If you are looking to get into the college or university of your dreams, you are going to need fantastic grades in difficult classes, excel in your extracurriculars and much more. One very important factor to keep in mind when you are applying to top schools is how impressive your letter or letters of recommendation are.
If you are unsure about how to go about getting a really great letter of recommendation, then you have absolutely come to the right place.
Here are some of the top things to keep in mind when it comes to getting great recommendation letters for college. Let’s get started!
Don’t be afraid to ask early
One of the best ways to make sure that you are able to get a letter of recommendation from a teacher at your school that you have respected and have built a relationship with, is to make sure that you get in line early. It is typical that a lot of students want letters of recommendations from a rather small list of teachers because – let’s be honest – it’s not all that easy to form meaningful relationships with all the teachers at any school.
If you already know who you want to get a letter of recommendation from at your school, there is nothing wrong with asking at the very start of the school year. That will give you time to speak with your teacher about the letter and will give the teacher time to really think about you as a student and craft a meaningful letter that will help you as much as possible.
Let the teacher know you’ll be handling the sending responsibilities
Either right when you ask your teacher for the recommendation or sometime after, let the teacher that you have asked to write the letter know that if the college that you want the letter sent to requires submission via snail mail – which is still sometimes required – that you will be handling these duties. Not only does it show that you respect the writer’s time and energy, but it also gives you the ability to make absolutely sure that the letter is sent to the right office and address.
Know that the writer may have their own process – and follow it
Be prepared for your teacher to possibly ask you to do a bit of work to make their job of writing their letter of recommendation a bit easier. For example, they may have a questionnaire that they want you to fill out or they may want to sit down with you for an in-person meeting to talk about your goals and passions more. If that is the case, you should most definitely do whatever it is they expect of you! Not only is this simply a polite and mature thing to do, but it is also crucial to helping them get the information that they need to write the most productive, positive and truly accurate letter of recommendation. Good luck!
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