Build your workforce at Western.
At Western, we pride ourselves on cultivating well-prepared professionals that have a mastery of subject matter expertise and valuable hands-on experience. If you’re looking for more information about how to recruit or hire Mountaineers, we are eager to show you why our students and alumni are a great fit for your organization. Together, we can help develop a recruiting plan that suits your needs.
Hiring the best and brightest
Career Services hosts employers and students at its Spring Career & Internship Fair
Resources for employers
Western’s Career Services office supports employers in their search to recruit and hire Western students and alumni. We offer an abundance of resources and opportunities that make it easy for you to find the talent you are looking for at Western.
Partner and Recruit
We value the relationships we have built with our employers over the years. More importantly, our students and alumni love working for you!
Partner with us to bring your experience and expertise to campus, whether virtually or in-person. Some of the ways you can engage with Western students and alumni include:
- Tabling. Have a visible presence on campus and speak with students who drop by your recruiting table in a more informal atmosphere.
- Info Sessions, Panels and Lunch & Learns. Reserve a space in-person or virtually and invite students to join for a presentation about your organization and opportunities to work or engage with you.
- Networking Socials. Host an event with refreshments to simply get to know relevant students and share your story in a low-pressure environment.
- Résumé Reviews and Mock Interviews. Provide experienced guidance to students by offering feedback on their résumés and cover letters, or by hosting mock interviews.
- Hold a workshop on a career- or industry-related topic. These workshops may be general and open to all students or more directly related to your industry or field.
- Career, Job and Internship Fairs. Promote your brand while sharing opportunities and advice for applying to open positions. These events are held at various times throughout the academic year. We’ll notify you of upcoming fairs through your Handshake account and the University Events Calendar.
- Mountaineer Mentors. Establish a deeper connection as a professional mentor through our Mountaineer Mentors program.
- Bring Your Ideas. We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve your goals. Have an idea that’s not on the list? We’d love to hear it!
- Request an Event. Request your event in Handshake to get the ball rolling. We’ll reach out to discuss location, marketing, and other needs. For more information, see: How to Request an Event
- Consider Our Academic Calendar. Avoid mid-terms, Finals, breaks, and university holidays. Consult the academic calendar for details.
- Plan for Earlier in the Week. We recommend hosting your event Mondays through Thursdays.
- Be a Good Host. Identify who will host your event, whether that is one or more people. Have a clear goal or outcome for your event as well as a target audience in mind.
- Promote Yourself. Share your event through your social media channels when possible. Where appropriate, we will help distribute information on campus and connect you with other relevant stakeholders.
- Take Attendance. Use a sign-in sheet or download your attendee list to collect student names and contact information to follow up with them after your event. Please also provide this list to Career Services for record-keeping.
- Know How to Find Us. View directions and our campus map to help find us. Career Services is located in Leslie J. Savage Library 120.
- Get Lodging Discounts. Many local accommodations offer Western Colorado University discounts, so be sure to ask.
- Park for Free. All lots on campus are free and open to the public. Please note the location of your event to help identify the most convenient parking lot.
- Bring SWAG. Branded items, stickers, and other goodies are always in high demand and will help students remember you and your organization.
- Use Handshake for Fairs. For virtual fairs, we recommend using Handshake’s built-in platform, which will be pre-configured for you. External platforms are supported, but require students to leave Handshake, which can cause confusion and technical challenges. For more information, see: Virtual Fairs in Handshake: A Guide for Employers
- Choose a Platform for Events. For other virtual events, ensure your platform is configured in advance so you can provide the link in the event creation process. Popular platforms include Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Instagram TV. Whichever you choose, be sure that you are comfortable using it and that you understand its features and limitations. For more information, see: How to Host a Virtual Event
- Send Personal Invitations. Use Handshake’s filtered search capabilities—like major and location interest—to identify relevant students and send 1:1 messages inviting them to your event.
- Test Your Tech. Log in early to make sure things are working. Have a co-worker log in as a student to ensure your connection is working both ways. Be sure that you have a strong internet connection and that your microphone and camera are working.
