How To Ask For A Letter of Recommendation

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How To Ask For A Letter of Recommendation The GradTrain Guide to For Grad School Abroad (and beyond…)

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Step 1: Choose Well #1: Choose someone who knows you well. If you aren’t sure, ask them if they feel that they know you well enough. Don’t just ask: “Can you write a recommendation for me?" Phrase it: “Do you feel you know me well enough to write a letter of recommendation for me?“ #2: Choose a faculty member. Preferably a big name in the field you wish to research is best. Though it is more important that the recommender knows you well. "Teacher&Studlaugh" US Department of Education, CC BY 2.0

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Step 2: Start Early Ask for a letter 5-6 weeks before the deadline. If they are rushed – you will end up with a weaker recommendation. Don’t be shy. Writing recommendation letters is part of a professors’ job. They are happy to write recommendations for good students. We know… You may be hesitant to ask for the letter and push it off until it becomes close to the deadline… Don’t. "Padcamp 2012" Kevin Jarett, CC BY 2.0

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Step 3: Provide Information Recommenders need information about you in order to write an effective recommendation When asking for the letter, include - a summary of your interests & accomplishments - and - attach your resume or CV.

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Step 4: Follow Up Send a reminder e-mail to your recommender at least a week before the deadline. Please write recommendation! "stickynote" J_O_I_D, CC BY 2.0

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After you get the letter, make sure to say thank you. (You’ll be surprised how many people forget…) If you send a thank you note, the recommender will be more willing to write a letter if you ever need one again. If not – you won’t even feel comfortable to ask! Oh. And let the recommender know if you received the position you were applying for. Step 5: Show Your Gratitude "1018-20120116 Thank You" Chris Piascik, CC BY 2.0

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TIP TIME! Create Contacts Now. It’s never too early! Go to office hours. "Graduation Day 20 July 2011 220" fourthandfifteen, CC BY 2.0 Stay in contact with your professors even after the course ends. Get involved in research and volunteer work. Join clubs and organizations. Take leadership positions. Distinguish yourself in the class - excel, participate, show your enthusiasm for the subject.

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Read more: The 10 commandments of recommendation letters