Reference (Credential) Files
Beginning in July, 2010, the Career Center started a transition which culminated with our office no longer actively managing the reference (credential) file process. The transition process was completed in August 2011. We will continue to provide counseling and guidance on how to obtain reference letters and prepare effective graduate school, internship and employment applications.
Carleton students and alumni will still be able to collect and manage their letters of recommendation via the Career Center’s partnership with Interfolio, Inc. Interfolio offers credential file holders and recommendation writers a comprehensive online service which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Recommendation letter writers can submit confidential or non-confidential letters directly to your Interfolio account at no charge.
NOTE: Applicants to law school should have their recommenders send their letters of recommendation directly to LSAC’s Credentials Assembly Service (CAS). Learn more about this service.
Why start A Reference/Credential File?
A reference file is an easy place for you to keep track of reference letters people write for you. Reference or recommendation letters can be used for graduate school, employment, and internship applications.
How to get started?
We suggest that you identify three to four people to write letters of reference on your behalf. The writers should know you well and be able to positively speak to your character, work traits, abilities and accomplishments. Ask professors who know your abilities as a student as well as employers who know you in an internship or work setting. Allow them the opportunity to refuse if they are not comfortable recommending you. And, be sure to request references well in advance (a minimum of two weeks) of needing them.
How Do I Set Up A File?
For current students, the Career Center will cover the cost of an Interfolio account for one year ($19). To create an account with the fee waiver, please contact the Career Center (Ext. 4293) for a special Carleton only link to set up your Interfolio account. If you have a paper file in the Career Center and wish to transfer existing letters to your new Interfolio account, please fill out the “Interfolio Transfer Request Form” located in the upper right hand corner of this page.
To Create an Account with Interfolio: Follow this link.
Faculty and other letter writers may establish a free writer's account at Interfolio, which enables direct uploading of documents. Some of the benefits include:
Quickly and easily upload letters. Electronically uploading a file to our system is the fastest and safest way to submit a document to Interfolio on behalf of your students. It is immediately available for the student to use in the application process. This saves time and limits anxiety as deadlines approach!
Retain access to uploaded documents. You will never again have to rummage through your papers to retrieve an old letter of recommendation. Your writer's account enables you to have access to all documents you have uploaded into our system. Original documents may be easily retrieved so that you can edit and update them.
Increased fraud protection. As a security precaution, Interfolio does not receive documents via e-mail, nor do we allow unknown individuals to directly upload documents. By requiring you to set up a writer's account before sending us a document electronically, we can verify your identity, thereby reducing the fraudulent submission of letters of recommendation.
Convenience. Though the benefits of a writer's account are numerous, it is an optional service. With a writer's account, you can electronically upload documents to Interfolio's safe and secure system. If you choose not to create a writer's account, you can still mail or fax letters to Interfolio.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my file be maintained by Interfolio?
Once you have opened an account and uploaded documents to Interfolio, they are kept in an electronic database for as long as your account is active and at least 5 years beyond the expiration of your subscription. Once the account expires, you can purchase additional years of activity and can reactivate a dormant account years after the last file activity.
Is there an accompanying charge for Interfolio’s service?
Yes, there is a fee to subscribe to Interfolio. Charges are $19.00/year, $39.90/3 years or $57.00/5 years, with a variety of delivery options. Learn more about features and pricing.
What if I don’t want to use this service?
If you no longer have a need for your reference file, or do not want your file managed by Interfolio, you may close your confidential reference file and have the contents destroyed by contacting the Career Center. Please note that you may always contact professors and reference writers and ask them to send individual reference letters directly to the institutions that you specify. You may also choose to obtain non-confidential letters and personally manage those documents.