What is a Credential File?

Credential Files are a place to store letters of reference and other career related materials. A complete file consists of (1) a current resume (2) a transcript (3) 3 or more references or letters of recommendation.

Who needs a Credential File?

Credential Files are primarily used by education majors applying for a job or to graduate school. Please keep in mind that the contents of your file will be seen by prospective employers; therefore, the quality of your presentation is important. Type the information as clearly and neatly as possible.

Are there any fees associated with a Credential File? There is a $5.00 charge for each file sent to cover the cost of processing, copying, and mailing your materials. (This is not waived and applies to the first file you send). We require payment at the time of your order by check or cash only.

Should I start a confidential (closed) or non-confidential (open) file?

In accordance with the U.S. Public Law 93-380, you may choose to establish a confidential (closed) or non-confidential (open) placement file. If you establish a closed file, our office cannot allow you to read the letters of reference in your file. (However, your letter writer is free to show you the letter they write.) With an open file, you can read all of the letters in your file. Employers and graduate schools prefer to have closed (confidential) files.

How many reference letters should I have in my file?

Career Services recommends a minimum of three letters. You can have a maximum of ten letters in your file at any given time. You have the option to add or remove letters from your file at any time.

Who should I ask for letters of reference?

First, ask yourself who will be receiving your file – school district, graduate school, other. Then, ask people who can comment on the knowledge, skills, and experience you can bring to that setting. (Note: For beginning teachers, two letters are critical to your file – one from (1) your student teaching supervisor and (2) your master/cooperating teacher.

How do I use my Credential File?

When an employer or graduate school asks you to provide your Credential File or letters of reference, you will need to contact our office and ask to have your file sent.

How long will you keep my file?

The Office of Career Services will keep your Credential file for a period of 5 years after the date you set it up.

What if I have a question you haven’t answered here?

Feel free to contact the Office of Career Services at 770-534-6265.