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Recommendation letters are an integral part of any application. This handout is for students seeking a recommendation letter and for instructors (and others) who write such letters.
Recommenders can comment on your relevant academic skills or leadership traits, your suitability for a program or job, and your potential for success. Potential employers and graduate programs value your recommenders’ evaluation and opinions. When deciding whom to ask, consider the following before making any selections:
Once you’ve chosen your recommenders, make sure to:
Before you agree to write a recommendation, consider the following:
There are several reasons why it might be appropriate to say no to a request for a recommendation.
If you agree to write a letter, follow through on the next steps:
Some institutions will ask you to answer specific questions about the applicant in your letter. If they leave the content of the letter open-ended, make sure to include the following.
Letters of recommendation play an important part in the decisions of admissions committees, employers, funding agencies, and other organizations who are trying to choose between multiple candidates; your efforts in seeking strong letters (if you are the applicant) or creating them (if you are the recommender) do make a difference.
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