Recommendation Letter for College: Where to Ask for It?
When you want to apply for college, acquire a job or get a scholarship, you will definitely be asked to provide a letter of recommendation. As a rule, a letter of reference is a type of writing that reflects on your accomplishments, qualifications, and character traits and is written by your teachers, professors, managers or supervisors. If there is no such person who can provide you with a recommendation letter for college, there is always a chance to seek professional assistance from a letter of recommendation service.
The admission committee or the person reading your recommendation letter should get a comprehensive picture of who you are and what you have accomplished. Besides, from the letter it should be clear what motivates you and what motives you have when it comes to the college application, scholarship or a job.
A testimonial could be a requirement for enrolling in college or university in many cases. A student generally needs up to three recommendations for undergraduate programs or graduate schools.
Steps to Get a Letter of Reference
Select a Teacher/ Professor Carefully
When choosing a teacher to write a testimonial for you, pick the one you are on good terms with. The reason is simple: it would be more effective to get a reference from the person you like. Besides, pick a teacher from the same or adjacent research field. If you major in Humanities, choose a teacher of History, English, Literature, Psychology, etc. Make sure that teachers know you well both personally and academically since they should be able to write about your performance, personal traits, accomplishments, etc.
Ask the Professor in Person
When asking the professor to create a testimonial, please do it personally. First of all, you could be sure that your teacher gets your request. Second, you will see with your own eyes what reaction they have towards your request. Most importantly, you would be able to discuss straightaway all specifics and preferences regarding focuses, due date, and others. By communicating in person, you will be able to build a rapport with the professor and establish your initial contact.
Ask in Advance
Make sure you have sufficient time to find a teacher who agrees and can write a testimonial for you. It is advisable to give references at least a month prior to the final deadline. All in all, the sooner you ask, the better. Take into consideration that teachers might be really busy. They may lack time to write your recommendation letter quickly. So, get ready in advance. Your teacher will work on your letter in a more concentrated manner if they are not distracted and have enough time.
Make Sure the Letter Includes Relevant Information
It happens that, when you turn to some teacher with the request to write you a letter of reference, there is a great possibility that you are the very first person who has asked about it. That is why you need to be clear when providing details and requirements. Coaches, mentors, and new teachers may not have sufficient experience in writing recommendation papers to students. So, first and foremost, find out for sure what is expected from you.
Even if you do not have any specific requirements, there are some general academic standards that you need to adhere to. So, a recommendation paper should consist of the following parts:
- Clear explanation of how the person who recommends you knows you, what they think of you as a candidate, etc.
- Evaluation of your skills, abilities, level of knowledge, personal traits.
- An explanation of why you are worth recommendations.
When you focus on specific goals, make sure you communicate this information to your recommender. It would be easier for them to develop the paper. If the position you are applying for is more interested in your leadership skills, then you can ask your professor to review them at first. If they are looking forward to your managerial skills, you may also mention this aspect.
Ask for the Kind of Letter You Would Like to Get
Do not be afraid to specify what you expect from the recommendation paper. When students do not give any specific details, recommenders may come up with a mediocre paper focusing on the basic aspects without delving deep into any details. So, if you need some of your specific skills or accomplishments to be reflected in the document, ask your teacher about it. An effective document of recommendation uses vivid language that describes you as a person and professional, namely innovative, resourceful, positive, curious, resilient, dedicated, diligent, responsible, etc.
If your teacher or professor follows this positive approach, you will have a glowing letter that will certainly help you succeed. Please consider that when you inform the recommender of your preferences, try to voice them clearly and correctly. Specify the format and the structure. Ask the teacher whether it would be possible to add some information to the letter if you consider it useful.
Send a Thank-You Note
Express your gratitude to your teacher or professor for their efforts in writing your recommendation letter. You can demonstrate your utmost appreciation by sending a thank-you note or a thank-you email. Besides, it is always nice for your recommender if you keep them updated regarding your success in the application. So, at times, you may mention something about the status of the application or about how you move through the process.
Please note that you generally have no chance to review the recommendation in the process of writing. You can take a look at it once it is ready. Still, at that point, you would improve the paper if some specification or new information is needed.