Requesting Letters of Recommendation or a Reference

Firstly, don’t be nervous to ask. I take it as an honor to provide a letter of recommendation or a reference to students and colleagues. However, do consider:

  • Do you really want me to be your reference? Think of whether we know each other well enough to give the reader a strong sense of who you are. The more we’ve interacted, the more stories I have to tell about your capacities, and the more distinctive the letter can be!

For a letter of recommendation 📝, please provide:

  • Full contact of the recipient, including name and title of the recipient, and the address (or email). If it’s for an academic application, provide the physical addresses of the program in addition to the automated link.
  • Your resume/CV. Also include a portfolio as a PDF or a link, if applicable.
  • Draft copy of any cover letter or statement of purpose.
  • Date by which the recommendation needs to be sent.
  • A general list of classes you’ve taken, and unofficial grades.
  • If it is for a job, provide a copy of the job description.
  • Additionally, I may request draft language. Think carefully of how I can use my voice to bolster your application, and provide me with a couple of sentences. This is so that I can “fill in any gaps” or assist with any strategic presentation of your abilities. (However, I make no guarantees I will use these points in the letter.)
  • Remember to plan ahead. I need about two to three weeks to write a recommendation, as I may have other letters to work on as well!

For a reference ☎️ , please provide (like above):

  • The name and title of the person who will be asking for the reference.
  • Your resume/CV. Also include a portfolio as a PDF or a link, if applicable.
  • Draft copy of any cover letter or statement of purpose.
  • If it is for a job, provide a copy of the job description.
  • Additionally, send any aspects you think warrants mentioning in a series of bullet points. While I make no guarantees I will discuss, they are helpful for me to think about as I discuss your accolades.

Best wishes and good luck! 🤞🏼