What are Credential Files?
Credential Files are established by education majors and others in order to seek employment or admittance to graduate school. The files include personal data (resumes), letters of recommendation, transcripts, and additional documents. The files are sent, upon request, to employers (i.e., district personnel offices) when candidates are applying for teaching positions. Every education major desiring a teaching contract needs to create a credential file. There are two ways to accomplish this:
What is Interfolio.com?
- Contracting with Interfolio.com (recommended by registering here) or
- Self-managing the file (acquiring letters of recommendation and mailing them to employers independently). Employers oftentimes mistrust documents that are solely in the hands of the applicant, so consider your decision carefully.
William Jewell College has formed a partnership with a credentials management service, Interfolio.com, in order to offer you more efficient and effective ways of managing your credential file. This partnership offers you online access to your credentials data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here’s what you can expect:
What is the cost?
- 24 hour availability to view list of file contents, to make mailing requests and to view mailing history. Recommenders may also electronically submit and update letters – all via an easy to use and secure web site.
- Quick turnaround on mailing requests – 1 business day processing with no added rush fee, multiple mailing options including priority mail and fax. Instantaneous, electronic delivery is also available if the receiving institution has an account with Interfolio.com. This option costs the file holder only $4 per delivery.
- Flexibility – credit card payments are accepted, files may contain documents other than recommendation letters (writing samples, articles, unofficial transcripts, etc.), file holders may self-manage the file content while still maintaining confidentiality, files may contain both confidential and nonconfidential letters, and on-line storage options are offered for 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year renewable contracts.
- Reliability – this sophisticated technology reduces the risk of human error, provides a web site that offers security and privacy with an instant back up of data, and all inactive files are stored electronically for 20 years from the date of last use.
When you register with Interfolio.com, you will select 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year activation options. The cost for one year is $19, the cost for three years is $39.90, and five years is $57. There is also a minimal per mailing charge each time your file is mailed ($4 if electronic, $6 if regular mail – see the website for faster delivery options).
What is the difference between Confidential and Non-Confidential Credential Files?
Interfolio gives you the choice to select between confidential and non-confidential letters of recommendation. In keeping with the Federal Regulations concerning the Rights and Privacy of Parents and Students, you need to know that you have the right to view your credential file unless you choose to waive this right. The law, passed in 1975 and subsequently amended, affects many student data files and allows you to challenge or correct the information, if necessary. However, in the case of employment, you are given the opportunity to waive this right since employers often put little stock in
recommendations that they suspect have been “weeded” or written with candidates’ intent to view them. Therefore, you have a choice – you may choose to exercise your right to view one or more letters (non-confidential letters) or waive your right to look at the letters in your credential file (confidential letters). Both the recommender and prospective employer must be cognizant of your choice.
Who makes a good reference?
Good reference choices are those who can best evaluate you professionally (cooperating teachers, supervisors of student teaching, building principals, professors,
and employers). Avoid using personal or character references, relatives and friends. Feel free to ask your reference if he/she knows you well enough to write you a good
letter of recommendation. Four to six recommendations are sufficient. Remember to weed out old references down the road.How do I start a file?
To start your credential file, go on to the Career Services website: http://www.jewell.edu/career/
and click on Interfolio. Review Interfolio’s File Holder's Help Center at https://www.interfolio.com/help
/ to give you detailed instructions once you have set up an account with Interfolio. You should also register with Career Services to activate your eRecruiting account – this will allow you to search for jobs and employers as well as to post your resume in one or more web resume books.