Career Center Policies and Guidelines for Employers

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

Employer Policies
Job Offer Guidelines 
OCR and Job Posting Guidelines

Employer Policies

The Career Center at the University of California Berkeley 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. The Career Center 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. Postings requiring donations, application fees, investments, or offering items or services for sale cannot be advertised on Handshake.

The Career Center 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 Berkeley students, alumni, or staff;
  • breach of confidentiality as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA);
  • failure to adhere to Career Center employer guidelines;
  • any violation of University of California rules and regulations;
  • any violation of local, state, or federal laws.


University of California

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

US Department of Labor

US Department of Education

Other Federal Workplace Laws & Resources

State of California


Third-Party Recruiters

The Career 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 Center 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 Center 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;
  • Provide the Employer Relations Office 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.


The Career Center 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 the Career Center at a later stage to discuss access to services.

Job Offer Guidelines

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic impact, the entry-level job market and campus recruiting timeline has faced substantial disruptions.  The policies below were updated to allow increased flexibility during the uncertain future 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, and preferably more, from the date of the written offer for students to accept or decline. 
    • Important: Please be advised that the College of Engineering has issued separate job offer guidelines covering their declared students
  2. Employers are encouraged to remain flexible in granting offer extensions on a case-by-case basis as circumstances warrant. 
  3. 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. 
  4. All bonuses or other incentives are to remain in full effect for the entire duration of the offer period.
  5. 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 Berkeley Career Center 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.  The Career Center expects all employers to refrain from such practices when recruiting Cal students and alumni.

Compensation and Fees

  • Cryptocurrency, bitcoin, tokens, fiat or equity are not acceptable forms of payment.
  • Organizations only offering stipended, 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 that request donations, application fees, or investments cannot be listed on Handshake.

The Career Center 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.

OCR & Job Posting 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.  However, On Campus Recruiting is intended for use by organizations recruiting for paid full-time and internship positions, not for part-time or volunteer positions.
  • Preselection Screening Criteria:  Major, school year, GPA and work authorization are the screening criteria used for positions in Handshake.  All Berkeley 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 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 Center business.
  • Testing:  Employers must proctor/monitor any testing conducted in the Career Center within the space and time parameters arranged in advance with the Employer Relations Office.

Confidentiality of Student Information

By completing the Handshake registration form and submitting resumes and other application materials for opportunities posted on Handshake, students provide the Career Center 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 Berkeley Career Center 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.  The Career Center 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 the Career Center 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.

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.

Exceptions to Policies and Guidelines

The Career Center 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, the Career Center, 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.


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