Create a Brag SheetWhen asking for a letter of recommendation, you’ll want to provide your recommender with a “brag sheet”. Much like a resume, a brag sheet compiles your various achievements throughout high school.
Decide Who to AskDeciding who you’d like to write your letters of recommendation is not a small task. However, there are some simple guidelines that can help you.
Ask Well in AdvanceThe last thing you want to do is give your recommender the impression that you’re unprepared. Make sure that you ask them with plenty of time in advance. Your teachers and counselors are busy people! Never ask for a letter less than two weeks in advance. Instead, it’s advisable to ask at least one month in advance. Doing so will not only help your recommender, but also help you, as your recommender will be more likely to write a positive letter.
Thank your RecommendersWhen all is said and done, your recommender is doing you a favor! They don’t have to write you a letter, but they are doing so anyway. Make sure that they feel appreciated. You should at least write them a physical letter to tell them that you appreciate their efforts. There are some situations in which a verbal “thank you” is enough, but this is not one of them. Even if the “thank you” letter won’t change your letter, it is still something you need to do. Teachers take a lot of time out of their day to write your letters!
The time for you to apply to college has arrived and with it comes the ever-so-long checklist of required documents: personal statements, supplemental essays, the Common App. And how could we ever forget your letters of recommendation? At first glance, it may seem intimidating to ask your teachers to write these letters for you, especially since it’s a part of your application that is largely in the hands of someone else. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult! By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to expedite the process and ensure that your teachers will feel like you truly deserve the best letter possible.
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