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References and Letters of Recommendation

If you are applying for an entry level professional position, it is very possible that you will be required at some point in your job search to produce “credentials”, “letters of recommendation”, or “references”. Businesses and industries throughout the country now readily accept “self-managed” credentials submitted directly by the applicant.

Advantages of Managing Your Own Credentials

  • Control of your file: what is in it, what goes out to employers and when-you are in charge!
  • Cost: your only cost is for photocopies, envelopes, and postage
  • Comprehensive package: you can mail all of your paperwork (cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. in one comprehensive mailing

Assembling Your Self-Managed Credentials

  • Self-manage your credentials by keeping updated copies of the following suggested items on hand to share with companies or organizations as you apply for jobs:
  • A credentials cover sheet (optional)
  • Standard cover letter/letter of interest. Tailor to specific employer/position as appropriate.
  • Resume
  • Copies of letters of recommendation (usually 3) or reference sheet
  • Copy of unofficial transcript(s) (Do not use the transcript from the BSU website for student access, contact Records)
  • Most companies and organizations will also request that you complete some type of an application form. Check with the individual company or organization for specific guidelines. (Many are already online.)

Covers for Self Managed Credential Files

Download the appropriate cover for your Self Managed File and enter your name and major before printing.

Applying for Entry Level Positions

  • For each position that you apply for, provide employers with an original cover letter and resume.
  • The appearance of your credential documents is as important as your cover letter and resume. Use quality paper and a reliable source for duplicating to ensure copies are visually appealing and easy to read.
  • You may wish to use the cover sheet, on our website, to enhance the appearance of your credential documents.
  • When mailing your credential documents, make sure you know the correct postage required. Additional documents, weight of paper, and type of mailing envelope may impact the postage rate.
  • Neatly assemble your credentials. Do not fold materials. Personalize the mailing to the appropriate hiring contact within the company or organization. Type mailing addresses and return address on the appropriate size envelope or use a computer-generated label.
  • Make sure you send a copy of your resume and cover letter, credentials, unofficial transcript, and application form to each company that you apply to, if they request this upfront.
  • Watch the application deadlines. If you miss the deadline for submitting your materials, you will not be considered.
  • Entry level positions are posted all year round. Make sure you start looking at openings early so you do not miss out on opportunities.
  • Seniors should start their job search 6-9 months prior to graduation.


Career Services recommends that all students, new graduates, and alumni register with the BSUCareers system. This system is an online resume referral and job listing system exclusively available to BSU students, new graduates, and alumni.

Benefits of Being Registered with BSUCareers:

  • Access to additional openings
  • Resumes may be referred to potential employers
  • Register for on-campus interviewing (when appropriate)
  • Register for Job and Career Fairs

Electronic Applications

Some companies or organizations are asking that your documents be submitted electronically. You can easily e-mail your resume and cover letter. However, sending your letters of recommendation and transcript is a bit more difficult.
Once your documents are all gathered, you may scan your letters of recommendation and unofficial transcript and application form to send to the school district. If you do not a have scanner at home, you can to go any Office Max, Kinko’s, or similar office supply store to assist you with scanning your documents onto your jumpdrive or disc. There will be a nominal fee for this service.