No new credential files will be created or maintained by MSU Career Services (August 1, 2006). All new graduates will develop "self-managed" credential files.

Out-of-date references are of little or no value to job seekers in today's job market. Credential files stored by Mayville State University Career Services will be maintained for a minimum of six (6) years. Files which have had no activity for 6 years will be destroyed. June 4, 2010

In keeping with the new policy, all alumni are strongly encouraged to develop their own self-managed file.

Q – Why the "Self-Managed" Credential File?
A – We have researched local, regional and national employer recruiting trends, as well as college/university career services credentials policies. Our findings indicated that the use of self-managed credentials was becoming a common and acceptable practice in the employment process. We learned that significant numbers of colleges and universities have adopted "self-managed" credential file policies as employers of their graduates have no preference for receiving credentials that are either self-managed or managed by a career services/placement office. The common use of technology in the employment process also heavily influenced our development of this policy.

Numerous school districts now require all application materials they receive to be electronic only, and we see growing emphasis on "electronic application materials only," especially in the larger school districts across the U.S. A self-managed credential file (which includes electronic versions of all documents in the file) is well-suited to the electronic application process. To summarize, we think the evidence shows that MSU candidates for employment will be able to conduct their job-application process in a more efficient manner by self-managing their credential/reference file.

Q – What are the recommended components of a self-managed file?
A – The file should include reference statements or letters from former or current employers, reference statements from faculty and a copy of your unofficial transcript(s). We recommend that written references not be more than five years old, but please use your own discretion. The file may also include an optional descriptive "cover page" (we can provide you with a template for that). If you have questions or want assistance with your file, just contact us. We will be happy to help you!

Q – Should I create "digital" copies of my file?
A – Yes. As noted earlier, many school districts employ an electronic-only application process, so your self-managed file should include digital as well as paper copies (for backup) of your documents. You may even find that you will only utilize your digital file in your job search, and you may never have an employer request the paper copy.

Q – How do I create "digital" copies of my file?
A – We recommend that you use a quality scanner to scan your original documents and save them in a PDF format. Name each file in a descriptive and consistent way. When you have completed that process, also create one "master" PDF file that includes all of the above files. That way, when you are applying to a position, you would only need to send the master PDF file, along with your resume and letter. Regarding the digital format, a JPG format may also be acceptable.

Q – How should I keep my self-managed file secure?
A – Make a quality "master copy" of your paper originals, and only use that master to make additional copies as needed. Back up all of your digital files to a CD or USB drive. Store that CD or drive and paper originals in a separate and secure location (a safe deposit box would be a good choice).

Q – Do I still have an active credential file at MSU?
A – At this point, it is highly likely your file has been destroyed due to having no activity in 6 years. "Activity" is strictly defined as having MSU Career Services send the file to a prospective employer or graduate school admissions committee. Should your file still exist, though, no new references or transcripts will be allowed to be added to your present file. Only address or name changes will be allowed to be made to your present file. Even if yours is one of the few not destroyed yet, creating a new self-managed file will enhance your job-seeking process. Any type of credential file may "lose value" as it gets older due to out-of-date references, so it is to your benefit to maintain up-to-date references. This is easily accomplished with a self-managed file.

Q – How do I determine if I still have a credential file at MSU Career Services, and where can I receive assistance in creating a self-managed file?
Contact Jay Henrickson, Director, at 800-437-4104, ext. 34899 or (701-788-4899)
or e-mail at