A few tips on how to properly ask for a Recommendation Letter
18 Nov, 2012
After you’ve completed your schooling and have graduated with a degree, it is now time for you to go out and get a job. Though this may be a little tough for you to do right now in this economy. There are a few sure fire ways that you will get that call back or that interview that inevitably leads to the job that you’ve always wanted. A very important of this process is asking for a recommendation letter from your college or university.
This letter will help you when it’s time to do a job search. It will highlight your strong points and give a brief overview of all your academic achievements within that class or even throughout the entire time you’ve been enrolled in the school.
As everyone knows that these are important, some people are still afraid to ask their professors for these highly sought after letters. The graduate shouldn’t be afraid, if you didn’t do well in the class you wouldn’t be receiving a degree. So you should look at the whole graduation process as a major achievement in itself. And that one thing can be the difference between you getting an interview or not. There are a few tips you must follow when asking for a letter of recommendation, once you do these you are sure to receive it.
1. The professor plays important role
There is simply no reason for you to be afraid to ask your professor for this type of letter. As they all know that writing letters and other things are a very important part of their overall job at a school. Many professors are schools all over the country are actually willing and glad to help their students achieve their long term goals and land that big job. It will make them feel as if they have simply made a difference in your life, and in all honestly they have.
Some professors will even post instructions on a board or a website about how to get your reference letter from them. There is no absolutely no need to be scared to do so. Professors and other people in high positions at colleges are all the world, are all here to help you succeed and be the possible version of yourself that you can be.
2. How to know which professors to ask
You should approach professors in whose classes that you have done exceptional in. If you made A’s and high honors the whole time you were in the class, then of course they will be able to give you a better letter than a professors class in which you may not have done your best in the whole semester. So before you ask anyone, you should make a list and ask yourself how well did you do in each specific professor’s class. After you’ve completed that and you have a list of a few then you will be all set.
The next thing you should ask yourself is how well does the professor know me. If you are very participative in class and even stayed after for tutoring a few days, then the professor will know you pretty well. That will help the overall credibility of the recommendation letter and it will be completely convincing. After that is completed you will need to know if this particular professor’s letter will carry in weight within the job process. If the professor has many years of experience and an extensive educational background that will be better for you in the long run.
3. What happens next
When you have got your list of the professors that you are going to ask, you need to approach them. You should know their policies and guidelines for asking for these letters by now. So you should either speak with them in person and ask. Or if you know they like to work at home during the day, then send them a formal email letting them know you are requesting a letter of recommendation. If there is a deadline that you need the letter by, please let the professor know at the meeting or over the email.
Once you have received the letters and are showing them at interviews and sending them off to potential employers, you will need to thank your professors. By doing so, this is showing them that you valued and appreciated what they’ve done for you.
Written by: Xavier Colomain