- Asking for a Letter of Recommendation
Please follow the directions on this page carefully.
- I cannot write a recommendation for you without the following information:
the forms from the school(s) or company(ies) to which you are applying
a list of the courses you've taken with me
a copy of your c.v. (curriculum vitae), or resume. You should list
- all paid jobs you have held and a description of your duties
- all volunteer positions and description of duties
- any honors you have received
- any clubs/organizations you belong to (on campus or off)
- your GPA, and your GPA in your major
- skills (languages you speak, programming languages you know, etc.)
a statement of purpose or list of career goals
(optional) If you have a paper or project that youíre particularly proud of, it would help me to read that.
Be sure that you fill out and sign the top of the form(s) you give me.
Where it says "I do/do not waive my right to inspect this reference" consider what the impact of your checking "I do not" has.
The school/company that receives the recommendation will take it less seriously if they think you have not waived the right to
see it. I normally send recommendations on MSU stationary through MSUís mail service, so I donít need a SASE (self-addressed
stamped envelope), but check with your other references on this. Providing a SASE is considered the correct thing to do.
If the recommendation is to be returned to you, provide an envelope larger than standard size in which I can return it.
Ask for the recommendation at least four weeks before it is due.
- Be careful in choosing whom to ask for a reference.
If you are a good student and/or if I know you well through advising or other contacts, I can write good things about you; otherwise
not. It is also often reasonable to ask an employer or volunteer
coordinator to write a reference. While they usually can't attest to your intellectual skills, they can comment on important issues
like your reliability, flexibility, initiative, etc.