It’s constantly said that colleges look more than just your grades, which is often true. There’s many factors that come into play as you’re applying to your future institution and one of my favorites is: letters of recommendation. Yeah, I know asking for a letter of recommendation can be a bit intimidating, but often times teacher’s feel honored that you even ask. So here’s some tips to help you with the process:
1. Who do you ask?
When choosing a recommender, it’s best to pick someone that you easily look up to or seek help from. It can be your math teacher who you often go to for tutoring, or your sports coach who knows you outside of academics. Going about this can take a bit of thinking because it also depends on what you are applying to. For college, it’s best to pick someone who knows you in an academic setting because you’re applying to receive a higher education. Yet, many colleges allow you to submit more than one recommendation and even ask that you can submit other people you find important in your life. This process can be a bit hectic, but if it’s someone you are comfortable with then it will be no problem asking!
2. Follow up
So one thing I like to point out is keep your recommender’s updated! Often times your recommenders are just as busy as you, so don’t forget to remind them the deadline. However, please take into account the time they need to write your letter, so always give them about 2-3 weeks or even a month in advance to write a strong letter for you.
3. Thank you
Once all the paperwork is completed and have everything ready, you can finally click on the submit button. A sigh of relief comes your way, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the people that helped you. Please take the time to thank your recommenders either through cards or person. They always want to be appreciated for their work.
Lastly, what I find most helpful when asking for a recommendation is giving them more than enough information to help them write your recommendation. Tell them why you’re interested in XYZ college. Give them your personal statement or your resume to see what you’re involved in or just to give them more of a background about yourself. Anything helps to make them highlight your strengths and to make you a strong candidate in a pool of applicants.