posted this on August 21, 2012 02:24 pm
In order for Interfolio to guarantee that your letter of recommendation was provided directly from the letter writer, we ask that applicants create an Interfolio letter request for each letter they wish to have upload to their account. You can request confidential or non-confidential letters of recommendation, and each request you create will create an empty placeholder in your account, which will remain empty until your letter writer uploads the document.
How to Request Letters
From the Dashboard, click Request a Letter.
You'll notice that the document type is automatically filled in as Confidential Letter of Recommendation. If you prefer to request a non-confidential letter, you can select this option from the list. Enter your letter writer's information - if they already have an Interfolio account, their account information will automatically populate.
Next, select the option to email your request to your letter writer, or to download a PDF of the request form which you can print and provide to them. Your letter writers have two options to upload your recommendation to Interfolio. Please be assured that both of these options are clearly laid out in the request form that you send via email, or print out and deliver them:
One option requires your letter writer to create a free letter writer account which they can use to submit the letter electronically.
Alternatively, your letter writer can print the Interfolio request form and send it along with your letter to our address in Washington, D.C. Once it arrives, it will be uploaded to your account within 1-3 business days.
An example of the request form from the above example can be downloaded following the end of this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I read my confidential letters?
No. If you requested a confidential letter, you’ve waived your rights to view the letter and therefore cannot access it under any circumstances. We will notify you as soon as a new letter of recommendation is received in your account. While you can see basic information (document size), you will not be able to view its contents.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Interfolio maintains the confidentiality of all closed letters of recommendation our file holders store with us. We follow strict guidelines for receiving and mailing all closed letters of recommendation to ensure that confidential documents stay that way.
Can I upload my own copy of a letter of recommendation?
We reserve the Confidential Letter of Recommendation and Non-Confidential Letter of Recommendation document types for letters submitted to Interfolio by the letter writer.
If you have a copy of a letter of recommendation and wish to add it to your account, you can upload it as a non-confidential document, using the document type Other Document. Check out our help article "Adding Documents to your Account" for information about uploading your own documents.
Can I switch a confidential letter to non-confidential?
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Interfolio cannot release the contents of confidential documents to our members.
My letter writer didn't receive my letter request. Can I resend it?
Absolutely - but first, we recommend that your letter writer check their “spam” folder - occasionally our email will be detected as spam.
If you would like to send your writers a reminder and/or resend a request, you can resend the request form as an email attachment from your personal email. To do this, just follow these steps:
1. Log in to your Interfolio account and navigate to your Documents list. 2. Locate the Document Request you want to resend, and hover your mouse over "Request Again." 3. Select the option "Save as PDF." 4. Save the PDF file to your computer. 5. Send your writer an email from your email program and attach the PDF Request Form to the email.
All of the information that the writer needs to upload your letter is in the document you’ve attached.
I want to request more than 1 custom letter from the same writer. How can I do this?
If you wish to have the same writer upload multiple versions of letters for you, you should create a separate request for each letter. If you’re requesting confidential letters, be sure to use one of these methods to help you differentiate between the letters (since you cannot view them once they're uploaded).
1. Unique Document Titles: Use a unique document title for each letter. The document title is visible to receiving institutions and is visible to you during delivery creation, allowing you to easily distinguish between the two letters, as long as you don't mind sharing the unique document title with receiver of the letter. For example, one letter could be titled “Recommendation from Dr. Max for Med School”, and the other “Recommendation from Dr. Max for Fellowships.” Keep in mind, these titles will appear on your delivery coversheet.
2. Tags: You can also use document tags, which are only visible to you (this is very useful if you prefer to keep the titles of your letters identical.
Document tags can be applied by going to your Manage Documents list, clicking on the document title (which brings you to the Document Details page), and then entering a Tag on the right side of the page.
You can tag a document however you like. You can use multiple tags on a single document (for instance, I could tag a letter as both “Fellowships” and “JobApplications.) Tags are visible from the Manage Documents page, allowing you to sort documents by tag, view documents with a specific tag, and even create deliveries of documents with the same tag.