How to Request Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation Setting yourself up for success! Please note: This presentation does NOT have audio.
Identifying possible evaluators
Ideally, you should have more evaluators in mind than you actually need
Start this process early! This allows you to replace anyone who is not able or willing to write you a letter
Select appropriate evaluators based on what you are applying for (admission to professional school, an internship program, scholarships, etc.)
Many of these opportunities will ask for specific types of evaluators – Be sure to read the application instructions thoroughly
Create a spreadsheet (if multiple letters are collected) Evaluator’s Name Email Address / Phone number Note how they prefer to be contacted Date you requested the letter Deadline agreed upon Date to submit your packet of information to them Date to follow up (3 weeks before deadline, if not received early) Thank you letter sent?
Making the request
Always ask for a letter of evaluation/recommendation in person.
Always ask at least one month before the deadline
For professional school applications, ask earlier so you can plan accordingly
Request an appointment
Okay by phone/voice mail or through email
Give the reason for requesting the appointment (e.g. I will be applying for medical school this summer and wanted to talk with you about the possibility of writing a letter of evaluation in support of my application.)
Be on time for the appointment
Look nice (you don’t have to where a suit, but don’t show up in sweats and flip flops!)
What to actually say
Tell them the purpose of the letter you are requesting.
Explain how a letter from the person will help support what you wish to accomplish.
Ask if they will consider writing a letter on your behalf.
Wait for their answer!
If no, thank them for their consideration and depart.
If yes, ask what materials would be helpful to them in writing the letter. Also, ask when and how they would like to receive it from you.
Give them the date when the letter is to be submitted.
Items the evaluator may request
Personal Statement (And/or app required materials) – Rough draft is okay
For scholarship/internship/volunteer experience/study abroad experiences
General information about the program or opportunity
The name and title of the person the letter is submitted to. (Be sure to include the mailing address, also – even if the letter is to be included in a larger mailing envelope with other items or submitted electronically)
Admissions Test Scores (if available and relevant)
Passport photo, or any other professional looking photo (Put your name on the back of the photo)
Instructions for how to submit the letter
Deadline to submit
Gentle reminders About three weeks before the letter is due, touch base with your writer (email is fine). Tell them that you are working on the application materials and (either) A)that you are on time with your part of the process and still plan to submit the application by the agreed upon date B)that you have adjusted your submission date to and alternate date of “X” and they are welcome to use the extra time also. Say that you are confirming that they still plan to write a letter on your behalf and that they will be able to submit it by the either the original date or the adjusted date based on which you choose above.
Acknowledgement For internship programs, scholarships, etc., please send your letter writers a thank you note after the deadline has passed. Send another thank you letter when/if you accomplish the goal of the letter. For professional school apps, send a quick thank you email as soon as the letter has been submitted. Send another thank you letter when/if you are admitted to professional school.