Letters of recommendation are required by graduate schools, some internship programs and some employers. Most letters of recommendation for graduate schools are written by faculty who have had direct contact with you. A good letter discusses your qualities and characteristics, using examples from your academic, work, and personal history.
The Career Center is happy to act as a collection point for letters of recommendation. When requesting letters of recommendation, you may ask faculty to send letters to the Career Center to be kept on file. If you are using the letters to apply to graduate school, your professors may request that your letters be waived, meaning you do not have permission to see them. This is customary for graduate school letters of recommendation. Waiver forms are available from the Career Center. When the time comes to send out your letters of recommendation to graduate schools or employers, simply email our office with the specific information (where and to whom your letters should be directed). They are usually sent within 3-5 days of the request. Note: many graduate schools are now requiring the recommender to personally upload the letter of recommendation to the candidates file. You will want to check how letters of recommendation are to be submitted when requesting letters from your professors. Ask them to keep an electronic copy of your letter and to also send a hard copy to the Career Center to be kept in your credentials file.
When requesting letters of recommendation:
Make an appointment with the person you are asking to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
Give them three to four weeks (minimum) to write a letter for you. It is helpful to provide plenty of background information to assist the letter writer. A few things to include would be:
- Courses you've taken with them
- Related research or internship experience
- Work experience
- Honors and awards
Always include a due date and check with the Career Center to make certain your letters were received. If you have further questions contact the Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-245-1740.