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Best practices for maintaining accurate data on Handshake

Explore best practices for importing, managing, and customizing your student and staff data in Handshake.

Accurate data means stronger outcomes with reporting, outreach, and general student engagement. Below, Handshake has compiled a few best practices for keeping your data in Handshake up to date. For a deeper dive into data health, view Handshake’s Access 2022 panel Metrics that matter: How to tell your story with data.

Data sync using the importer

We recommend schools choose a few key people to take the Importer Training course on Handshake Academy and update their student data on a frequent basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) via the importer to ensure accuracy in Handshake. If you’re not sure who is responsible for your team’s data sync, connect with your IT team or reach out to your Relationship Manager.

Automatic sync

The best way to update your student data on a regular cadence is to enable an automatic sync.

Manual sync

If automated sync is not an option, you or your IT team can manually upload data.

Troubleshooting a common error

If you notice that some of your students aren’t being imported because the “email address has been taken” and you have a list of pending students who requested early access, you can resolve this via the importer. Reach out to our Support Team for help with this. Often, you need to run another importer job changing the identifier column to “email-address.”

Visit the Handshake Help Center to explore common Importer error messages, their meanings, and next steps to take.

Key fields for your student import

Complete and accurate student profile information helps ensure your students have a positive experience on Handshake and makes it easier for you to access the data you need for reporting. Additionally, premium employers are able to create segments of students to send recruiting messages to based on experience, location, and other criteria. In these segments, 90% of employers include education level and graduation date, which is populated through your student file imports. If students do not have this information on their profiles, they may not be included in employer outreach and could miss a valuable opportunity. To include this information in your next import, include the following columns:

  • Primary_education:education_level_name
  • Primary_education:end_date

Don’t forget to update via auto-sync or manual means. If you have questions about this process, please reach out to your Relationship Manager.

Transitioning Seniors to Alumni

Transition students to alumni status, add in each new class year by the fall semester and clean up any discrepancies.

Major mapping

Since exact programs and major names can vary from school to school, Handshake uses major groups to help employers avoid confusion when evaluating student qualifications across the network. The process of “major mapping” is often completed by Career Services when their school implements Handshake. However, we also recommend that you review your majors page at least once a year in case any new majors are imported or updated, and to ensure that your students are getting the most out of their time on Handshake and are qualified for 1:1 sessions in virtual fairs.

School settings configuration

Keep your school settings relevant and up to date by checking them periodically with the help of these resources.

Additional reminders and resources

Level the playing field for your students