Instructions For Credentials Files

One of the services Career and Professional Development (CPD) offers students and alumnae/i is maintaining a file of letters of recommendation for employment or application to graduate school.  At your written request, Career and Professional Development will forward copies of these letters to graduate schools or employers.

Open a File

  1. Credentials files are opened and serviced only through your degree granting institution.
  2. Sign a "Credential Release Form" and leave it with CPD.  This opens your file.

Obtain References

  1.   CPD will provide a "Letter of Reference" form for you to offer to each potential reference writer.  Each form should indicate whether or not the specific letter of reference is to be confidential and should be signed by you before being given to the writer.  You may choose to have confidential and non-confidential letters in your file.
  2. A reference writer may write directly on the form or attach the form to a letter written on stationery from his/her Department.  All completed letters of recommendation should be sent directly to Career and Professional Development, Campus Center, Second Floor.
  3.   Several (3 - 5) letters of recommendation should be part of your file.  Ask people who know you well (professors, employers, or others) to write on your behalf.
  4. Personally seek letters of recommendation and discuss the purpose of the letter with the writer (e.g. graduate school, employment).  It may be helpful to provide a resume/vita for the writer.
  5. You are responsible for contacting reference writers and following up on their compliance with your request.  We recommend that you check with CPD within a reasonable amount of time (three weeks) to see if the letter(s) has arrived and is in your file.  

Send References to an Employer or Academic Institution

  • Letters of reference from your file will be copied and sent out only with your written permission.  
  • A “Request for Credentials” form is available in the CPD office and online at:
  • Legible, handwritten requests will also be accepted.  For reasons of confidentiality, letters of recommendation cannot be faxed.
  • Letters for which rights of access have been waived can only be sent directly to the organization identified in the request.  The only exception is when a graduate program requires the applicant to collect and send all application materials in one packet.  At the time of the written request, please provide a copy of the part of the application that states this requirement.
  • The first seven packets of materials mailed at your request are free.  After the first seven mailings, a fee of $3.00 per packet of mailed credentials is charged.  Include a check made payable to “Bryn Mawr College” with your request.