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Eyes on the Prize: Recommendation Letters

Clearly, letters of reference are prominent for your ventures through the labyrinth of life.

Diane Won

October 04, 2013

Eyes on the Prize: Recommendation Letters
Humans are naturally social creatures. Therefore, we usually prefer to surround ourselves with favorable companions. We are more comfortable with those we build a connection with. Those connections can benefit us in a variety of ways - from friendships and personal relationships, to networking and employment. When you connect with someone, they are more willing to do you favors and vouch for you as a person. Likewise, when looking to request a recommendation letter from somebody, it is much easier - as well as more beneficial to ask those who prefer our company.

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Whether it is a matter of applying to college, or filling out a form to possibly land a job, the other party wishes to see the social side of why you should be accepted; which explains why there is virtually no escape from the dreaded recommendation letter. Clearly, letters of reference are prominent for your ventures through the labyrinth of life. Here’s a guide to the process of asking for and acquiring the right recommendation letter:

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Why do I need a recommendation letter? Recommendation letters are basically meant to answer this question - how do you behave around others? More specifically, a document of recommendation is intended to establish the following:

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1. Show how capable you are of forging friendly ties with certain individuals.
2. Offer a different perspective of who you are.

How many recommendation letters should I acquire? Concerning amount, definitely conjure more than one letter. For university applications, at least two letters should be handed in. These writings dramatically enhance one’s application.
Who is the best to ask for a recommendation letter? There is specific criterion for recommendation letters.
First off, not merely anybody can write these letters. Have a person who you are associated with on a deeper level write a letter for you. Ensure that the chosen feels confident in writing your letter. Possible correspondents to write recommendation letters must be adults over eighteen years of age with a degree, who are not related by blood, to the individual the letter is about. As for who should write a letter of recommendation, consider one of your school teachers. Maybe you are closest with the instructor of your best, not to mention, favorite subject at school? The school counselor assigned to you is a suitable candidate as well. Furthermore, if you are not a stranger to the boss at your work place, reach out. Creating bonds with another person is a fairly simple matter. Just think of your recommendation letter relationships as similar to those of your social acquaintances. Hence these DO’s: • Do familiarize yourself with that person in some unique way.
• Do make attempts to become more knowing of one another.
• Do treat the other as a friend, just not as casually if the person is older or of authority.
• Always be respectful and watch what you say.
Heed these DON’TS: • DON’T be afraid of a superior power.
Remember that employers are people, too. As for teachers, it is literally their job to be helpful supporters.
No matter the viewpoint, teachers are supposed to teach as well as ascertain the clarity of the lesson.
• DON’T be overly pushy, however.
• DON’T be shy.
• Act as mature as you are capable of.
How do I form relationships worthy of recommendation letters? A way I assemble relationships with my teachers is to inquiry of concepts or lessons I do not understand. For example, I am constantly seeking aid in my math classes. I make a significant effort to grasp what I do not comprehend, despite the difficulty of the material. Along with these continual questions, I would have a brief chat with the teacher regarding our personal lives. Despite a few exceptions, instructors often appreciate when a student cares enough to ask queries involving the curriculum and takes into account the extra determination displayed in learning. Giving goodies is an appropriate idea in order to initiate a friendly relationship. It is not just young children in elementary school that bestow gifts to their educators! When you hold an individual in esteem, putting together a little, thoughtful gift is an excellent method of expressing gratitude. People do value - and remember - kind gestures. How and when do I ask for a letter of recommendation? Always request reference letters kindly and ahead of time- at least a month or two prior to the date you need it by. What should the letter say? The letter should consist of how the writer met you; moreover, the duration of acquaintance. Any positive factor such as possessed skills in addition to better qualities are components that ought to be incorporated. The writer should provide examples of what he or she found worthy, along with a measure of your potential. For instance, if your boss noted the courtesy and profound manners with which you persistently treat the customers at work, he or she may include that aspect of you within the letter. What do I do once the letter is completed and sent off? Once the letters are delivered, take time to thank the writers with a card or a small present for their contributions. Through these documents, the image of who you are- what abilities or characteristics which set you apart as a distinctive being are made more concrete. Recommendation letters can define you under a new light. A refined picture portraying one’s achievements, personality, and social junctures is painted, bolstering all endeavors, magnifying focus on the goal, the prize.

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