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Letters of Recommendation
What are letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation are letters about you! The author testifies to all of your talents, abilities, characteristics, and best qualities for your admissions officers, employers, scholarships, etc.

Oftentimes, these letters are sent directly from the author to your university to prevent tampering or bias. You cannot see your letter of recommendation unless the author allows you to.

How do I ask for one?

Your teachers are aware that they will receive this inevitable favor from their students during college application season. So they are expecting you to ask BUT you should still be kind, polite, and formal.

Try walking into their classroom during lunch or during their conference period, anytime they are not too busy. You can casually bring it up or be very direct by asking them "Could you write a letter of recommendation for my college application to X school?

Who writes them?

College & Scholarships: Letters for your college applications are typically written by your teachers. Colleges recommend that you ask a teacher from either your junior or senior year in high school for a more recent testament. Your college may also ask for a letter of recommendation from your college counselor, but not all, and may permit addition letters from anyone who knows you well.

Jobs: It's common for employers to ask for letters of rec along with your resume when applying for a job. The author for these letters do not have to be from teachers and will most commonly be written by your past employer.

When do I ask for one?

Once you know who you will be asking, make sure you give them enough time to write it! You want them to write a thoughtful letter so you should notify your authors at least two weeks before the deadline for your letters.

During college application season, teachers have to write several letters for different students so you want to ask them as early as possible so that you're first on that list!

Why are they important?

Whoever is asking for a letter of recommendation from you is interested in how other people perceive you. Your teachers and past employers have seen your work ethic and can confirm how well (or how badly) you get things done.

Letters of rec are a great chance for your authors to brag about you and show how great you are, according to other people besides yourself.

Final tips!

The Letters of Recommendation will not make or break your entire college application but you still want to impress your reader by having other people say wonderful things to you so make sure to pick someone who admires you as a student, employee, etc.

Be selective with which teachers you choose, think back to your time in their class and how well you did. Make sure to ask your junior and senior year teachers first! They have the most recent testament for your work ethic and will be more accurate in their letters!