A credentials file from a college or university is the most professional way for graduates to send their references when applying to graduate school or for a job. Instead of asking a particular person to write a reference for you every time you need one, you ask them to fill out the forms once, and they are placed on file in the Center for Career Development. They will be duplicated and sent in booklet form when requested by a graduate school or prospective employer.
Note: We do not send credentials files to students, alumni, or employment agencies.
All graduating seniors and graduate students should have one.
In order to open a file you must fill out and sign the registration form and submit this with a copy of your résumé to the Career Development office. The reference forms, confidential letter of reference and non-confidential letter of reference, go to faculty members of your choice, with at least one going to someone in your major department. Please see the explanation of letters of reference section below for a fuller discussion of the meaning of confidential versus non-confidential references. You should choose three professional references. Our experience indicates that this is an appropriate number. We also suggest that you give a copy of your résumé along with the reference form to each of your references to assist them. The employer reference form is for former employers, supervising teachers or internship/co-op supervisors. This form contains instructions asking the employer to use one of the reference forms supplied by you. Give them a stamped envelope addressed as follows:
Center for Career Development
Manhattan College Pkwy.
Riverdale, NY 10471
Attn: Credentials File
This usually helps ensure a response. However, you will sometimes have to follow up with a reminder to the person writing the reference.
The repository file is a free service and the first five files are sent free of charge. There is a $2 charge for each file you request after the five. Your file will be kept at Manhattan College for 10 years, and can be used at any time after you graduate. If your file is inactive for a period of 10 consecutive years, it will be destroyed, unless you instruct us otherwise.
The last piece of information on your résumé may read: References available upon request. If a potential employer requests letters of reference from you, you must submit a signed request form to the Career Services office that includes the name and address of the person/s to whom you would like your credentials file sent. We will then send out the file per your instructions. We will not mail your credentials file to anyone unless you personally instruct us to do so.
In accordance with federal legislation, candidates may incorporate in their credentials files letters of reference, which are either confidential or non-confidential. The candidate will decide which type of letter to request from the writer.
Confidential letters are submitted by the writer with the understanding that their contents will not be shared with the candidate. The candidates will acknowledge the confidentiality of the letter by signing a statement waiving his or her right to see the letter. The fact will be noted on all copies of confidential letters sent to prospective employers or graduate school admissions offices.
Non-confidential letters are written with the understanding that the letter will be shared with the candidate upon his or her request. This fact will be noted on all copies of the letter sent to prospective employers or graduate school admissions offices.
Note: A candidate may instruct our office to remove any reference letter from his or her credentials file as long as three active letters remain. Request to retire a reference letter to the inactive portion of the credentials file must be in writing.
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Undergraduate students who are interested in attending graduate school can get assistance from the Center for Graduate School and Fellowship Advisement.