A good recommendation takes time to write. The letter provides
decision-makers or employers with a clear and straightforward assessment of you
from a perspective your recommender values and respect.
Make sure the person
writing your recommendation knows you and your credentials well. Knowing your
Resident Advisor(s), Hall Director, Resident Director(s), Minority Peer
Advisor(s), Academic Peer Advisor(s), faculty member, or other university
administrators is highly suggested. If they know you well enough, they will
write a knowledgeable recommendation for you. Remember, it is just as hard for
this person to write a powerful recommendation for you unless they have had some
kind of on-going relationship.
What you need to know and do
- If the person knows you well enough they will not have any trouble
writing a letter of recommendation for you. It is always advisable to ask
for a recommendation in person. Set up an appointment to meet with them and
make sure you discuss in detail why you need the letter of recommendation.
- Familiarizing yourself with the position for which you need the
recommendation is an essential first step. Study your qualities, skills, and
experiences that distinguish you as a good contender for the position. You
may need to make out a list of your strong points and share this list with
the person writing your letter of recommendation.
- Be very specific of what you expect to be included in the letter. Due
date and time of the recommendation is important as it is necessary to give
the person enough time to do his/her work. It is also important to
communicate that you are required to hand deliver your recommendation in a
- Make sure you hold up your end of the bargain. It is not good to let any
one write a recommendation for you and then end up not submitting your
application. If, for any reason, you chose not to pursue the application for
any of the Resident Education positions, please let him/her know.
- Finally, aside from thanking them for writing the letter on your behalf,
one of the best ways to express your gratitude is to let them know the
outcome. Even in the event that you are unsuccessful, still write a note to
thank them for their time.