Tips for Collecting and Submitting Recommendation Letters
- Be organized and strategic about the process of asking for and collecting the recommendations.
- Consider how many and what type of letters you will need for your applications. For example, academic vs. "other".
- Discover the status of the letters needed -- Confidential or Non-confidential. Typically, professional programs and many employers prefer, or require, confidential recommendation letters.
- Look for any special instructions on application forms. Are original signatures required or specific forms to be used?
- Allow 6-8 weeks from the time you request the letter to the time you need to mail.
- Ask for recommendation letters from professors or employers who know you best. You want the recommender to be able to write an informed letter.
- Provide the recommendation writer with helpful information so they may write a well-informed letter. For example, a resume, writing sample or copy of paper or work. Be prepared in advance in case a recommender asks what you would like mentioned in the letter.
- Write a thank you note to each recommendation writer when your letter has been received.
- Prepare any documents on plain white paper, as they may be electronically scanned or photocopied. Flecked or tinted paper copies poorly and presents the reviewer difficulty in reading the text.