When applying to colleges & universities, you will need at least two or three recommendation letters. Letter of recommendations are essential because it will reflect your accomplishments, personality & your skills. This is why it’s important to ask someone who knows you very well to write your recommendation letter. You want that person to reveal insights that test scores couldn’t, provide personal opinion about you, & willing to speak on your behalf.
When asking for letters of recommendation, make sure to ask your reference as early as you can. If possible try to give them a month’s notice or ask during the first week of school.
Asking someone to write your recommendation can be an intimidating process especially when you are unsure of whom to ask & unsure if your reference is comfortable writing one. To eliminate weak letters, first kindly ask your reference if they are comfortable writing a letter of recommendation.
Before you ask your references, make sure to look through all the applications carefully because certain schools are very specific of who they want the letter recommendation from.
Here are some people to consider asking:
- High school counselor.
- Junior Year Teacher, preferably a class you did well in or a teacher that known you for a while so they can write current perspective on you.
- Current teachers who have known you for a while.
- Teachers who knows you outside the classroom, for example a teacher who runs the club you are in such as Debate team or Robotics club.
- Employer or coach that understands your strengths
- Family or personal friend you think would make a good reference
Remember when asking someone to write your recommendations, you want to make sure they know you well enough so they can write a strong letter of recommendation. You want to pick someone that will be excited and more than willingly write the letter for you.
After you determine your references, make sure you briefly chat with them to refresh their memoires of you & fill them in on current events going on in your life. It is also helpful to hand them a resume or a list of things you are currently involved in.
Finally, make sure you give your reference all the materials they need such as stamped envelopes with the address of the school (the number of envelopes you give should match the number of schools you apply to), recommendation forms & any other paperwork they might need.