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How to Secure a Strong Letter of Recommendation

Learn the ins and outs on how to get the strongest letter of recommendation from a trusted person who knows of your strengths and accomplishments for college applications and potential jobs

Asking for a letter of recommendation can be nerve-wracking, but it is an important step in many job and college applications. A strong letter of recommendation can provide valuable information about your skills, experience, and character, and can help you stand out from other applicants. Here are a few tips for asking for a letter of recommendation:

  1. Choose the right person to ask. The best person to ask for a letter of recommendation is someone who knows you well and can speak to your strengths and abilities. This could be a teacher, professor, supervisor, or mentor. It's important to choose someone who will write a positive and genuine letter, so avoid asking someone just because they are well-known or have a prestigious title.

  2. Ask in person or by phone. It's best to ask for a letter of recommendation in person or by phone, rather than through email or text. This allows the person to ask you questions and get a better understanding of your strengths and the specific requirements of the letter. It also shows that you are serious and willing to put in the effort to ask for a letter of recommendation.

  3. Provide information and materials. When you ask for a letter of recommendation, it's helpful to provide the person with information and materials that will make it easier for them to write a strong letter. This could include your resume, a copy of the job or college application, and specific details about the requirements of the letter. You could also provide examples of your work or accomplishments that you would like to highlight in the letter.

  4. Be respectful and gracious. It's important to be respectful and gracious when asking for a letter of recommendation. This means thanking the person for considering your request, and being understanding if they are unable to write a letter for you. Remember that writing a letter of recommendation takes time and effort, so it's important to be appreciative and respectful of the person's decision.

  5. Follow up and say thank you. After you have asked for a letter of recommendation, it's important to follow up and check on the status of the letter. This shows that you are organized and responsible, and it gives the person a chance to ask any questions or provide updates. Once you have received the letter, be sure to thank the person for their time and effort. A simple thank-you note or email can go a long way in building and maintaining positive relationships.

Asking for a letter of recommendation can be intimidating, but it is a valuable tool in many job and college applications. By following these tips, you can ask for a letter of recommendation in a respectful and gracious manner, and increase your chances of getting a strong and positive letter.
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