Just as a good recommendation letter can be an asset, a bad recommendation letter can be a hindrance. Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind when securing your recommendation letters:
- · Do choose someone who knows you well enough to give you a recommendation.
- · Do get recommendations from employers, professors, school administration, and anyone else who is familiar with your work ethic.
- · Do ask for the recommendation in person, rather than sending an email.
- · Do tell the letter writer why you need the recommendation letter.
- · Do mention specific things that you would like to see included.
- · Do send a thank you note afterwards.
- · Do keep copies of the letter. You may need to use it again in the future.
- · Don't wait until the last minute. Secure letters of recommendation as soon as possible.
- · Don't ask someone to lie.
- · Don't ever forge signatures.
- · Don't choose someone only for their title. Pick someone who has a title AND knows you well.
- · Don't choose someone who is a poor writer.
- · Don't hesitate to get as many recommendation letters as possible. Choose the ones that show you in the best light.
- · Don't be surprised if the person you are asking for a recommendation letter asks you to write a letter that they will later modify and sign. This is a common practice.
- · Don't forget to say please and thank you. A letter of recommendation is a valuable resource.
- · Don't send one if it is not asked for.