|5 Tips for Getting Great Letters of Recommendation
Written by: Joanne DeMeo
Select teachers who know you best
You may have received an “A” in AP US History, but if you rarely interacted with the teacher, this may not be your best bet for a recommendation. Rather than focusing on the teacher who gave you your best grade, identify a teacher who took the time to know you personally.
Ask for recommendations in person
Don’t email or text your request. Visit the teacher or counselor during the school day and ask personally for a letter of recommendation. Be prepared to provide the recommender with important information about where to send the letter and the deadline.
Plant the seed of your request early
If you had a great year in AP US History, ask your teacher to write a letter of recommendation before you leave for summer vacation. You can solidify your request in the fall, but your teacher may use the summer break to work on these types of requests.
Arm your recommender with information
Let the teacher or counselor know everything you were involved in throughout your high school career. Make sure you include activities outside of school, including church activities, jobs, volunteer work – all of these help show who you are and help the recommender get a better sense of what to write. Also, tell your teacher and counselor about the colleges you are applying to. Share your reasons for selecting these schools, and let the recommender know your plans for college and the future.
Say “Thank you!”
Send a thank you note to each of your recommenders. A handwritten, personal note of thanks is courteous and demonstrates your good, professional manners.
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