Career Counseling and job search assistance are available by 20-minute walk-in sessions or hour-long appointments.
Dr. Becky Faber
Assistant Director, Education
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Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Managed Credentials
What are Self-Managed Credentials?
Self-Managed Credentials is the name given to the employment file used by people seeking jobs in education. Self-Managed Credentials consist of:
- the applicant's letters of reference. All letters in the file are non-confidential
- a copy of a student teaching evaluation (if recent). If you do not have a copy of your student teaching evaluation and wish to have one, contact the College of Education and Human Sciences at (402) 472-8620.
- a copy of a transcript from each higher education institution attended. You are responsible for contacting any colleges that you have attended to have those transcripts sent to you
Why do I need a credentials file?
Applicants looking for teaching jobs may need a credentials file for potential employers. When school districts have job openings, they will make their hiring decisions based on several aspects of the application process, including the resume, the letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. The letters assembled in the credentials file allow the school district hiring officer to quickly gain information about each applicant rather than having to take the time to make phone calls to each reference listed by each applicant.
When do schools ask for a credentials file?
Schools vary in terms of when they ask for credentials. Some schools will request credentials with initial application information; other schools will wait to ask for credentials until they have narrowed the list of candidates to those whom they wish to interview. Check the job listing carefully to see what the school is requesting in terms of application materials.
Will schools ask for a copy of my teaching certificate with my application materials?
Some schools may. If you wish, you can add a copy of your teaching certificate to your credentials.
Should I make a cover for my Self-Managed Credentials sets?
Yes. With a variety of computer programs available, you should be able to design a personalized cover. It could be very simple: Self-Managed Credentials for Mary Smith. If you do not wish to create your own cover, this site contains a template for a cover sheet.
How do schools receive my Self-Managed Credentials file?
You, as the applicant, are responsible for supplying your credentials to the school system as the school requests them. Any time you decide to apply for teaching jobs, you will need to supply potential education employers with a credentials file. Your application materials should be assembled in this order:
- Letter of Application
- Student Teaching Evaluation (if recent)
Send your materials together in a 9 x 12 manila envelope. Keep a record of when and where you sent your application materials.
Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
You could consider any of the following to write your letters:
- Your current principal/curriculum director/department chair who could talk about your success in the classroom
- A former principal/curriculum director/department chair
- A professor from graduate level coursework
- Your cooperating teacher (if within the last 3-5 years)
- Your supervising teacher (if within the last 3-5 years)
- A teacher (or teachers) from your undergraduate specialized subject area
- A school board member who has direct knowledge of your success as a teacher
- A resident of the community who might have another perspective of your professionalism
- A summer employer who could speak to your value as an employee
Most people generally have 4 to 6 letters in their files. Your letters should not be more than five years old. The quality of the letters should be strong and indicate that you have the skills needed for success in the classroom. I suggest giving each letter-writer a copy of your resume at the time that you ask them to write a letter for you. Give them an idea of what you would like them to emphasize about you in the letter as well as a specific date to return the letter to you. I advise against having former students write letters of recommendation. I generally advise against having parents write letters of recommendation, unless under a special circumstance.
Will schools accept non-confidential letters of recommendation as being as professional as confidential letters of recommendation?
Yes. Nationally, career centers have moved toward non-confidential letters for education employment during the last five years. Career Services adopted this method with students seeking initial certification in 2000 and with education alumni in the spring of 2001. Since then, our office has rarely had an administrator question this policy. At the time that UNL Career Services moved to eliminate education alumni credentials files, letters were sent to all school principals in the state of Nebraska to alert them to this change.
Additional Pertinent Information:
- Applicants should build a strong resume that will be sent with the letter of application (or inquiry). Help with resumes and cover/inquiry letters is available at Career Services, 230 Nebraska Union.
- Access to Husker Hire Link is available for no charge. Be sure to upload your resume onto Husker Hire Link. Husker Hire Link lists teaching jobs both in Nebraska and out of state.
- Check the Career Services web site www.unl.edu/careers for information about Fall Interview Day, Education Recruitment Day and other on-campus interviewing events.
- Go to Career Services for resume critiques, job search counseling, and mock interviews.