Letters of Recommendation Tips...
• Mail a written request for a letter of recommendation. It shows that you are serious and professional about your request. An email is for reminders and verbal requests will probably not get a response.
• Ask the writer to address the letter generally to: "The Scholarship Committee". So you can use the letter for several different applications. Genius!!!!
• Be very accommodating to the people you are requesting a letter from. For example, send a resume or list of accomplishments with your written request. This way they have the information they need to write your letter of recommendation. If they have to work too hard they probably won’t write it. Remember, you know more about yourself than they do.
• Request (in writing) 3-5 original copies of the letters. Make 10-20 copies of each for each scholarship application you will submit. Some applications will ask for originals and some will accept copies. Be prepared!
• Provide your written requests well in advance. The writer is doing you a favor and good letters take time.
• You will need at least 3 letters of recommendation….so send out 9 written requests! You might actually get 3. Remember this is optional for the writer, so be very humble about reminders.
Who to ask:
• Past professors/teachers and current professors/teachers
• Employer: Manager, supervisor, co-worker, etc. Some scholarship applications specifically request a letter from your employer.
• Church: If so, ask your pastor, a minister, Sunday school teacher, etc...
• Community Service: Always request a letter when you do community service and add it to your binder/portfolio (see Prepare tab). These letters will be worth their weight in gold.
• Organizations: If you are involved with extra-curricular activities these letters will be worth their weight in gold!
Tricks of the trade: Be prepared to ask for an updated Letter of Recommendation (in writing) in November/December. You will want it to be dated for Jan. 1st or later. Most scholarship committee’s want current letters. You will be one step ahead of the game!!
Tricks of the trade: Ask for 3-4 envelopes with the original letters. Use them when the application requires a signed & sealed letter of recommendation. But black white envelopes are acceptable too.
More to Come...