Asking for Letters of Recommendation References As a candidate

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					Asking for Letters of Recommendation/References
As a candidate for a job, fellowship or graduate     Asking for Recommendations/References
program, you will generally be asked to furnish
either a list of references or letters of          • Meet individually with the people you would like to ask. Bring a copy of
recommendation to support your candidacy.            your resume, transcript and any other supporting materials that may be
Professors, advisors, coaches and former             helpful for them to learn as much about you as possible. Also be sure to
employers are all people to consider asking to       bring a brief description of the job field, fellowship or graduate program to
write or speak on your behalf.                       which you are applying, highlighting the key skills you would like
The Basics
                                                   • If you are asking recommenders to send a letter directly to a recipient, give
• Give a lot of thought to whom you may ask..        them an addressed, stamped envelope.
  What skills do you want addressed in the
  recommendation? If you are applying for a        • Be sure to follow up with a thank you note once you know the letter has been
  research position, a professor may be more         written.
  appropriate than a coach. If you are applying    • As well, you should always let recommenders know the outcome of your
  for a teaching position, someone who has           application or search. These folks have taken time and energy to support
  seen you interact with children may be more        you – be sure you pay them back with information and gratitude.
  appropriate than someone who knows how
  well you can analyze data. Ask the people who
  best can speak to your pertinent skills and
  experiences.                                        YOUR P’S AND Q’S

• If asking for letters of recommendation, give       It is very important to remember to thank people who have offered their time to write
  your writers at least 2-4 weeks, preferably         you a letter. Don’t forget the thank you notes!
  more. If you anticipate needing letters of
  recommendation for graduate school in 1-3           QUICK TIP
  years, you should ask professors and others
                                                      Allow for a minimum of 2-4 weeks for references to prepare your letters of
  before you leave campus. Often they will            recommendation.
  make notes or a rough draft that they can use
  as a foundation while the work you did for
  them is still fresh.
• If asking someone to serve as a verbal
  reference for a job position, be sure to send
  them a job description for the position or
  internship to which you are applying so they
  can specifically address how your experiences
  relate to the opportunity. Rather than
  saying, “He/she is a really good person,” they
  can say, “I see you are seeking someone with
  strong communications skills. He/she gave
  an excellent oral and written presentation for
  a project I supervised.”