VOCA | Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be sent when an employer or school expresses an interest in receiving them. Recommendations should not automatically be sent when you first apply for a position or are making an initial inquiry.
In the fall of 2014 the VOCA Center partnered with Interfolio, an online service to manage letters of recommendation needed for employment and/or admissions to graduate or professional school. Highlights of this service include:
- Complete online management of letters of recommendation
- Online storage of application documents, such as resume, writing samples, cover letters, etc.
A file may be started at any point during your academic career or after graduation. Once a recommendation file is established, you have the security of knowing that copies are easily accessible for employer or professional/graduate school use. The file eliminates the necessity, in future years, of locating people from whom you would like a recommendation.
A reference file account with Interfolio is easy to use, safe, reliable, affordable, flexible and available 24/7. Requests are processed within one business day, with multiple mailing options.
You must have an Interfolio account before sending an official transcript directly from Houghton College to Interfolio. Please see Interfolio's website on how to Request an Official Transcript through Interfolio.
Please note that your official transcript needs to be sent to Interfolio in an official sealed envelope from the Academic Records office. You are not able to directly upload a transcript already in your possession to a Transcript (Official) document slot in Interfolio.
Alumni Who Currently Have Credential Files Established at Houghton
If you established a credential file with the Career Services Office any time prior to the fall of 2014, your credential file will continue to be housed with the VOCA Center and operate in the same manner as it always has.
- You should contact the VOCA Center to make updates, request mailings, make inquiries or update your existing file.
- Your file will remain active with the VOCA Center for 10 years following your last use/update of the file.
- To extend your file beyond that 10 year period, you must contact the VOCA Center before the 10 year period expires and request an extension.
Rather than continue your credential file at Houghton, some of you might find the convenience of managing your file online and having 24/7 availability with the Interfolio system very appealing. This would be especially beneficial if your prepaid mailings have been used and your recommendation letters are getting a little out-of-date. If interested, please contact the VOCA Center to determine the status of your file and to explore this possibility.
Please note that new credential files will not be opened through the VOCA Center for alumni or current students; for new files you may use the Interfolio system.
WRITING RECOMMENDATION LETTERS
Students who set up accounts with Interfolio will request that you either mail or e-mail your letter of recommendation to Interfolio. This is an easy process.
To submit letters electronically, you will need to open a writer's account with Interfolio. You will have the option of uploading your confidential letter of recommendation online or mailing it to the application address. Your free Interfolio writer's account gives you access to all documents that you have uploaded, so you can check on their status or easily make updates.
Here are a few sites with tips on how to write a letter of recommendation.