Handshake's Guide to Using Labels

Tawnya -

What are labels?

Labels are tags you apply to data stored in Handshake to help your classify, organize, and report on that data.  

For example, you might create a normal label used for students called “Dean’s List”, that you apply to all students who have made the list. If you wanted to host a special event for all students who have made Dean’s List, you’d be able to easily filter your student database by the “Dean’s List” label to quickly identify all students who should be invited.

Who can add labels?

Any career services staff member can view labels, and staff members with the Manage Labels permission can add and edit labels. 

Click on a topic below to jump to that section: 


Getting started with labels

Before you begin labelling items, we recommend to whiteboard your critical workflows with your team and start with a few key questions: 

  • What data do we need to organize? 
  • What filters exist in Handshake already, and could these replace the need for a label?
  • How will I use labels to support my workflow? 
  • Who needs to see this information or be able to add it? 
  • How will I keep my labels organized and up to date? 

Once your team has a clear picture of how you will use labels, we recommend to start with a small, intentional list of labels. You can always add more when you’re more comfortable with the workflow! 

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Label types

How are labels categorized?

There are three types of labels in Handshake. Each is defined below, along with suggested workflows. 

Normal labels

Normal labels are only visible to the career services staff at your school. They can only be created and removed in Handshake, but they can be applied via Handshake or Importer. 

These can be applied to almost anything you’d want to sort or report on, such as contacts or specific student groups. 

Examples of normal labels:

  • "cs staff"
  • "sp18 fair attendee"
  • "local company"
  • "proactive approval"
  • "alumni panel"
  • "honors student"
  • "orientation team lead"
  • "blocked from appointments"

Public labels 

Public labels are visible to both career services staff and students. They can only be created and removed in Handshake, but they can be applied via Handshake or Importer.

Public labels can be used to help elevate visibility of items to students, such as jobs, interview schedules, employers, or events.

For example, if you wanted to promote businesses where Alumni work, you could create a public label for “alumni employer”, and apply it to the employers of your alumni contacts. Promote this to students via email, and they can use the label to filter to those employers. 

Examples of public labels: 

  • "campus partner"
  • "specialty internship program"

System labels

System labels are visible only to career services staff and are only able to be created and removed via Importer; they cannot be edited within Handshake. System labels can only be used for student accounts. 

These should be applied to any specific custom field you want to bring over from SIS, for example, honors student.

Due to how system labels are managed, we recommend using system labels only for groups or classifications that do not fluctuate frequently. For assistance in removing system labels or changing system labels to normal labels, please refer to How to Change System Labels to Normal Labels.

System labels provide a streamlined way to manage labels that are attached to student accounts in Handshake - they can be managed directly through your student uploads, so no additional uploads/actions need to be taken outside of these files. For all other label use outside of student labels, normal/public labels can be utilized as needed.

System labels function identically to normal labels in Handshake - they are only visible to Career Services users associated with the institution they were uploaded by. The main difference between these two label types is how they are managed - system labels are managed through the Importer via student upload files, while normal labels can be managed either through the Importer via labels uploads, or in-app.

Examples of system labels: 

  • "certificate program name"
  • "scholarship recipient"

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How to create and apply a label in Handshake

What methods can I use to add labels?

Labels can be created in your school settings, in many of the tabs on the left-hand navigation bar, or directly on the item page in some cases. Labels can also be added via Importer; please refer to Importing Labels for more information on this process.

For more information on creation via school settings, refer to School Settings: Labels
If you'd like to archive normal or public labels, refer to Archiving Normal or Public Labels.

To create and add the label via one of the tab sin the left-hand navigation bar, follow the steps below: 

1. Select the desired tab and filter the displayed list as desired.

2. Put a checkmark in the box to the left of the items listed, then use the bulk action Add Label. If you do not see that option listed in the bulk actions, try clicking on More, then click on Add Label.

You’ll see one of the following boxes appear, where you can create a new label or add an existing label. 


In the newer version of this box, available on select pages, you’ll be able to just type in the name of the new label. It will be created as a normal label by default. To change the label type, you’ll need to visit your School Settings>Labels page to edit the type. 



