I’ve been asked many times in the past to write a letter of recommendation for an aspiring student or job seeker. In spite of the fact that I generally consider that task to be a privilege, it’s important that the request comes with the necessary information to facilitate the process!
A typical letter of recommendation contains at least five elements: the greeting, the academic qualifications of the individual, a description of the applicant’s commitment to the position and why he or she would be valued, a commentary regarding the person’s character, and a close.
Should you request that someone write a letter upon your behalf, make that task easier for them by:
- Providing the complete name, title, and address of the person to whom the letter will be sent, and the deadline for submission.
- Providing all pertinent academic records, achievements, and honors, or otherwise appropriate qualifications for the position.
- Describing how you have spent your time outside the classroom (or employment) to demonstrate your commitment to this desired entity. Have you been a member of a related club or student group, shadowed an appropriate professional, volunteered your time for community events, or pursued other activities to demonstrate your interest?
- Naming any honors, awards, or recognition you’ve received as a result of your character to illustrate your personal integrity and desirable qualities.
- Listing anything else that the letter writer should know about you to enhance your likelihood of gaining acceptance (i.e. lived in the community for many years, is the son or daughter of a similar professional, etc.).
And, remember, writing an excellent letter of recommendation takes time! Be certain to give your chosen endorser adequate time to compose your letter!
In the meantime, good luck and best wishes for your continuing success!!
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”