Success Stories

Sonia Ibarra
Marine Bio Research

Self Managed Professional File

The Professional File (sometimes called a Reference File, Credential File, or Placement File) is a collection of letters of recommendation along with a data sheet which credential candidates can use in support of their application for a teaching, counseling or administrative position. The education professions have a long tradition of requesting such information as part of the application process.

In the past, HSU and many other colleges maintained these files for you. This made sense, especially when letters of reference were confidential. Now however, most colleges have phased out this service because references are no longer confidential, and students find it is easier and timelier for students to manage their own professional file.

What goes into a Professional File?

  • A Data Sheet or Resume – We have enclosed a data sheet (pdf) that you may complete that can accompany your letters of reference. Many school districts will accept a resume in lieu of a data sheet.
  • Letters of Recommendation – You should have a minimum of 3, but may request others to use at your discretion.
    • Sources for letters include:
      • Master teachers
      • Student Teaching Field Supervisors
      • Principals, Vice-Principal or Department heads
      • College instructors
      • Previous employers, especially those related to experience you have with children, youth or in teaching capacities
    • Guidelines for Letters:
      • Give letter writers ample time to write your letter
      • Ask references to describe you strengths, giving examples
      • All letters should be on letterhead stationary
      • All letters should be typed, signed, and dated
        Professional File you send out.
  • Other Items – It may be useful to also keep copies of the following, since these are frequently requested with an application for educational employment: Student Teaching Evaluations, Copies of Credential(s), Copies of Transcripts.

Please remember to update documents in your Professional File on a regular basis. Keep the originals in a safe, fireproof location. Use high quality copying materials for duplication and never alter a reference. Keep an accurate record of when and to whom you have sent your file.