First, take our advice
Read this advice from The Hale Center for Career Development on Guidelines for Requesting Recommendation Letters.
Non-confidential letters can be held by you and given to requesters as needed.
Confidential letters EITHER go directly from the recommender to the receiving organization or can be collected and self-managed through a third-party system (such as Interfolio - see below). Typically, graduate and professional schools and fellowships require confidential letters.
Next, RESEARCH the programs to which you will be applying
For each program to which you are applying, carefully read the recommendation letter directions to find out whether the letters should be sent directly from the writer to the institution, program or centralized service and/or if they can be submitted via a third-party system.
Not exactly sure when you will make applications? Want to get started collecting confidential letters? Use INTERFOLIO.
Interfolio Dossier is a third-party recommendation management site where you may solicit letters from recommenders and store and manage letters indefinitely for future use.
If you intend to apply for opportunities that require confidential letters but there will be a gap in your schooling, seriously consider this option. Have a discussion with your recommenders, and get their thoughts on the timing of the letter. Ask them whether they would prefer to wait, or to write while their connection to you is current. Letter writers can easily refresh recommendations through Interfolio.
Opening an Interfolio Dossier has no initial cost. You can request confidential letters through the system and they will be held indefinitely. When you need to send confidential letters and packets to support applications, you will upgrade to a yearly flat fee Interfolio Dossier Deliver account.
Interviewing with the college’s Health Professions Advisory Committee?
Students and alumni who intend to interview with the college’s Health Professions Advisory Committee must have an Interfolio Dossier and collect letters through that system. Please discuss the timing of upgrading to Interfolio Dossier Deliver with your pre-health adviser.
Does one of your writers need to send a letter directly to the Hale Center for Career Development?
If your letter writer needs or wants to send a paper or digital copy of a confidential letter to the Hale Center for Career Development:
- Provide the recommender with a signed paper-based request that waives your right to view the contents of the document. (Connecticut College Letter of Recommendation Request Form ?). You can present this form to the recommender in person OR print, sign, scan and email the form. The writer sends the letter to the The Hale Center for Career Development as directed on the form. We will digitize and add the letter to your Interfolio Dossier.
Pre-Professional: Pre-Health, Pre-Law, Pre-Business
Pre-health students and alumni applying to medical, dental or veterinary schools need an Interfolio Dossier to collect letters for the Health Professions Advisory Committee interview. Following the committee interview, the pre-health adviser produces a comprehensive letter of recommendation required by these programs.
Please reference the internal Moodle: Pre-Health Advising site for details and research your programs and centralized application services for their specific requirements. If you have any questions you may contact the pre-health advisers, by emailing Page Owen or Lori Balantic.
If you are pre-law, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) offers a letter of recommendation service through its Credential Assembly Service (CAS) that you must use. This service provides you with a "recommender form" that you must provide to your letter writer. Please visit the LSAC website for more information on its letter of recommendation service. Contact Cheryl Banker, firstname.lastname@example.org, pre-law adviser, with questions.
Pre-business students should research their programs of interest and contact Cheryl Banker, email@example.com, pre-business adviser, with questions.
If you have questions for the Hale Center for Career Development about letters of recommendation, call us at 860-439-2770.