Tips for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation:
- Ask those who know you and also can evaluate your capabilities.
- Ask the writer if they feel they know you well enough to give you a good recommendation. If not or they sound unsure, you may want to consider asking someone else.
- Discuss the letter with the writer. Let them know your goals and what they can do to help you reach those goals.
- Ask if they need any additional information from you to complete the letter. Be open to discussion.
- Provide the writer with a copy of your resume and any other related materials, such as cover letters, essays, or personal statements.
- Provide the writer a copy of the position description if for employment, or information regarding the graduate program for which you are applying.
- Make sure you give the writer ample time to complete the letter. Follow up if you do not hear from them within 10 days.
- Clearly state the date that the letter is due and include all relevant contact information about where it must be sent.
- Follow up with a thank you note. Let them know of your subsequent success.
- Consider whether or not you will waive your rights to access the recommendation letter. If you do not waive your rights, the referee may not feel comfortable providing the letter and/or may write the letter in a significantly different way than if he/she knew it was going to be confidential.
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