Managing Your Credential File
· Identify individuals who can vouch for your special qualifications as a teacher. Obvious choices include your cooperating teacher, practicum supervisor, education faculty members, as well as other professionals who can attest to your teaching abilities. For those who have some teaching experience, a co-worker within a school district would be an appropriate choice. Two to three letters of reference are generally considered to be enough. Often employers have so many applicants for one position that they do not have time to review more than a few references.
· Ask your prospective reference if they are comfortable providing a positive reference/letter of recommendation on your behalf and give them a timeline to return it to you. They should be made aware that you will have access to the letter they write.
· Make arrangements to obtain the original letters of recommendation from your reference well in advance of anticipated advertisements. Late fall semester or early spring semester are good times to begin collecting references you haven’t already obtained.
· Send thank you notes to your references.
· Keep original references in a safe place and develop an organized system for tracking the positions for which you are applying.
· Create a professional cover page with your name and the words “Credential File of” or “Letters of Recommendation for.”
· Make copies of original references and the cover page to submit with your application when requested.
· It is best to maintain letters of reference that are within 2-3 years old. Replace outdated letters with current references.
Contact the Career Services Center at 385-6375 with questions about maintaining and using your credential file.