To apply a label directly to a specific item, simply locate the labels section of the page, then select either an existing label to apply, or select to create a new label. 

Example of labels on events:


Example of labels on a student profile:



Breakdown of label application and label filters per tab

Manage Students: labels students, and filters refer to labels on the student profile

Experiences: labels the experience, not the student profile. The labels/not labels filters on this page are based on labels on the experience. 

Applications: labels the student profile directly, not the specific application(s). Filters look to existing labels on student profiles. 

First Destination: adding a label adds it to the FDS response, not the student profile. The Label filters on this page filter based on labels applied to the student profile.

Events: labels the specific event, and filters labels on existing events. 

Jobs: labels the specific job posting, not the employer. Labels filters options include Labels/Not Labels, which look at labels on the job posting, and Employer Labels, which look to labels on the employer (company profile).  

Interviews: labels the specific interview schedule(s). Filters look to existing labels on interview schedules, not employers (company profiles).

Employers: labels the employer (company profile) directly. Filters look to existing labels on the employer (company profile).

Contacts: labels the specific contact, not the employer. Filters Labels/Not Labels look to existing labels on contacts, and Employer Labels look to labels on the contact’s associated Employer.

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Label usage in Handshake

Labels are very versatile and can be used to meet a wide array of needs in Handshake. Below are some examples of how schools use labels in multiple workflows.

Permission Labels

Can I use labels to restrict access?

Permission based labels may be added in your school settings to some features. These could be setup as normal labels or system labels. This workflow can be helpful if you have prerequisite actions that the student must complete prior to being allowed access. 

Appointments: Appointment Preferences in School Settings

Interviews: Interview Preferences in School Settings

Experiences: Experience Preferences in School Settings. 

While the preferences are located in different areas of School Settings, the fields look the same for each: 


If a student MUST BE labeled “label name”, then that means only students with the selected label will be able to use that particular feature.

If students MUST NOT BE labeled “label name”, this means that only students without the specified label will be able to use the feature. 

For additional information on this process, please refer to Restricting Student Access with Permission Labels.  

Workflow example:

Perhaps your school has a code of conduct that students must agree to in order to participate in on-campus interviews. You could create a label in Handshake called “eligible for oci”, set this label as an interview permission label, then add a survey in Handshake with the information students need to read over (some schools make this a short answer where students “sign” their name to agree”, and add “eligible for oci” as a completion label. As students complete the survey, the label is automatically applied to their profiles, and they will automatically be able to utilize on-campus interviews.


Qualifications / Required Labels

You can use labels as a qualifier or requirement on specific items, such as appointment types, events, resources, or fairs. These could be set up from normal or system labels.

To set this up, just look for the Qualifications or Requirements tab on the item you’re working with. Locate the Required Labels text field, then enter the desired label name. 

This setup requires that the specified label name be applied to the student profile in order to participate in the item. 

Note: if you add a required label to events or fairs, students that do not have the label applied will still see the event/fair, however, they will not be able to register. They will see a prompt to reach out to the career center for more information.  

Example: Fair qualifications


Example: Appointment Type Requirements



Promote items to students

Public labels can be used to promote or highlight specific items to students, such as employers, jobs, events, or interviews.

Normal labels can be used to classify specific groups of students, which can then be used to identify email recipients.

Workflow example:

Let’s say that your school has a particular organization that includes students from different school years and majors, but they may share a common career interest. If you wanted to highlight jobs that could be of interest to this subset of students, you can use labels two different ways to improve their experience in Handshake. 

Create a public label, perhaps with the organization name, then apply this label to relevant jobs. Communicate this label usage to students, then they can use the Job Search filters to select the label and see the jobs you’ve identified for them. 

Create a normal label and apply the label to all students within the group, then use that label as a filter in the manage students page (Select all listed students, then use the bulk action “Send Email to Users”), or in the recipients tab of emails. You can attach specific job postings or events, etc. within the email. 

Manage students filter:


Email filter: 


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