How do you ask for a letter of recommendation
You're putting yourself out there, just hoping they like you back enough to say yes! During that meeting, prepare a folder for the professor that includes:. Use the third paragraph as an opportunity to hint at what you'd like the professor to say about you.
These samples, both written and email, include the best ways to phrase your request and how to ask someone to be your reference. Not only will it let your reference giver know that they have helped you, it will also let them know how much you appreciated the job search help.
Search the site GO. Updated February 10, Do's and Don'ts of Asking for a Reference Choose wisely. Email Address Sign Up. There was an error. Always send your writer a thank-you note after you know the letter has been sent out, whether or not you have heard from the school.
Don't wait too long to do this: Letters of recommendation are important parts of the admissions process, and should be treated as such. For some students, these letters will be a crucial element in acceptance, and for other students they can be perfect supplements for a college interview sometimes called an admission interview. Read about writing a letter of recommendation, and letters of recommendation, in the Admissions section of Peterson's College Search. Writing a college letter of recommendation requires considerable effort.
Finding the right person to ask to write the letter could mean the difference between getting in to the college you want. Most undergraduate applications require two or three letters of recommendation.
These letters should come from former or current teachers, employers, or supervisors who are familiar with your work and performance.
Admission interviews are rarely required, but many colleges suggest you take the opportunity to have a face-to-face discussion with a member of the admission staff. Read more about the advantages here. Read actual questions from students about letters of recommendation and college interviews and see answers and advice from college planning and admissions experts.
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Find the school or scholarship that's right for you: While other parts of your application display your grades, activities, and other accomplishments, letters of recommendation can go beyond the resume and help you come to life in the eyes of admissions officers. Recommendation letters can speak to your academic potential, character traits, and personality, as well as about how you've connected with others in the school community over the past few years. Because reference letters have this important function of revealing aspects of your personality and giving insight into your characteryou should choose someone who knows you well and can give specific anecdotes about you.
You might also have learned through word of mouth which teachers write the strongest letters. Sometimes seasoned faculty members have written a lot of letters over the years, and may have established solid reputations with admissions officers at certain colleges.
Some colleges require one teacher recommendation, while others ask for two. Most schools also require a letter of rec from your counselor. This guide will discuss how you can request strong recommendations from both your teachers and your school counselor.
First and foremost, make sure to ask well in advance of your deadlines.Dos and Don'ts for Requesting a Recommendation Letter for Grad School
Don't make your teacher feel like a hamster racing on the wheel of time. The first step in requesting a letter of recommendation involves timing. Even for seasoned teachers and counselors, each individual letter takes time and thought to do well. I recommend asking your recommenders at least a month before your application deadlines.
Letter of Recommendation: How to Ask for It
In some cases, even earlier is better. Some teachers put a cap on how many requests they take. If they have a first come, first served policy, then you should ask even earlier than a month before your deadlines so you don't miss out. A lot of teachers get inundated by the end of the semesterwhen they might be already busy getting exams scored and grades completed, not to mention spending time with friends and family over winter vacation.
Because of this, it's a good idea to ask your recommenders early in the semester, like in September. Junior year teachers are often a good choice, because they had you recently and for a full year whereas your senior year teachers might not know you that well yet. It can also be a good idea to ask your junior year teachers at the end of junior yearwhen you're fresh in their mind from being a student in their class all year also a good idea if you have early decision deadlines.
It gives them an entire summer to work on your letter. Just make sure to politely remind them a few weeks before your deadlines, if they haven't submitted your rec letter by then. Once you've figured out who you're asking and when, how can you frame your request in a positive way?
First, I'll talk about how to ask a teacher and then how to ask your counseloras the process and your relationships with these people is probably a little different. Make your request in person, so you don't end up with a letter like this. How are you going to approach your request? What should you say?
How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation
What information do you need to give your teacher? As long as you've prepared yourself in these three aspects, you're all set to make your request. Let's break each down one at a time. I highly recommend asking for your recommendation face to face. Depending on your teacher's schedule and school culture, it may be appropriate to email your teacher to set up an appointment or meeting. Asking for a letter of recommendation solely over email could be interpreted as impersonal, distant, and less mature, an impression you don't want to make in the mind of a recommender.
I also wouldn't recommend asking during class time, but instead find time during a free period, after school, or whenever the teacher has free time to meet. The request may be short, but you still want to create space in case your teacher wants to further discuss your plans.
While it can feel scary and vulnerable to ask a teacher for this favor, remember that teachers, especially ones that have juniors and seniors, expect this. In fact, it's part of their job description. Likely all of these teachers write letters of recommendation for students every year and want to help you succeed and continue on in your education. Regardless of the format, pass on all the requisite information one time and one time only.
After asking for the recommendation but before it is due: If by any chance you no longer need the recommendation, email the professor immediately. Professors spend weekends, holidays, and late nights writing recommendations.
One week before the recommendation is due: You may remind the professor via email. But please only send one reminder. After the recommendation is written: Some professors welcome email thank you notes, while others find them impersonal. Take into account the nature of the work that you asked of your professor.