April 2, 2015

5 Steps to Successful College Recommendation Letters

1. Think about who you might ask to write your recommendation letters (professors, employers, etc.). Anywhere from 2-4 people is fine, but you want to have at least 2 letters from professors. If you haven't been cultivating those relationships, start doing so.

2. Meet up with your potential recommenders (or speak with them via phone) about your college plans. Otherwise, email them. After they agree to write a recommendation letter, email them with a bulleted list of topics they might mention in the recommendation letter (and/or provide them with a printed copy). Give your résumé (list of extracurriculars) a brief look (more if you have the time) and make sure that it's current, then give it to your recommenders as well (either email or hard copy).

3. Be sure to also provide your recommenders with a printed copy of the college’s recommendation letter form, since they'll have to submit this along with the letter itself. The easier you make this for them, the sooner they're likely to finish and submit it. (If you're applying early, tell your recommenders that you'll need the recommendation letter by August, as some schools will allow you to submit your application on September 1. The earlier you apply, the better).

4. In a few weeks/months (depending on when you requested them), check your application account(s) to determine whether your recommenders have submitted their recommendation letters for you yet. Also, check whether your high school transcript. It should only take a couple of weeks for this to be processed. If the appropriate documents aren't designated as "received" in your account, follow up with the appropriate people. Email, call, or even visit their offices in person - whatever you have to do. They're often overwhelmed with requests and need reminders.

5. Don't forget to thank your recommenders (and those who helped with your college essay). A box of chocolates and thank you card go a long way.

1 comment:

  1. These 5 steps are covering all the circumstances for having an impressive recommendation letter. Some time students start writing such kind of letter themselves which cause big rejection and bad results. I also recommend students to learn your given keys for the success of any college recommendation letter.