September 13, 2018
Best practices for your Dossier: contacts, archiving, collections, and sharing
Topics in Higher Education | Interfolio's Dossier
This post continues our deep dive into our Dossier product, teasing out and sharing the best practices from our Scholar Services team. Interested in learning more about Dossier and how it can help you craft your career? Visit www.interfolio.com/dossier.
Add your contacts before requesting letters of recommendation.
We recently made several changes to the process of requesting letters to make it easier, including saving your letter writers as contacts within your account. You will now need to add your letter writers as contacts—which you can do either via the new “My Contacts” page, or in the process of creating a new letter request.
To add a contact to your Dossier, log in and then click on your name in the top right hand corner of your account. Click My Contacts, and then the “Add Contact” button.
We suggest saving your letter writers in your account before you start working on applications. Saving all your letter writers prior to requesting a letter will streamline your process. We also encourage you to communicate with your letter writers ahead of time so they expect your request.
Looking for guidance on how to request a letter of recommendation? This blog post outlines a few best practices. Some things you should consider communicating to your letter writer are:
- The number of requests you plan to send
- Any requirements for the actual letter, like if you need letterhead or signature
- If you want the letter to be a general letter for multiple use, or specific to one application.
Looking for step-by-step instructions? Here is a detailed walkthrough of how to add your letter writers as contacts.
Make use of the ability to archive your materials.
For any document in your account, you have the ability to archive it. Archiving is different than deleting a document—archiving simply removes it from the list of active documents. When you create a delivery or work on an application, you only see a list of active materials.
Why is this helpful? If you find yourself with a multitude of documents in your Dossier, consider archiving older versions. If you ever archive a document and want to use it in the future, you can always move it back to your list of active documents.
You can find some helpful articles about archiving and storing your materials here.
Organize your materials using collections.
Creating a collection allows you to group documents together for easy reference. For example, if you have a set of documents that you want to use for applying to faculty positions, you can create a “Faculty” collection and it will contain the documents specific to that position. Likewise, if you have a set of documents that’s better suited for fellowship applications, you can create a “Fellowship” collection to access when applying to those opportunities. You can also share collections of your materials with collaborators and mentors, anywhere.
You can find a walkthrough of creating a collection here.
Use the sharing feature to get feedback on your Dossier.
(Note that this feature is only available to Dossier Deliver users. Upgrade to Dossier Deliver here.)
The sharing feature gives users a way to collect feedback on academic materials from anyone, anywhere—including documentation of research, creative production, teaching, or service—without leaving the Interfolio environment where your work is stored. And it accommodates ongoing input on academic case materials, whether outside of an formal institutional workflow or as part of one, such as in the case of a mentoring letter.
In order to share materials with someone, you’ll need to add them as a contact, just like you have done for your letter writers. When you share a document with someone, they do not have to create an account. They’ll be provided with a link that goes directly to the materials you shared with them.
Here are some more details on sharing your materials for feedback.
Interfolio’s Dossier enables scholars to collect, curate, polish and send out their materials at all stages throughout their academic professional path. Learn more about Dossier here.