- Use a Modern Browser. As is recommended with most of today’s online systems, do not use Internet Explorer. Chrome and Firefox are reliable browsers for modern, virtual platforms and websites.
Offer an Internship
Hiring an intern from Western is not only an excellent opportunity for you to help cultivate talent, but also to add value to your organization. There are a couple of key points internship providers need to consider when offering an experiential opportunity to Western students:
Paid vs. Unpaid
Some internships offer stipends or even an hourly wage, whereas others are unpaid. When developing your internship, keep in mind that if a student is earning academic credit for the internship, they have to pay tuition on the experience, so paid internships tend to be more appealing. Federal guidelines also impose stricter standards on employers offering unpaid internships. Either option that you choose, you will want to verify that it is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act.
Some academic programs at Western require a student to complete field hours or an internship in order to graduate. For an undergraduate student to receive academic credit, the student must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate faculty establishing internship learning objectives and academic requirements. A formal evaluation process assesses the student’s competencies as they pertain to their academic goals. The student’s grade is then awarded based on their performance during the internship. The internship provider (supervisor), student and Western faculty member are all included in the assessment process.
Students pay tuition for credit-bearing internships and earn a final grade; tuition generally provides coverage under Western’s workers’ compensation policy for the semester in which the student is enrolled in the internship credit(s). Students earn credits based on the number of field hours they complete. Internship credits are allocated at 1 credit per 37.5 hours of supervised work.
Depending on the student’s academic major, they may not be required to complete a credit-bearing internship in order to graduate. With that said, there are many students who are seeking experience and networking opportunities and are not as interested in the credit component. With non-credit internships, there is no official paperwork that must be submitted by the internship provider or the student. In fact, the institution is released from any connection with that experience.
Non-credit internships can be completed during a time frame that is both convenient for the internship provider and the student as it is not influenced by Western’s academic calendar.
Credit-bearing internships take place during one of the following time frames (see the academic calendar for current term dates):
Fall Semester: late August through mid-December
Spring Semester: mid-January through late April
Summer: early May through mid-August
The student must be enrolled for the credits during the term in which the work is initiated. The course work is part of a student’s academic load for that semester.
Advertising Your Opening
Handshake is a free platform for you to connect with students via an online job and internship career management system. You create a profile and post your openings. Students are then able to log in and view postings. For best results, please also communicate with Career Services so we can help advertise your position.
Western views an internship as a reciprocal arrangement with a business or organization, wherein a student makes a real contribution to the organization, but the organization also provides a pre-professional experience for the student. Internships may be paid or unpaid. We allow private, public and not-for profit organizations to recruit Western students.
The internship site supervisor plays a vital role in the student’s development and success. At the internship site, we seek a supervisor who:
- Provides authentic work* aligned with the student’s objectives, which allows the student to master skills and develop competence in new areas
- Has knowledge and experience corresponding to the internship focus and who will serve as a mentor/guide in the professional world
- Provides regular feedback related to the student’s professional and academic objectives (including submitting all evaluation paperwork to the appropriate Western faculty member)
- Increases the level of responsibility over time and maximizes the scope of the student’s organizational experience
*Authentic work: The internship should include a clearly defined project with tangible deliverables and an appropriate level of challenge. It should also present a professional opportunity for students to apply classroom theory. Some typical internship assignments include direct work with clients, conducting research, data collection (surveys), compiling reports, developing presentations, generating plans (marketing, business, etc.), creating and conducting trainings and writing handbooks or manuals.
REMEMBER: Review the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of internships.
Credit-bearing Internships at Western are designed for traditional undergraduate students who have completed at least 12 credit hours in the academic area of the internship and maintained at least a 2.0 GPA. The internship policy of individual disciplines may be more stringent. The purpose of internships is to give students an experiential career development perspective, specific marketable skills, opportunities for networking and communicating with professionals in their field of interest and the chance to develop strong work related characteristics such as initiative, motivation, integrity and a focused work ethic.
Your guidance and mentorship of our students is very much appreciated. Each student also has a faculty member who assists them in the development of a learning contract that will structure the student’s academic program, resulting in academic credit and a grade for the course.
