Creating an Employer/Contact file for Upload into Handshake

Jade Pathe -

Creating an employer file is the fastest way to upload the data of your contacts in 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 THE SAMPLE FILE linked in this article - it includes all the different fields you can use.  You'll notice that each field has it's own column - make sure that the the headers match exactly! If a header isn't the same in your file as in our example, Handshake won't be able to identify it and it will be ignored! We recommend that you copy and paste from the example file to ensure the formatting of your headers is correct. 


Required Fields:


Every employer file you upload must have these three fields. Let's talk about each of them.

email_address: This is the basic identifier for each user in Handshake. It has to be unique for that user, meaning that the same email cannot be tied to two accounts. 

first_name: Please format as shown above

last_name: Please format as shown above


Optional Fields:


These are fields that you might want to include, but are not required and might or might not make sense for you. Here are some descriptions of these fields:

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. Very rarely used, only under special circumstances.

employer_name: Name of the Company

location_attributes:name: Location of company or that contact's office

phone: Suggested format: 000-000-0000

cell_phones: Suggested format: 000-000-0000

fax: Suggested format: 000-000-0000 


When your file is ready for import:

  1. Upload directly to the Importer App
  2. Select file type "Contacts"                                            
  3. Once uploaded and analysis is complete, click "Submit and Request Run" 
  4. For information on troubleshooting file issues, please see:



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

    • Please reach out to your Account Manager for more information. 















Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    Shoshanna Grunwald

    FYI - the "cell_phone" field header is correct in the image but not where the fields are described ("cell_phones").

    Edited by Shoshanna Grunwald
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