Job Search Tools

Credentials File Policy Information for Employers

Effective August 15, 2007

The Northern Illinois University Career Services Office has changed from a college-managed credential file system to a self-managed credential system as of August 15, 2007.

This change in practice has been made to better reflect the Career Services philosophy of supporting students as they learn to manage their own career paths. Nationwide, career centers have shifted from “job placement centers” to career development/career management centers. The focus is developmental – selecting majors; then helping students find careers that complement interests, abilities, and desires; and finally developing skills to manage their careers beyond college. Clearly, developing career management skills includes the collection, management, and submission of materials necessary for employment. Self-managing credential files places the job search responsibility and control wholly in the candidate's hands.

Self-managed files are also more responsive and more practical in the era of electronic applications and communications. The candidate can decide what material is sent out to whom, and when it is sent, and eliminate the middle step of contacting the Career Services Office when applying for a position.

Candidates are able to submit all of the requested materials in one envelope. The “one envelope” concept is seen as highly desirable in speeding up the candidate's selection process.

Additionally, there is a cost savings to candidates. Fees for processing credential files are eliminated.

Beginning with the graduating class of December 2007, job candidates will collect their own reference letters and assemble their credential files to submit directly to an employer along with other job application materials. Career Services will provide the forms and offer guidance, but will not keep original copies on file.

Questions about self-managed files may be directed to Career Services at Northern Illinois University, (815) 753-1641 or


*This information is adapted from materials produced by and available in Buena Vista University's Office of Career Services and is used here by permission.