We will ask you to submit some forms throughout the duration of the internship. These forms are very important as the student’s grade and credit will be dependent upon the evaluations. Each individual faculty member might have a different deadline and process, however, in most cases, there is the initial paperwork, mid-way through the internship there is some form of communication, and lastly at the end of the internship there is final documentation.
Non-credit internships are completely organized around what the employer and the student agree upon.
The Office of Career Services offers a range of services to facilitate the recruitment of prospective candidates including, but not limited to; job, internship and volunteer postings; on-campus recruiting and tabling; career, job and internship fairs; information sessions; and other events.
Career Services requires that any recruiting organization or individual utilizing these services must agree to Western’s Employer Policies and must abide by all applicable federal, state, and local employment laws, including Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Ethical Professional Practice and all applicable Western Colorado University rules and regulations.
Career Services reserves the right to refuse services to organizations or individuals due to any of the following:
- Requiring inappropriate personal information at or before the time of application, such as bank and social security numbers
- Misrepresentation, whether by the provision of dishonest information or the purposeful or negligent absence or withholding of information
- Harassment of students, alumni, staff, faculty or any other individual or group affiliated with the university
- Breach of confidentiality as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Failure to adhere to Career Services’ Employer Policies
- Any violation of Western Colorado University rules and regulations, actual or perceived
- Any violation of local, state or federal laws
Additionally, at this time we cannot approve positions or employers offering exclusively such, if:
- The job or internship involves any individual or family hiring for in-home health care, in-home childcare, or other in-home services
- Housing is the sole form of compensation offered in exchange for work
- The organization requires an initial payment, investment or other upfront costs as a requirement to participate in the hiring process or to obtain work
- The organization is looking to hire day laborers or pays employees in cash not in compliance with federal and state tax regulations (i.e., “under the table”)
- Organizations involved in the cultivation, handling, processing or distribution of marijuana or marijuana-derived products
Handshake is the web-based portal for publicizing all bona fide full-time, part-time, volunteer, seasonal, and short-term positions as well as events, presentations and recruiting activities for small and large businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and on-campus employers. All recruiting organizations or individuals are expected to accurately describe their organization, position(s) and position requirements when posting on Handshake and when representing their firms and opportunities in position postings and at any recruiting event.
Postings requiring donations, application fees or investments, or primarily offering goods or services for sale may not be advertised on Handshake.
A note on Handshake’s Trust Score:
The Trust Score is one of many metrics provided to University partners within Handshake to help Career Services staff determine the appropriateness of an employer for recruiting from among its student and alumni bases. The Trust Score alone generally will not serve as the basis for the approval or denial of access to services for employers, though additional scrutiny will be given to employers with a Trust Score below 66%. Other factors that will be considered include:
- Completeness of contact information, including a functioning web URL and associated website, general contact phone number and email address and organization description
- The presence of a profile image/logo
- At least one associated staff member profile
- A match between staff/contact email addresses and the organization’s web domain
- The presence of flags, which may be submitted by universities or students for several reasons, usually related to the lack of items above or negative experiences with the organization
Reviews of approved employers will be conducted periodically. An initial acceptance should not be construed as a permanent approval.
All job postings should be made via Handshake. Career Services is not able to post or otherwise share every flier or job announcement received by postal or electronic mail. Please see “Handshake for Employers” for information about creating your free Handshake account. All job postings in Handshake should be accurate, complete and timely. Job postings with an expiration date more than 120 days from the posting date will be expired or declined by Career Services without notice, but may be re-posted with an expiration less than 120 days from the posting date.
Career Services 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 definition includes entities that make referrals or recruit for profit or not for profit and includes agencies that collect student information to be disclosed to employers for purposes of recruitment and/or employment. Examples include employment agencies, search firms, contract recruiters, venture capital firms acting on behalf of their portfolio companies, train-to-hire agencies, temp and temp-to-hire agencies and online job posting or résumé referral services.
Third-party recruiters generally are not eligible to post jobs and internships on Handshake. We may allow, under pre-approved conditions, third-party recruiters to attend career and internship fairs only if they are hiring for full-time positions within their organization (e.g., accountants, recruiters, human resources staff) and are not recruiting on behalf of client organizations.
