Letters of Recommendation
Maybe it’s too late, but start getting to know your teachers and forming positive relationships with them. The letter of recommendation will be more genuine if the teacher knows you well and likes you. Letters of recommendation are important because these are one of the only ways a schoo or institution will really get to know you.
Begin this process by checking what requirements the school has. Some schools ask for one letter of recommendation while others ask for two or more. They also have specific people that they want letters from, like a science or math teacher, and specific people they would prefer you not get one from, like your mom. After you know what the school is looking for, evaluate your options. Think of teachers, mentors, employers and other people who you have professional, yet close relationships with. You want to ask a teacher who you knew well, respected you, and whose class you did well in. Don’t ask for letters of recommendation from people you have only personal relationships with or people who didn’t know you well.
When asking for a letter make sure to ask politely and be specific with what you want. Asking “Would you be able to write a strong letter of recommendation for me?” instead of “Could you write a letter of recommendation for me?” would ensure that the teacher truly wants to write the best letter they can. The first model also gives teachers an “out”. If the teacher doesn’t know you well enough or doesn’t believe that they can do your letter justice, they are able to deny the request. Make sure to give them enough time to write it and be specific with how you would like them to submit it and when the letter is due. If you feel that the person you asked has forgotten about it, an occasional reminder a good idea as long as it is not pushy or nagging. Saying something such as “ I really appreciate it that you are writing my letter of recommendation for me, it means a lot!” will remind them that they still need to write it or finish it up. After the evaluator has finished writing the letter, write them a thank you note to express how much you appreciate them giving their time to write your letter.
If you have more questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll try our best to help you out.