Higher Education > Advanced Advice

How to Get a Great Letter of Recommendation

Provide your mentors, professor's, and bosses with the following, to get the best recommendations possible

By the editors of gecc

To insure that your recommenders write the most up-to-date letters possible, provide them with the following:

  • A curriculum vitae (CV), the academic form of a resume. You can request copies of faculty CVs from your undergraduate department to see the range of formats and information included.

  • The list of schools to which you're applying, including the names of faculty you would like to work with at each school. If you're also applying for a fellowship or assistantship, let your recommenders know so they can also recommend that you receive assistance.

  • Self-addressed stamped envelopes (addressed to your home, NOT to the graduate school or department to which you're applying).

  • The deadline for completing recommendation letters. Do not ask your recommenders to keep track of several deadlines; set a single deadline.

  • Your research interests. Let your recommenders know what you plan on studying in graduate school so they can comment on your potential in that area.

  • Your classes. It's a good idea to remind them of which classes you took, the dates of the classes and your final grades. These details help to refresh their memory and comment more accurately.

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Higher Education > Advanced Advice