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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 Berkeley Career Engagement 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. Berkeley Career Engagement 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.

Berkeley Career Engagement 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.