Requesting Letters of Recommendation
At some point in your academic career, you’ll need to request letters of recommendation (for a scholarship, a job, a PhD program, etc.) from faculty members you’ve worked with. To get the best letter possible and to ensure that you receive the letter in plenty of time to meet deadlines, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:
1. Ask for letters from faculty who know your work well and who are able to speak directly to requirements listed in the scholarship, job, or PhD application.
2. Give recommendation writers at least two weeks’ notice (recognize that some people may require more than two weeks’ notice).
3. Provide faculty with your resume (or curriculum vitae) and any other documents relevant to the position for which you are applying (for example, if you are applying for a teaching position, you might provide the recommender with your teaching philosophy, sample syllabi or assignments you’ve used, or other teaching-related documents).
4. Provide all relevant information about the scholarship, job, or PhD application, including required and preferred qualifications, deadlines, who to address the letter to, where to send it, and how to send it.
5. Ask recommendation writers if they would like to receive due date reminders.