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Whitney, our fabulous Career Assistant

Step 1: Write a list of possible recommenders – generally those requesting only want 2-3 letters of recommendation. However having a list of at least 5 will provide you with alternatives, especially if you know you are going to need tailored letters of recommendation in the future.

Step 2: Rank your best choices – list the possible recommenders that would be most helpful to not-so-helpful, based on the position you are applying for.

Step 3: Know all the details – write a note-to-self of when the letter of recommendation is due and what you wish to be included. It is important to give the writer at least a month’s in advance notice of when you want the letter to be due. Also, before contacting the recommenders create a portfolio that includes 1) your resume 2) examples of work that you have done 3) a summary of yourself and 4) information on the position you are applying for. The recommender will be appreciative and more willing to write you a letter if you do this!

Step 4: Contact your top recommenders – politely ask if he/she would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. If they are unsure or cannot make the commitment, use an alternative recommender.

Step 5: Follow through – send out your portfolio to your references and remind them of the due date. If you know your reference will be mailing your letter for you, make sure you provide them with a pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope as a polite courtesy.

Step 6: Thank them – thank your reference personally and present them with a small gift for helping you achieve your potential job. Also, keep them updated on your successes, whether that is at your job or outside of the workforce. You will create a good image of yourself and also strengthen your network!

Sample Email Asking for a Letter of Recommendation:

http://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Email-Asking-for-a-Letter-of-Recommendation

Sample Request for Letter of Recommendation for a Job:

http://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Request-for-Letter-of-Rec-for-Job

Sample Request for Letter of Recommendation for Grad School:

http://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Request-for-Letter-of-Rec-for-Grad-School

 

Website used – http://www.wikihow.com/Ask-for-a-Recommendation-Letter

posted by Whitney Cordes, Career Assistant

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