Whether an underclassman or a senior, getting letters of recommendation benefits students when it comes to scholarships as well as college and job applications. Letters of recommendation can come from previous employers, counselors, and or teachers.
The first step to getting an amazing letter of recommendation is forming good relationships with the people in charge of certain activities one participates in. Before asking a person to write a letter of recommendation, make sure there is a relationship present. Letters of recommendation are semi-personal and the person writing it is most likely going to have noticed one’s work ethic, dedication, and willingness to try new things. The more positive personality aspects this person knows, the more details and support will be incorporated into the letter of recommendation to prove why you are the best selection for a committee’s award/recognition.
The next step is to ask for a letter of recommendation ahead of time. The best time to ask is towards the beginning of the year or in advance so that the person writing the letter of recommendation is not on a time crunch. Remember that time is sacred for both the person asking for and the person writing the letter of recommendation. Therefore, recognize that schedules are different and so are priorities. Asking for a letter of recommendation ahead of time also shows preparedness and the ability to organize oneself, which is definitely something that is noticed. Good things take time. A letter of recommendation written in the middle of exam week is probably going to be rushed and impersonal.
Last but not least, understand that the person who is writing the letter of recommendation is putting time and effort into it. Often students and teenagers ask for a letter and never return the favor of a small gift or thank-you card. Even though a gift or card is not required, appreciation always goes a long way.
Although it might seem intimidating at first, the whole process allows students to grow and come out of their comfort zone. This won’t be the first or last time asking for a recommendation, so make sure to take action the right way.
Andrea Cardozo // Social Media Manager