Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interfolio Can Do Letters of Recommendation

Frank from Interfolio wrote to me today and asked me to let you know that Interfolio can do letters of recommendation now. He says,

We've also observed that an increasing number of search committees are asking applicants to submit recommendations to a web site (often managed by the HR Dept). I'm writing to let you know that Interfolio can now accommodate web upload requests of specific letters.

This is a new capability and we're trying to get the word out as quickly as possible since we're right in the middle of the application season. There has been a fair amount of frustration this year with the new HR systems and online applications, and both applicants and search committees have reported being overburdened and confused about the right way to submit letters to the web site. The new Interfolio feature streamlines their process significantly, and costs applicants about the same as a regular delivery (starting at $4).


I don't vouch for interfolio, and I don't know how well this will work. Also, it seems pretty pricey. But whatever. I thought I'd pass the message along.

--Mr. Zero

11 comments:

zombie said...

That's awesome. I've been using Interfolio -- it costs the same as my school's dossier service, but it is way more convenient. My school required me to fax or mail all requests (no emails), and prepay with a check. and they only mailed letters of rec -- no uploads, no emails, no faxes. Very inconvenient. Interfolio at least lets me control when and what goes out, and I can pay with a CC.
I have so far only had one school that asked for letters to be uploaded directly by instructors. I emailed them and they very graciously said I could email the letters from Interfolio and they would upload them to the HR site.

Anonymous said...

That's not pricey. My *school* charges me more.

zombie said...

There are some interesting bits on the pitfalls of email applications over at Leiter's blog. Basically, full email boxes that bounce back emails, and apps that get caught in spam filters. :-(

Polacrilex said...

Zombie: I am glad to hear that the school is allowing you to email the letters from Interfolio. The request for instructors to upload letters seems a bit much. I can see the point: you substantially cut down on the number of complete applications that way. However, this is one of those situations that would be very cumbersome if every school decided to go this route. Letter-writers would have to upload individual letters for every job for which one was applying.

diss_or_death said...

Wow - I'm a little shocked to hear that some schools charge to send letters. My school does it for free. Though, I guess that you guys are talking about everything, not just the letters. Still, it only costs about $2 to send an application 1st class, even with a sample of work and teaching portfolio. If you send out a couple of hundred applications over 2 or 3 years, that could be an enormous difference.

Also, a question: if your school sends out your application, do you get to include a tailored cover letter? A couple of years ago, my school did a job search, and some of the school-sent applications either lacked cover letters, or else had stock cover letters ("dear sir or madam" style). That seemed very odd to me.

zombie said...

diss_or_death: my school's career office sends letters, and only letters. Nothing else. For $6 each set, to each address. By mail only. To send a transcript, you have to contact the registrar's office separately. That's $5, as I recall. It was a major hassle for me last year, since I lived an hour from campus, and my letters would get held up while they waited for a check from me.
Everything else was sent out by me. So, the postage added up, and the fees added up quite quickly.
I was shocked to find out some schools do this stuff for their students. And at no cost. I guess that's the difference between going to a Leiterific school and an un-Leiterific, underfunded state school.

Anonymous said...

my school somewhere on the leiter-scale (but by no means leiterrific), has similar practices and similar prices to zombie's. the career office charges $7.50 per pop if you send up to 10 letter packets, $5 each if you send more than 10 at a time. but you have to mail them the request, and mail them the payment. all the rest you send on your own. the department does nothing for you. maybe that's part of why they'll never climb higher than where they are...

Anonymous said...

My Leiterespectable public school recently outsourced their dossier service to Interfolio. So we effectively have to use Interfolio.

The school paid our membership fee (or whatever) for three years and gave us $60 or $90 of mailing credits for the first year. That went quickly. I still spent hundreds of dollars last year on applications, and will probably end up spending between $100-$200 this year. (One advantage of this year's crappy market is that it costs less to get no interviews.)

Polacrilex said...

Does anyone know if the Interfolio service is actually working when it comes to sending letters of rec via email? I've noticed that I am not always receiving an email of confirmation from Interfolio when making this request.

Polacrilex said...

Just some observations to help those of us who are perpetually worried about every detail of sending applications:

I have figured out that Interfolio is actually relatively slow in terms of showing uploaded documents and/or sent items. One recommender uploaded a letter yesterday, but it is still not showing. My guess is that it will be shown as received by Monday... I hope. Also, I have noticed that it takes between 12-24 hours sometimes for emailed packages to be sent (and for the acknowledgment email to be sent to the sender).

Has anyone else noticed any strange little glitches/lags regarding Interfolio?

Anonymous said...

I haven't been receiving any confirmation emails from Interfolio when my documents ship (either by snail mail or email). The shipments do show up on my "dashboard" when I log into Interfolio, though.

The only confirmation emails I get come when I pay for a new order.

The lags in emailing documents is because Interfolio "manually confirms" each email address, whatever that means. It does seem to take about one business day, like they say. I guess they're somehow checking that you're not trying to email your confidential letters of recommendation to yourself. Whatever. Don't try to email anything through Interfolio at the last minute.