Recommendations for Your Recommendation Letter
Perhaps you’re applying to a prestigious university. Or for a dream job. But whether college or career, chances are you’ll need a letter of recommendation. So how do you secure this all-important document?
As with an other important decision, you’ll want to choose the right authors for your personal showcase. Believe it or not, any ol’ teacher or supervisor simply won’t do. The person who composes your letter of recommendation needs to know the real you – the person who interacts with the class, displays leadership qualities, puts the ‘Angry Birds’ away during tests — and urges others to do the same. You get the picture. The teacher or supervisor who knows you only as a pair of eyeballs gazing at daily lessons won’t have the raw material for a well-rounded view of the true you.
How do you narrow down the list of candidates? As with mobile phones, latest is better than earliest when it comes to selecting your letter-writing teacher. In fact, many colleges will specifically request letters from your instructors of the last two years. Makes sense. The latest teachers know the latest you. Think how much you’ve changed during the course of a couple of years.
Remember, you can go beyond the classroom to secure a letter of recommendation. Coaches and job supervisors are good candidates and sources of fresh perspectives different from those of your teachers. But no matter who you ask, make sure it’s someone whose opinion colleges or prospective employers likely will value. A letter from your friend Ashley, or Brandon from 7-11 won’t exactly score major points with selection committees.
The number of letters is pretty much up to you. But be sensible. Absolutely avoid overdoing. College file cabinets and data bases are bursting at the seams with recommendation letters that pour in from every direction. Adding an extra load to the avalanche will be frowned upon and get you lost in the shuffle. Again, the key is to be selective. It’s quality, not quantity that counts for selection committees.
Once your recommendation letter is in hand, be sure to say the magic words. Sincere ‘thank-you’s’ go a long way…and can take you the same distance.
If you want more info about enhancing the impact of your recommendation letter, feel free to drop a question or two into the comment box. Or just reach out to the Career Connection team for answers to your questions or additional information relating to post-college success and career options for college students. You can connect with us at –
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