Handshake's Guide to Using the First Destination Survey

Tawnya -

This guide provides industry best practices as well as how Handshake has seen other schools leverage the tools available for successful response rates and FDS management.


Consider the set up that will provide the outcome you need

Before creating a new survey, consider which setup you'd like to proceed with that will help you accomplish your school's goals. 

Ready to Create a New First Destination Survey?



Ready to launch? Test your survey first!

Once you've set up a new FDS, check out our resource here First Destination Survey (FDS) Testing Guide for full instructions on testing the FDS, as well as demo-ing the FDS with other campus stakeholders!


How to increase response answers

Using Handshake for FDS allows you to capitalize on students’ built-in familiarity with the platform (for those who have been engaging with over time).

Handshake has invite and reminder emails set up and ready to use out of the box.



You can use as is or turn off the Handshake email content completely to create a fully customizable experience from your institution.


If you'd like to use Handshake default content, here are some examples of what that looks like: First Destination Student Email Previews


You can also choose to turn off invite and reminder emails altogether and market these as you see fit.


On top of allowing the automation of emails to send, you can send off cycle emails to your students through our targeted email feature!


Leverage connections across campus by providing the logged out link to other stakeholders (marketing materials, websites, give to faculty) to incentivize students to take the survey.



Take advantage of the Handshake Incentive (or offer your own).



Enter knowledge answers directly into survey

The FDS tool offers a one page form to submit responses on behalf of students (located at the bottom of the submission form). You can read more about this process in Enter a FDS Response for a Student (Knowledge Response).



Keep your data timely and and up to date

NACE suggests collecting data for 6 months after graduation before closing the survey - you can stop at 5 months and use the 1 month to review/clean up data.
Tip: Download the non-industry formatted report - CSV file to review.

Download Standard NACE Undergrad or MBA CSEA Report Data From Your FDS

Bulk Download All FDS Responses (Not NACE formatted)

Reporting on “In Progress” FDS Responses

Following up with students who reported “still seeking”

Utilize student advising teams, executive director emails and hot jobs newsletters to keep them engaged and increase response when the time comes.

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