Resources for Alumni from the Center for Careers, Life, and Service

Looking to volunteer with CLS?

Volunteering option with CLS is under our volunteering section. Learn more on the CLS Volunteering page.

How the CLS Can Assist Grinnell College Alumni

Thinking about making a career change and don’t know what to do? Looking for resources? The Center for Careers, Life, and Service is here to help!

For more details on any of the items below, please contact the Center for Careers, Life, and Service at 641-269-3204 or email us at career@grinnell.edu. We look forward to serving you!

  • Career Advising: Still not certain of your professional direction? Switching paths years later? We can talk through your options, explore transferable skills, plan networking strategies, and help you connect with other alumni.
  • Material Review: At any juncture in your career, we can give you feedback on your professional materials, such as résumés, cover letters, personal statements, portfolios, and profiles.
  • Graduate and Professional School Advising: Applying for postgraduate education doesn’t have to be daunting. We can walk you through each step of the selection, preparation, and application stage.
  • Postgraduate Fellowships and Awards: Many awards, including Fulbright Grants and prestigious UK scholarships (Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell), accept applications from recent graduates. As alumni you may work with the CLS on your applications — even those requiring campus nomination or endorsement.
  • FOCUS Career Assessment is a self-paced, online career and education planning tool for use by college students and alumni. It will enable you to self-assess your career-relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with your assessment results. Access Code: pioneers
  • Networking: Grinnell Connect and LinkedIn (search Grinnell College Alumni): Reach out to fellow Grinnellians for support and advice. Share your stories and hear theirs. Every contact can lead to more information, and the key is connecting with people so that you reach the largest possible group in any given field. Grinnell Connect grants you access to the Alumni Online Directory, which lists Grinnell College alumni and the information they want to be made available to other Grinnell College alumni, students, faculty, and staff. The directory is updated and managed by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

Still feel as though you need more assistance? You can also make an appointment to speak with a CLS career counselor. Call 641-269-4940 for appointment information.

Credential Files

What is a credential file?

A credential file is a packet of background information that is sent to a prospective employer when a candidate is applying for a professional position. Files are most frequently established for elementary and secondary school teachers, school administrators, college and university professors, school counselors, speech pathologists, and other school specialty areas. Candidates applying for jobs in business, private industry, or government typically do not establish credential files, but they can do so if they feel it will be beneficial to them.

Why should I open a credential file?

Credential files provide a professional, convenient, dependable aid in the job application process. It is a way to organize and send your information needed for potential employers and graduate schools. It also eliminates the time-consuming process of continuously compiling the necessary documents for various applications. Finally, it allows your information to reach the employer in one complete package.

How do I establish a credential file?

Interfolio — Interfolio, the premier application portfolio management service, is now available to the students and alumni of Grinnell College. Interfolio is the easiest and most affordable way for a student or an alum to send application materials to graduate and professional schools, a prospective teacher to apply for a new position, or a Ph.D. to send academic credentials to a search committee. Interfolio's online system allows you to build an online portfolio — a complete file of all your credentials. Nearly any document can be stored, including, but not limited to confidential letters of recommendation, resumes, curriculum vitae, statements of purpose, writing samples, dissertation abstracts, teaching portfolio documents, supervising teacher evaluations, student and peer evaluations, and transcripts.

What are the benefits of using Interfolio?

Interfolio allows you to build a portfolio of all your important documents. Ask writers for letters of recommendation or add non-confidential documents yourself. Up to 250 MB of storage is included. Interfolio allows you to deliver any document anywhere in the world in one complete, professional package. Whether you're applying for further study or future employment, Interfolio allows you to specify the order in which your materials are packaged so your presentation is powerful and persuasive. Interfolio sends every delivery — paper or electronic — within one business day of your request. If you need to meet a deadline, Interfolio can send express deliveries the same day (as long as you make the request by 2 p.m. EST). With Interfolio's web-based system, you can manage your portfolio whenever and wherever you want. 

Current fees for Interfolio are

  • 1-year account — $19
  • 3-year account (30 percent discount) — $39.90
  • 5-year account (40 percent discount) — $57

How do I create an account?

It takes just two minutes to create an Interfolio account and begin building your portfolio immediately.