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Send and Manage Letter of Recommendation Requests

Requesting letters of recommendation through Interfolio allows the user to use the same letter for multiple applications. This article will go through the process of how to use Dossier to request a letter of recommendation (LOR). 


If you are a Letter Writer, check out this article on how to Submit a Letter of Recommendation.


Dossier users cannot upload confidential letters of recommendation for themselves. They also cannot view the content of a confidential letter of recommendation that has been submitted for them.


Request a Letter 

1. Request a Letter from Within an Application or from Your Personal Dossier Account

When applying for a position that requires letters of recommendation, you have two options for initiating requests: directly through the application or via the Letters section of your Dossier account. If you request a letter through the application, once the letter writer submits their recommendation, it will automatically be attached to your application and stored in your Dossier account. However, if you request a letter through the Letters section of your Dossier account, the completed letter will be added to your Dossier Materials but won't automatically attach to a specific application. You'll need to manually attach it to an application as needed.


Request from within an application

  1. Within the application, select Add File next to the confidential letter of recommendation section.
  2. Select the tab Request a Recommendation. Then click the +Request button.

Request from Letters page

  1. Click Letters on the left-hand menu.
  2. Click the Request a Letter button in the upper right-hand corner.

2. Fill Out Recommendation Information

1. Select the Request Method; email or printed form. 

Method What To Do
Printed Form You will need to send the cover sheet to your letter writer. The letter writer must include the cover sheet when mailing the letter to Interfolio.

Select a letter writer from your list of contacts or select the Add New Contact tab to fill out the letter writer's information.

If you are not sure if a name is in your contacts when making a request, start typing, and if the name appears select it.


When requesting a confidential document, it is important to acknowledge that all rights of access to the letter being requested are being waived. The requester has access to attach the letter to applications, but will never be able to view the contents of the letter.


2. Choose a Recommender from the dropdown list of contacts, or click on the Add New Contact tab to enter the information for a new letter writer.

3. Enter the Document Title.

4. Select the checkbox to indicate that this request is for a confidential letter or evaluation.

When requesting a confidential document, it is important to acknowledge that all rights of access to the letter being requested are being waived. The requester has access to attach the letter to applications, but will never be able to view the contents of the letter.


5. Enter the Information for Your Recommender including a due date, description, message to the recommender, and supporting materials.

If a due date is assigned on a request, referees will receive up to two reminders (7 days and 1 day before the letter is due.) If a due date is not assigned, reminders will not be sent. The due date does not prevent a referee from uploading their letter after that date has passed.


6. Click the Preview Request button adjacent to the Message To Recommender section to see how the message will look to the recommenders.

7. Scroll to the bottom and click the Send Request button when finished.


Manage Letter Requests

Once a request has been sent it will automatically be listed on your Materials and Letters page. You can check the status of the request, resend the request, edit the title of the letter, and attach the request or the letter to any future applications. 


Review and Check Status of Your Request

  1. Click Letters on the navigation menu.
  2. The status of the request will be shown in the Status column
    1.  Requested: The request has been sent
    2.  Pending: The request has been sent and accepted by the letter writer but they have not yet uploaded a letter.
    3.  Completed: The letter writer has uploaded the letter.
  3. Click View Details adjacent to the desired letter to see information on the request.
    View Details button selected under the Actions column
  4. Select the History tab to see a record of activity about the letter and request.

Confidential letters will not appear in the reader, but a message will appear that says the document is confidential along with the details and history of the document.


Resend Request

If problems arise with an emailed request, it is recommended to ask the letter writer to check the spam folder of their email inbox.

  1. Click Letters on the navigation menu.
    Letters selected on the navigation menu
  2. To Resend by email: Click Re-send Request under the Actions column on the right-hand side.
    Re-send Request button selected under the Actions column
    - Click Ok to confirm a request. The original letter request will be sent to the letter writer with a link to submit their LOR.

    Make sure the letter writer checks their spam folder. To ensure delivery, the letter writer can add to their contacts.

  3. To resend by mail: Click View Details adjacent to the desired letter.
    View Details button selected under the Actions column
    1. Click Download Cover Sheet.
    2. Print the downloaded document request form and send it to the letter writer.

Edit Title

  1. Click Materials on the navigation menu.
    Materials selected from the Home navigation menu
  2. Click the Title of the desired LOR.
  3. Make desired changes to the Title field.
    Title field

Cancel / Delete Request

A pending or completed request can only be canceled or deleted if it has not been added to an application or used in a delivery. If it has been attached to a position and the position is still open and the institution allows you to edit the application, you can remove the request from the application and then delete the letter or request.



Can I edit a letter of recommendation request or change the letter writer's email after it has been sent?

Once a letter request has been sent, the only edit that can be made is the title of the letter. Otherwise you will have to Cancel and Resend the LOR Request.


If a submitted letter has a mistake, how can I resubmit a corrected letter?


What does the “due date” on the request do?

How do I change the due date I assigned for a letter of recommendation request?

When dossier users send letter of recommendation requests, they have the option to indicate a due date for the letter. This date is aesthetic and will not prevent the letter writer from uploading a letter after that date has passed. Unless the request has been canceled, letter writers can upload letters at any time. We recommend that you reach out to your letter writer directly to communicate if there is an extension for their letter. 


Does the letter need to be signed?

Interfolio does not require a writer to submit their recommendation with a signature. However, admissions offices and hiring committees may require letters with a signature. Interfolio will notify the requester and letter writer if a letter does not have letterhead, or signature, or is missing some other features. 

Check out this article About Quality Check Interface and Notifications for more information about the QC process.


Please let the letter writer know if the opportunity for the application requires a digital signature for electronically submitted letters of recommendation. It is recommended to include the request for a signature in the message sent to the recommender during the process of requesting a letter of recommendation. The letter writer can sign the document using a digital signature program or service. Alternatively, they can scan and upload a hand-signed letter, or mail us a signed copy of the letter.


Are letter writers notified when their letters are used for an application?

Neither the letter writer nor the employers are notified if the letter is used.


Can I submit an application with a pending letter request?

Yes. An application can be submitted once the necessary information to request the letter of recommendation has been provided. The application will be marked as Complete, pending letters until the letter writer has submitted their letter of recommendation.


Why did my letter writer's email update after I sent the request?

If a letter writer has an account with more than one email, the requests will go to their primary email address listed in their Dossier account.


Can I view my letters of recommendation?

If the request was for a confidential letter of recommendation, no, the requester will never be able to see the content of the letter. If the request is for a non-confidential letter of recommendation, you can view the letter from the Materials page by selecting the title of the letter. 


How long does Interfolio save my letters of recommendation?

Interfolio will never delete your letters of recommendation, regardless of your subscription type. If you're having trouble finding a letter, check your archived materials by navigating to Materials > View Archived Materials.



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