Importing Employer Contacts

Liz Gehret -

Submitting a contacts file to the Importer is the most efficient way to upload the information for your employer contacts (individuals at each company who recruit at your institution) into your Handshake system. To upload a data file, you have to ensure it is formatted correctly. This article will help you understand what the different fields are that we can upload into Handshake, and how the entries must be formatted. 

To start, download this example CSV file - it includes all of the different fields you can use, with example data. You'll notice that each field has its own column - make sure that the the headers match exactly! If any of your headers differ from the formatting included below, the Importer's analyzer won't be able to identify it, and it will be ignored! We recommend that you copy and paste the headers from the example file to ensure the formatting for each of your headers is correct. 


Required Fields:


Every employer file you upload must have these three fields:

email_address This is the basic identifier for each user in Handshake. It must be unique for that user, meaning that the same email cannot be tied to two accounts. All duplicate emails in the file will fail.

first_name Please format as shown above.

last_name Please format as shown above.


Optional Fields:


These are fields that you can include (if you have this information), but they are not required. If any of these fields don't make sense for you to include in your file, you can leave them out!

title Contact's title/position

description  Description of the contact or employer

employer_id  This is the ID of the employer in Handshake. Do not include this unless it is the correct ID, found in that employer's Handshake URL. This can be used to directly associate the contact with a company profile in Handshake (not commonly utilized, but can be used for reporting purposes).

employer_name Name of the company

location_attributes:name Location of company or contact's office

phone Phone number for employer contact. This can include spaces and extensions. (Please note: a warning message will generate that the phone number needs to be valid. This warning can be ignored and the row will process without issue.)

cell_phone Must be 10 or 11 digits (no special characters).

fax Must be 10 or 11 digits (no special characters).

assigned_to_id This is the user ID for the Career Services staff member who 'owns' this contact.  In order to generate a user ID for your Career Services staff, you must:

  1. Add them as a Career Services Staff member at your school.
  2. Select their Career Services Staff member profile.
  3. Grab the digits at the end of the URL when you are on their profile. That is their ID! Screen_Shot_2017-07-21_at_3.54.33_PM.png 
  4. You should pull this file out of your old system with your Career Services Staff Names or "account managers".  Then, you can use excel to Find and replace each name with their newly generated Handshake ID! 

When your file is ready for import:

  1. Upload directly to the Importer App as a 'Contacts' job type:                                        
  2. Once your file is uploaded and analysis is complete, click "Submit and Request Run" 
  3. For information on troubleshooting file issues, please see our errors guide HERE!


If you do not have access to Handshake's Importer App:

    • Please watch this training video and submit a Support ticket requesting for Importer access. In your ticket, please include the name and email address of your institution's point of contact (for approval).


Next Steps: Invite Your Employer Contacts 

 Once you've imported your Employer Contacts, you can follow the steps in this article to invite those contacts to connect with your school!

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