How to Import Employer Contacts

Jade Pathe -

Creating an employer file is the fastest way to upload the data of your contacts (individual people at each employer) 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 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:

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. 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 might want to include, but are not required and might not make sense for you to import.

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 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 a 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
  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 our errors guide HERE!



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

    • Please watch this training and take the quiz to generate a task for us to add you!



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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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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    Jeffrey Shokler
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    Jennifer Randolph

    What about website address or industry category?

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