How to Get a Letter of Recommendation?

Get a Letter of RecommendationMost education institutions across the world demand letter of recommendation from your professors, guidance counselor, or college adviser when you are applying for graduate school, scholarships, fellowships, research positions, and jobs with them. An outstanding letter of recommendation will always boost your chances of getting a great academic opportunity, even though the competitiveness of your application will also depend on other factors like high grades, and other necessary qualifications.


How to Ask For a Letter of Recommendation

Here are a few steps that you must follow to get a letter of recommendation:

1. Choose your recommender carefully

Your relationship with the professor or the guidance counselor can make a huge difference on your letter of recommendation. Try to build a rapport with your professors and mentors as early as possible, not just because they may be able to provide you with a great letter of recommendation, but because they can help you shape your academic and professional life better. Ask professors who can share their positive experience about you from direct interactions to write the letter.

2. Ask in advance

There are multiple reasons why shouldn’t wait until the last minute. A professor may want to help you, but have personal matters that prevent him or her to dedicate some of their precious time to your letter when you asked. You can approach another professor if you are well planned. Also, most professors are flooded with requests for the letters of recommendations at the end of the semester. Planning ahead of time will keep your request at the top of priority and will give your professor enough time to ponder your performance.

3. Ask in person

Schedule an appointment with the professor and seek the letter of recommendation in person. Sending an e-mail or requesting it over the phone may give the professor an impression that you don’t perceive the importance of this letter.

4. Provide necessary information and materials

Most education institutions send you specific forms for letter of recommendation. Hand over this material to your recommender and inform them about the specific requirements. Often you may need the recommender to write out a statement and answer a few short questions. If you are applying to multiple schools and need various versions of the letter, organize the forms in separate folders and attach cover sheets.

5. Follow up

As the deadline approaches, you can always send a friendly reminder to your recommender.

6. Decide not to read the letter

Most applications include a form that allows you to waive your rights to read the letter. Confidential letters carry more weight as the readers perceive them as more genuine and the writers are comfortable in giving their true opinion.

7. Thank your recommender

Always express your gratitude to the recommender by sending them a ‘thank you’ note. It would be great if you could let them know the outcome of the venture too.


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