Content on this page adapted from Jo Hardin at Pomona College.
Would you like a letter of recommendation?
I would almost surely be happy to write you a letter. Please help me do a good job: the more information you can provide me, the better my letter will be. Sending the same information to your other letter writers will make their letters better too. You don’t need to send me long answers to each of the questions below, but the more information you can give (particularly with specifics that I can use in a letter), the better.
Who sends the letter to the organization?
Except in rare situations, I will submit the letter directly to the organization.
- Ideally, you will provide me with a link (e.g., email address, web form, email from the organization) where I can post or submit the letter.
- If the organization has asked you to submit the letter, please reach out to them asking whether they will make an exception to their policy so that I can submit the letter directly. When you submit the rest of the materials I’ve requested below, please include the response you have received from the organization about their policy on receiving a letter directly from me (instead of from you).
Send to me:
If I have agreed to write a recommendation from you, please provide me with as much of the following as possible:
- an unofficial copy of your transcript
- a copy of your personal statement (if applicable), and
- any necessary forms
At least two weeks before the first letter is due, e-mail me with your answers to the following questions (the more details the better):
- What are your name, pronouns, year, and major?
- For what are you applying? (e.g., scholarship, graduate school)
- List the programs to which you are applying, together with due dates.
- How long have I known you (years/months), and what is my relationship(s) to you (e.g., instructor, advisor)? Have you graded or mentored for me? If so, for what class(es) and when?
- For what class(es) have I had you, what final grade(s) did you earn, and how did you distinguish yourself in my class(es)?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are some of your academic accomplishments?
- What are some of your nonacademic accomplishments?
- What makes me particularly qualified to write a letter for you?
- What makes you particularly qualified for this position/honor/award?
- What are your long term goals and will this position/honor/award help? If so, how?
- Additional comments (e.g., summer research, interesting jobs, hobbies)?
Please send me e-mail reminder(s) as deadlines approach, and feel free to chat with me about other ways you can make the letter writing process go as smoothly as possible for you and your letter writers. Good luck!