The University of Virginia optimizes Handshake labels usage

Find out how the University of Virginia leverages the power of Handshake labels to simplify workflows and drive student engagement

Handshake labels are one of the most versatile tools in the system, allowing you to tag, classify, organize, and report on data stored in the platform. As part of the Handshake Access Summer Series, Nathan Hunsaker, Associate Director of Technology and Data at the University of Virginia Career Center, led a session to share his best practices for using Handshake labels. We highly recommend reviewing Nathan’s full presentation and Q&A through this video recording. Below, we’ll share a few highlights.

Establish a Handshake label nomenclature

UVA’s career services span multiple offices, all needing to use labels on their own. Nathan and the UVA team established a label nomenclature so that each label’s purpose can be understood across different working groups. For instance, any given label name would indicate the category (e.g. student, jobs, events), the specified program or population (e.g. “summer scholars”), and a time period (e.g. June 2020). Additionally, since labels can be sorted alphabetically, a label nomenclature has the added benefit of making it easier to search for and find individual labels.

Nathan recommends assigning label creation permissions deliberately. Each of UVA’s distributed career offices has 1-2 people responsible for label creation. The entire group holds a review session frequently to perform a system-wide label audit and update best practices.

Use the importer tool to facilitate label creation

The UVA team uses the Handshake Importer Tool to bulk apply labels onto data. For example, to apply a label to a group of students, they simply upload a CSV file with each student’s identifier and the desired label information. Being able to assign labels quickly enables the UVA team to more effectively segment groups for targeted outreach and programming. Review this Help Center article for how to import labels into Handshake.

“Using the Importer Tool to facilitate label application will revolutionize how you use Handshake.” 

Nathan Hunsaker, University of Virginia

Use Handshake labels to assess the success of your outreach

In a time when career services must rely on remote engagement, the UVA team utilizes labels even more heavily to create more precisely targeted student outreach. A handy technique is to use labels to establish a cohort of similar students (e.g. second-years who have not yet scheduled an appointment with the career center). A marketing campaign specifically tailored to that group is sent through the Handshake email tool. The team then reviews how the results for that group compare to those of the general student body. Creative label usage allows the UVA team to continuously improve upon outreach methods and drive greater student engagement.

“Labels are one of the most powerful tools that exist in Handshake. There is a learning curve, but they are very powerful in supporting the work of career services.”

Nathan Hunsaker, University of Virginia

Check out Nathan’s full presentation for more tips and tricks, example use cases, and Q&A!