In this article, we will highlight the answers to some of the most important questions when writing a recommendation letter, including who to ask for a letter of recommendation, information to include on the recommendation letter request, and dos and don’ts of requesting a letter of recommendation letter.
Many job seekers overlook the significance of having a recommendation letter.
What exactly is a letter of recommendation?
A letter of recommendation is a formal document that validates a person's work, accomplishments, and skill sets. Usually, employers are those who ask for a letter of recommendation, but it is often required by college applications as well.
Consider writing a recommendation letter as the icing on the cake. It not only improves the first impression, but it also gives the possible employer a reliable source of credit.
Before starting to think about who you'll acquire a letter of recommendation from, keep in mind that not everyone can provide a letter of recommendation.
Candidates should be aware that who can write a letter of recommendation depends on the jobs they apply for. Only the right source of recommendation can give the additional credit for the job application!
Know more about what a letter of recommendation is!
Finding the right person to ask for a letter of recommendation for the job is important, as companies often want to determine whether the job candidate has an excellent cultural fit.
To determine who to ask for a letter of recommendation for the job, the following criteria should be considered:
Candidates should first consider who can write a letter of recommendation for them, and then make formal requests to those who are suitable. Prepare a list of people that one would like to pursue.
One of the main factors in common among asking for a recommendation letter from an employer, supervisor, manager, and CEO is the undeniable status in the hierarchy. Due to their position of authority, many job candidates may feel fearful or uncertain about how to ask for a letter of recommendation from the boss.
Here are three essential actions a job seeker can take:
Choose the right tone to submit your request when asking for a recommendation from the employer or manager.
Be clear about what job you are applying for, the date of the deadline, and who the letter of recommendation of a job is addressing.
Often the employer or CEO is overburdened with responsibilities. Don’t forget to send a follow-up email to confirm that the recommendation letter request has been received.
For those who are just graduated from college, fresher job seekers seldom have enough formal experience to request a letter of recommendation for a job. Here are some examples of who you could ask for a recommendation letter from persons in academic positions:
When requesting a letter of recommendation from an academic professor, advisor, and teacher, the process is handled differently than when requesting one from a CEO. Professors or teachers expect students to prepare very well prior to the request.
Here are three basic tips for recommendation letter etiquette from university staff, including getting a letter of recommendation from a professor a job candidate doesn’t know well:
Begin with making a formal request via an email or in-person appointment. Explain in the request reasons to apply for the particular job and why the professor or teacher has been chosen.
Make sure to provide information regarding the job, such as a description of the job or school, deadlines, and any other unique demands
If the professor is unfamiliar with the candidate, it is beneficial to give supplementary information to back up the formal request.
Moreover, while guidance counselors are typically aware of the students' academic records, extracurricular activities might be the missing piece of the puzzle when requesting a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor.
If the job applicant has extensive experience volunteering, he/she can easily request a letter of recommendation from a community leader.
When applying to college or graduate school, students frequently require at least one or two letters of recommendation for college admission. Asking for a recommendation letter for university admission can be a challenging process due to the very competitive candidate pool at most top colleges.
The following three tips teach you how to ask for recommendation letter for college, including special programs such as a medical school, a law school, or a nursing school:
Most college applications have deadlines, so it is best to ask for a letter of recommendation for high school students in time.
Students can provide their teachers and professors copies of their transcripts, purpose of the application, and other related activities, as these facts will help them write a more accurate letter of recommendation for college admission.
When requesting a letter of recommendation for law, medicine, or nursing school, it is slightly different from submitting a letter of recommendation for general college admission.
The student should highlight what skill sets and strengths they obtain to be able to get recommended for these special programs. For instance, include extracurricular activities that the student has been participating in when requesting a recommendation letter.
For students who are seeking a letter of recommendation for grad schools, this additional tip can definitely help:
Communicating the student's graduate study goals ahead of time can assist mentors, teachers, managers, and professors better understand the student's career ambitions. It is a huge plus to the recommendation letter for grad school when these individuals can validate students’ achievements.
Although job applicants cannot control the content recommenders would write, it is necessary to provide information to aid the process of writing a recommendation letter.
However, the information to provide differs with circumstances and it is important to keep in mind what information to provide for a letter of recommendation.
Below are some tips of what to provide when asking for a letter of recommendation.
Generally speaking, some information is necessary when job candidates consider what to include when asking for a letter of recommendation.
The following information applies to most situations:
Material to include in a scholarship recommendation letter is quite similar to information to include with a recommendation letter for school admission.
However, the following information should be included:
Whether you are looking to submit a recommendation letter for a job or college application, finding who to ask for a letter of recommendation is an important first step. This person should not only be a person who knows the candidate very well, but ideally someone in an authority position.
Requesting recommendation letters isn’t easy, but it can be done by following the steps provided in this article.
Furthermore, information that should be included when requesting a letter of recommendation differs by the situation, such as information to include in a recommendation letter for a job is different from information to include in a recommendation letter for school admissions.
A well-prepared candidate knows the dos and don'ts and can obtain a good recommendation letter, which increases the chance of getting the job!
Diana is currently doing her Ph.D. in decision-making science in Germany. She's enthusiastic about psychology, behavioral science, and sustainability. She spends her leisure time daydreaming, working out at the gym, and socializing with her pals over a pint.