Career Services 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 such 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
- Provide clearly defined organization and position descriptions in Handshake
Those ventures who cannot meet these guidelines may contact Career Services at a later time to discuss access to services.
On-campus recruiting, attendance at recruiting events and fairs, and access to position postings in Handshake will be available to commission sales organizations under the following conditions:
- The organization’s pay structure is clearly outlined in all job postings and communicated explicitly in all recruiting sessions/materials.
- Employer must disclose that the opportunity involves running one’s own business as a contractor and/or franchisee.
- Candidates will not be required to pay up-front costs in order to obtain work with the organization, including fees for training and/or materials.
- No part of any compensation or incentive package may be associated with recruiting others.
- Any candidate leaving the organization will not be found to be in debt to the organization for training expenses, materials, or for “draw against commission” in lieu of salary in cases where it is alleged that commissions earned failed to cover the amount of the draw, or for any other reason for which the employee may leave the program.
Any and all permissions to recruit at Western Colorado University, whether virtually or in person, may be revoked at any time, and for any or no reason, based on the university’s judgment and commitment to providing a safe and positive experience to our students in all aspect of their education.
Network marketing organizations (e.g., multilevel marketing, consumer-direct marketing, affiliate marketing) and franchises are not considered “employers” by Career Services and are not eligible to participate in any employer services. Such employers are those that engage in one or more of the following practices:
- Sponsorship of an individual in setting up their own business for the purpose of selling products or services and/or recruiting other individuals to set up their own businesses
- Requirement of an initial investment from individuals, with the organization itself serving as an umbrella or parent company; the initial investment may be a direct payment of a fixed fee, payment to attend an orientation or training session and/or purchase of a “starter kit” or similar
- Compensation often is in the form of straight commission, fees from others under their sponsorship in the organization and/or a percentage of sales generated by others
- Requirement of the “employee” to collect and deposit their gross paycheck amount with the organization, then holding back money for advertising, promotion, administrative or other back-office costs before the remainder is released as a net paycheck
The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (DFSCA) states that “as a condition of receiving funds of any form of financial assistance under any Federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol by students and employees.” Further, under the DFSCA, higher education institutions must adhere to “standards of conduct that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on its property or as part of its activities.”
Although marijuana (cannabis) is legal in the State of Colorado, it is not legal under federal law. As a recipient of federal education funds, Western Colorado University is bound to comply with federal law.
Organizations involved in the cultivation, handling and/or sales of marijuana, which is or may be non-compliant with federal law, are not eligible to utilize Career Services programs or resources to recruit students or alumni. Career Services will not promote opportunities at companies where a student may possess or come into contact with marijuana products, including where such contact may be tangential to the primary work of the student or company (e.g., through work with a company’s clients or attendance at a marijuana convention).
Recognizing that students need time to make informed decisions when comparing and responding to offers, and that 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:
- 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 for students to accept or decline.
- Employers are encouraged to remain flexible in granting offer extensions on a case-by-case basis as circumstances warrant.
- The written offer should clearly state all appropriate terms and conditions including, but not limited to, position title and description, location, start date, salary, benefits, bonuses, etc.
- All bonuses or other incentives are to remain in full effect for the duration of the offer period.
- 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.
- Please be advised that individual schools, departments and programs within the University may maintain separate offer guidelines covering their declared students.
An exploding offer is any offer that does not conform to the offer guidelines listed above. Students should not be pressured to accept offers “on the spot” or “early,” whether this preference 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 Services expects all employers to refrain from such practices when recruiting Western students and alumni.
Cryptocurrency, bitcoin, tokens, fiat or equity are not acceptable forms of payment.
Organizations only offering stipend-based, 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 interview.
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 scenario 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 may not be listed on Handshake.
Career Services reserves the right to remove job listings on Handshake or decline further service to those employers who do not comply with these compensation/fee 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 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 most common screening criteria used for positions in Handshake. All Western students will be able to apply whether or not they fully meet your qualifications. However, some students will be discouraged from applying via visual notifications in Handshake 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 can edit certain pieces of personal information in Handshake, so employers may request that students submit unofficial transcripts with their application to verify school year and GPA, if desired.
