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Asking Your Professor Or Instructor For A Letter Of Recommendation

Asking Your Professor Or Instructor For A Letter Of Recommendation

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Asking Your Professor or Instructor For A Letter Of Recommendation

How to ask instructors for letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are particularly significant. College Admissions committees often look at what your Professor or Instructor has to say about you when they look beyond the facts of your education. And in the job market, letters of recommendations provide a better sense of what kind of professional employeers can expect you to be.

  • Rough Draft
You need to sit down and write a rough draft of the why, what and whom the letters of recommendation is for. Ask for recommendations from Professor or Instructor who know your work well and who have seen multiple examples of different kinds of work from you. Did they teach a subject essential to your major or future employment? It may seem painfully obvious, but get your recommendations from Professor or Instructor who think that you are a good student.

Why did you pick Professor or Instructor Doe as the Professor or Instructor you wanted to write this letter? "I wanted to ask you for this recommendation because my career choice was greatly influenced by your curriculum in Clinical Research Assisting. I had considered a career in Intensive Care Unit Assisting, but after hearing your experiences in Clinical Research, I realized my interest now lies in Medical Research Assisting." Explain why you want to enter the field.

  • Provide the Materials
Provide the Professor or Instructor with all of the materials that she or he will need to write the letter. What do you expect from the letter and whom the letter is for? More specifically what you hope the Professor or Instructor will put in the letter about you. Be realistic, you cant expect a Professor or Instructor to say you were a hard worker, if you did not do your homework.


  • Determine the Focus
Now you want to focus on what you would like them to write on your behalf. You do not want to tell them specifically what to write, be more subtle. You will want to include any information about yourself which they may have forgotten.

"I believe that you are aware through our discussions and my participation in your course that I have become more involved and dedicated to the field of Clinical Research. I have completed my degree and I was also able to intern at XXXX Corporations this previous summer. In addition you may remember through my course work that I am extremely conscientious in research and I also have extensive experience in cataloguing data through a variety of resources and interviews."

  • The Real Thing
Do not wait until the last minute to ask for a recommendation. Professors and Instructors do not like having to write letters at the last moment and may not have the time to write as strong a letter as they could with more time. In addition, be respectful when you ask for a letter. This means that you should not assume that the Professor or Instructor will automatically write the letter for you.

  • Addressing Your Final Draft
First, address the letter properly. You want it to look nice. If you were on a first name basis (meaning they specifically asked you to call them by their first name and you did so constantly) address it by their first name.

  • Your Request
You should immediately state the purpose of your letter. Do not keep the person guessing. Start out with explaining it very clearly, "I am writing to request a letter of recommendation." Then state for what purpose. Well pretend its because you are looking to get hired at a company called XXXX that provides XXXXXX . Than go through your rough draft and pick out the best parts.

  1. Why did you pick Professor or Instructor Doe as the person you wanted to write this letter?
  2. What you hope the Professor or Instructor will put in the letter about you?
  3. What you would like them to write on your behalf that they may have forgotten?

  • Sending the Request
Where does the letter need to go and when do you need it? You are already asking them to take personal time to write the letter for you, let them know where to send the letter if they would like to personally mail it. If they are always running around on errands and assignments and forgetting to do things like put items in the mail or grade exams, then tell them that you would like to present it in person with other letters, or other materials.

  • Thank Them
Now you need to thank them, whether or not they write the letter. "Thank you in advance for your time, and consideration and to extend an additional thank you for the time I spent under your instruction."


Remember: Do not wait until the last minute to ask for a recommendation.

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