A good recommendation takes time to write. The letter provides
decision-makers or employers with a clear and straightforward
assessment of you from a perspective your recommender values and
respect. Make sure the person writing your recommendation knows
you and your credentials well. Knowing your Resident Advisor(s),
Hall Director, Resident Director(s), Minority Peer Advisor(s),
Academic Peer Advisor(s), faculty member, or other university
administrators is highly suggested. If they know you well enough,
they will write a knowledgeable recommendation for you. Remember,
it is just as hard for this person to write a powerful
recommendation for you unless they have had some kind of on-going
What you need to know and do
- If the person knows you well enough they will not have any
trouble writing a letter of recommendation for you. It is always
advisable to ask for a recommendation in person. Set up an
appointment to meet with them and make sure you discuss in
detail why you need the letter of recommendation.
- Familiarizing yourself with the position for which you need
the recommendation is an essential first step. Study your
qualities, skills, and experiences that distinguish you as a
good contender for the position. You may need to make out a list
of your strong points and share this list with the person
writing your letter of recommendation.
- Be very specific of what you expect to be included in the
letter. Due date and time of the recommendation is important as
it is necessary to give the person enough time to do his/her
work. It is also important to communicate that you are required
to hand deliver your recommendation in a sealed envelope.
- Make sure you hold up your end of the bargain. It is not
good to let any one write a recommendation for you and then end
up not submitting your application. If, for any reason, you
chose not to pursue the application for any of the Resident
Education positions, please let him/her know.
- Finally, aside from thanking them for writing the letter on
your behalf, one of the best ways to express your gratitude is
to let them know the outcome. Even in the event that you are
unsuccessful, still write a note to thank them for their time.