By completing the Handshake registration form and submitting résumés and other application materials for opportunities posted on Handshake, students provide Career Services 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).
In compliance with the Department of Justice’s rulings regarding citizenship discrimination and best practices for online job postings, Career Services does no screening of candidates or verification of work authorization. Employers may include employment eligibility information in their Handshake position postings as a point of information for potential candidates so that 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 Services reserves the right to modify or remove any statements or job postings that include any potentially illegal or discriminatory language.
More information regarding the DOJ’s decisions can be found at:
Employers should not serve or otherwise provide alcoholic beverages, marijuana or marijuana-derived substances at any employer-related function held on or off campus.
Career Services reserves the right to make exceptions to these policies and guidelines as warranted by special circumstances (e.g., in certain situations deemed to be acceptable and beneficial to our students, Career Services, 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 the same decision will apply in the future.
Handshake for Employers
Connect with talent on Handshake, Western’s job board and career services management platform.
Handshake is the leading university career platform, offering multi-school job and internship posting, application management, direct student messaging, event management, a built-in virtual fair platform and more.
What can you do with Handshake?
- Post part-time and full-time jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities
- Register for career fairs and create information sessions
- Schedule on-campus interviews
- Create and customize a profile for your organization
- Search candidate profiles and direct message students about your career opportunities
Need help with Handshake?
- Find answers in the Handshake Help Center.
- View the FAQ’s below.
If you are still experiencing challenges or have questions, contact us
Employer accounts generally are reviewed within one business day. Most requests are approved without issue. Employers whose operations are not consistent with our Employer Policies, or who do not provide enough information in their Handshake profile to be properly vetted, will be declined. If you feel that your request has been declined in error, please contact us.
Your request will be approved most quickly if your profile is filled out completely, you have a real person identified as a primary contact (as opposed to a generic name and email address), and it is clear from your website that you are offering career-oriented internships, full-time jobs requiring a college degree or legitimate part-time jobs volunteer experiences.
Your active job, internship and volunteer postings are visible on your homepage. Note that jobs posted before being approved at Western will not appear until you edit the posting to include Western.
Expired jobs will no longer be visible in your active jobs list, but can be seen by checking the “Expired” tab in the “Jobs” area. To learn more about re-posting an expired job, see How to Renew an Expired Job Posting.
First, consider your needs and preferences. There are several applicant preferences that you can set when posting your position, including minimum GPA, major, school year and more. These preferences do not prohibit students from applying, but will help Handshake to display your position more prominently to relevant students. To learn more, see Understanding Job and Applicant Preferences.
Attracting the right students requires using preferences wisely, writing a compelling position description, maintaining a complete and up-to-date profile and, in some cases, proactively contacting students directly through Handshake’s messaging feature.
In Handshake, click “Fairs” in the left navigation menu. You will see available fairs from all schools to which you are connected. Use the filters to find specific fairs or schools. To view more details and register, click on the fair and select the “Register” button. If you are not ready to register, you may click the “Follow” button to receive updates and reminders as the registration deadline and fair approach.
To find a fair that you’ve already registered for, check the “Upcoming Career Fairs” section on your homepage, or from the “Fairs” area you can filter using the “Show Registered Only” checkbox. Learn more in Registering for a Fair (Employers).
In Handshake, click “On-Campus Interviews” in the left navigation bar, then click the “Request Interview Schedule” tab. Select Western Colorado University and Career Services as the career center.
Please provide as much information as possible so that we can determine the availability of an appropriate space. If the available schedule templates do not fit your needs, please contact us. To learn more, see How to Post an Interview Schedule to a School
In Handshake, click “Events” in the left navigation bar, then click on the “Request Event” tab. Fill out the form completely and save. See How to Request an Event for a walk-through of the process.
For on-campus event requests, Career Services will contact you to discuss space and any other needs you may have during your time on campus.
Virtual events are self-managed by the employer, but you may contact us if we can support in any way.
Take the Next Step
Apply to Western
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The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.
We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.