines as warranted by special circumstances, i.e., in certain situations deemed to be acceptable and beneficial to our students, Career Success, the University, or recruiters using our services. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Any exception made does not constitute a change in policy, nor is there a guarantee that this same decision will apply in the future.

Job Posting & On-Campus Recruiting Guidelines 

All bona fide full-time, part-time, seasonal, and short-term positions and other types of recruiting opportunities for small and large businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, on-campus employers, households, and individuals that conform with the Employer Policies noted above may be posted via Handshake.  

  • Preselection Screening Criteria:  Major, school year, GPA and work authorization are the screening criteria used for positions in Handshake.  All Santa Cruz students will be able to apply whether or not they fully meet your qualifications, however, some students will be discouraged from applying if they don't meet all qualifications. Therefore, enter your screening specifications carefully, but without being too restrictive, to ensure the best possible "fully qualified" applicant pool.  Students are able to change their year in school and GPA in Handshake so employers are encouraged to request students submit unofficial transcripts with their application to verify year in school and GPA.
  • OCR Interviews: Career Success offers Room Only Scheduling. All requests must be submitted to the Handshake system. A copy of your list of candidates along with interview appointment times must be provided to Employer Relations staff via email at prior to the interview date. Centralized corporate recruiting is encouraged with all divisions of an organization recruiting on the same day or within the same week. Every effort should be made by the recruiting organization to avoid changes in interview date(s). However, when changes must be made, Career Success Team should be notified well in advance to avoid inconvenience for job candidates and staff. Refreshments and audio-visual equipment for information meetings are the company's responsibility. However, we can assist you with local caterer recommendations.
  • OCR Reception Area as Neutral Territory:  Employers are asked to respect the neutrality of the On-Campus Recruiting reception area.  Students may feel uncomfortable talking to other employers while waiting to be called by their scheduled interviewers. Greeters are permitted as long as their presence does not create an unpleasant environment for students and other recruiters and does not interfere with other Career Success business.
  • Testing:  Employers must proctor/monitor any testing conducted in the Career Success space and time parameters arranged in advance with the center..

Confidentiality of Student Information

By completing the Handshake registration form and submitting resumes and other application materials for opportunities posted on Handshake, students provide Career Success authorization to release employment materials to those selected prospective employers.  Employment professionals must maintain the confidentiality of all student information released to them, regardless of the source, including personal documents, written records/reports, and computer databases. This means that there should be no disclosure of student information to another organization without the prior written consent of the student, unless necessitated by health and/or safety considerations, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Employment Eligibility

In compliance with the Department of Justice's rulings regarding citizenship discrimination and best practices for online job postings, the UC Santa Cruz Career Success does no screening of candidates or verification of work authorization.  Employers may include employment eligibility information in their Handshake job descriptions as a point of information for potential candidates so that the candidates may self-screen.

Employers are encouraged to consult with their legal counsel and establish legally permissible internal screening procedures before posting jobs or recruiting on campus.  Career Success reserves the right to modify or remove any statements or job postings that include any potentially illegal or discriminatory language.

More information re: the DOJ's decisions can be found at:
Best Practices for Recruiting and Hiring Workers
Immigrant and Employee Rights Section


Students' GPAs are self-reported in Handshake and Career Success does not verify the accuracy of student GPAs.  Employers may include this information in their job descriptions as a point of information for potential candidates. Employers may also request unofficial grade reports or transcripts from students or alumni as part of their required Handshake application documents in order to verify academic performance.

Compensation and Fees

  • Cryptocurrency, bitcoin, tokens, fiat or equity are NOT acceptable forms of payment.
  • Organizations only offering stipends, unpaid or volunteer positions must meet the organizational definitions and requirements that allow them to do so legally, and they must clearly state the pay status when posting their opportunities on Handshake.  Consult your legal counsel regarding any questions.
  • Commission Sales Positions:  If no initial base salary is provided, the form of remuneration should be clearly stated in the employer's job descriptions and at the time of the initial interviews.  
  • Recruitment for positions requiring monetary outlay by candidates for equipment and training is strongly discouraged. Students and recent graduates will be reluctant to apply for such positions. This includes fees for certain federal and state licensing requirements, e.g., real estate, securities, etc.  If fees are involved, this information must be explicitly included in the position description and additionally disclosed during initial interviews.
  • Postings requiring donations, application fees, fundraising, payment for training, payment to participate, or investments or offering items or services for sale cannot be advertised on Handshake.

Career Success reserves the right to remove job listings on Handshake or decline further service to those employers who do not abide by these compensation/fee guidelines.


Job Offer Guidelines

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic impact, the entry-level job market and campus recruiting timeline face substantial disruptions this year.  The policies below have been updated to allow increased flexibility during the uncertain year ahead.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) advises that, “Experience shows the best employment decisions for both students and employers are those that are made without pressure and with the greatest amount of information and transparency. Students given sufficient time to attend career fairs, participate in on-campus interviews, and/or complete the interviewing in which they are currently engaged are more likely to make good long-term employment decisions and may be less likely to renege on job acceptances.”

Recognizing that students need time to make informed decisions when comparing and responding to offers and employers need to be able to effectively manage their time-sensitive recruitment processes, the following guidelines are intended to provide students and employers a fair and transparent framework for managing the offer phase of the process in this increasingly competitive job market:

    1. For all offers extended for summer internships or full-time employment, including return offers, employers should allow a minimum of three weeks from the date of the written offer or until the first business day in November for students to accept or decline (whichever is longer)
Employers are encouraged to remain flexible in granting offer extensions on a case-by-case basis as circumstances warrant. 
  1. The written offer should clearly state all appropriate terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, position title/description, location, benefits, start date, salary, bonuses, etc. 
  2. All bonuses or other incentives are to remain in full effect for the entire duration of the offer period.
  3. Students will be encouraged to contact employers directly if they have any questions or concerns about their offers, including needing more time to make their decisions. 

Exploding Offers

The UC Santa Cruz Career Success defines an exploding offer as any offer which does not conform with the offer guidelines listed above.  Students should not be pressured to accept offers “on the spot” or "early,” whether this is based upon a shorter timeframe for consideration overall and/or due to any special diminishing incentives attached, e.g., tiered or expiring bonuses, reduced options for location preferences, etc.  Career Success expects all employers to refrain from such practices when recruiting Banana Slug students and alumni.


University of California

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

US Department of Labor

US Department of Education

Other Federal Workplace Laws & Resources

State of California