Recommendation letters critically inform many academic evaluation scenarios, including admissions, funding, hiring, tenure, and promotion. But challenges arise around the request and management of letters of recommendation, which are traditionally kept confidential from their subjects.
How can professors and mentors provide strong support for students’ and colleagues’ careers without having to struggle with the existing challenges around volume, transmission, and confidentiality?
Simplify letter submission and easily access past letters
The contemporary academic job market is notoriously crowded, and many scholars are applying for dozens of positions. How can a letter writer provide support in a way that doesn’t eat up all of their time and energy?
When students and letter writers use Interfolio’s Dossier, letter writers can submit each letter once and students can be empowered to direct where it is sent. Both a record of the request and the letter itself will be stored in their Dossier. From there, Interfolio serves as the warehouse and post office.
Letter writers can access a record of their past requested and submitted letters, download copies of letters that have been submitted, and replace them with updated versions for the same person.
Confidently maintain confidentiality
Committees filling academic positions as well as health professional schools usually ask for confidential evaluations—which historically has meant the letter writer must submit letters directly to the application holder.
When a letter writer submits a confidential letter via Dossier, it will be stored in the requester’s account—but Interfolio will maintain the confidentiality of that letter at all times. The person who requested it can see certain details about the request or document, but cannot open or view the contents of the file itself.
In addition, Interfolio verifies all destination addresses of all letters to ensure that it is appropriate to send confidential materials about that person to that destination.
Departments and career centers seeking logistical assistance
On the larger scale, storing and sending out confidential letters is a task that many institutions handle for their students (especially graduating doctoral students) who are about to go on the job market. It’s a logistical challenge for which academic organizations may not have the resources or structure.
By providing Interfolio’s Dossier Deliver to all their students, a department or career center can relieve itself of the increasingly busy burden of collecting, verifying, and transferring confidential letters for students.
Learn more about Dossier, Interfolio’s product for managing confidential letters, organizing scholarly materials, and sending deliveries to academic opportunities.