A Quick Guide to Writing Letter of Recommendation Requests

There are many things to consider when requesting a recommendation letter. This article explains everything from choosing a recommender to determining whether you need to submit a resume for letter of recommendation requestsLet’s start with a few fundamentals. 

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

 A recommendation letter is a type of letter in which the writer vouches for someone else’s qualities. It is most commonly used to recommend someone for a job, scholarship, or other opportunities. T

he main purpose of recommendation letters is to provide information that can help an organization make an informed hiring decision.

The necessity behind reference letters stems from the lack of a way to measure a candidate’s performance without hiring them first. A character reference comes from someone who has witnessed the candidate in action and has personal knowledge of their abilities.

The Importance of Recommendation Letters

 Recommendation letters can be extremely important when applying for jobs, scholarships, and college programs. They provide potential employers or program directors with additional information about an applicant’s skills, abilities, and qualifications. Good recommendation letters can help set applicants apart from the competition and increase their chances of being selected for a position.

We need to consider the current state of every industry. While the demand for most professionals is increasing, so is the market’s competitiveness. Candidates need to exert greater effort to stand out from a pool of applicants.

A gleaming recommendation letter from someone of high esteem can sway a decision because it carries significant weight. This is especially the case if your referrer is well-respected among your niche’s academic or professional community.

Now that you know the benefits of a strong recommendation letter, it’s time to learn how to ask for one.

How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter

white printer paper on brown wooden table
Photo by Mediamodifier on Unsplash

A letter of recommendation is not something given automatically. You have to request someone to vouch for you and your application. This means that people have the option to decline your request.

Here are some tips if you want the best chance of securing a recommendation letter.

Ask Someone You Trust

Whom you ask for a recommendation is the most crucial aspect because it affects the weight of your recommendation. Asking someone you trust is important because they’re likely to exert effort into writing a good recommendation. 

Ensure that the person writing your recommendation is someone you’ve interacted with regularly at work or school. A teacher, supervisor, or project manager are all ideal options. 

Again, ensure that you have a relevant relationship with the author because this significantly affects the relevance of their recommendation.

Write a Formal Request

Considering that a recommendation letter is formal, you should also write a formal request. It’s part of the process because formal requests are usually given priority over others. Moreover, a formal request will indicate your seriousness.

Give Them Ample Time to Write

Ask your recommender at least four to six weeks before the application deadline to account for processing times and their schedule. Rushing them for your recommendation doesn’t just affect the quality of your letter. It’s also disrespectful to them. 

Send a Resume For Letter of Recommendation Requests

When asking for a recommendation letter, you need to provide them with information on the job to help them understand the situation. This allows them to determine the type of information include in their letter. 

Many guides recommend including your resume for letter of recommendation requests.

It’s also best to outline your skills and achievements in your request to help recommenders organize their thoughts and highlight key information. This also allows them to focus on the style and eloquence of your letter rather than the information.

Remember to Thank Them

Expressing your gratitude to someone is not only part of good manners. It’s also a way to maintain your relationship. Remember that this person took the time and effort to write you a recommendation. They also take on a small degree of reputational risk by vouching for you.

Besides a verbal thank-you, you should also show appreciation for their efforts by doing well in your chosen venture [if you’re accepted].

In Summary

Recommendation letters are important to professionals and students because they help open new opportunities. Learning to request a recommendation letter is a key skill in any career. Make sure to take the time to master it by building good habits with these simple tips.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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