People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.
One of the application components students sometimes forget is the letters of recommendations. Most colleges ask for 1-3 letters, with 1-2 that should come directly from teachers. You want to find teachers who know you the best and can write the best letters.
how to identify which teachers you should ask
The best letters of recommendation are written when teachers know the students well. Start those relationships early by actively participating class and earning high grades. Talk to teachers who specialized in the subjects you are interested in pursuing as a career. On the other hand, considering asking teachers from classes where you developed skills that you will need in college. For example, suppose you were considering a program in public policy. Perhaps a letter from your English would be best because this teacher could speak on behalf of your writing skills and research analysis.
when to ask for letters of recommendations
We recommend junior students wait until the end of the school year to set a private meeting, send an email, or give a thank you note to thank those teachers and tell them how much you enjoyed their class. At the end, kindly tell them that you would appreciate it if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation next fall for college.
We recommend senior students ask their teachers at the start of school year for letters of recommendation. Set a private meeting, send an email, or give a thank you note to thank those teachers and tell them how much you enjoyed their class. Explain to them that you would appreciate it if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation for college.
Regardless of which year you ask your teachers, you want to give them enough time to write a letter of recommendation. At least two weeks prior to the deadline for them to write a letter of recommendation.
is there anything I should give to my recommenders?
After your teachers have agreed to write you a letter of recommendation, be sure to tell what it is you want them to highlight in their letter. Send an email where you go into depth as to what you want their letter to capture about yourself. A lot send them a list of the colleges you will be applying to and the programs. Tell them you want their letter to mention how you wrote an essay on an issue that you care deeply about. Or that you want the letter to highlight your perseverance.
what should the letters of recommendation highlight?
- Revelations About Challenges Faced and Overcome
- Evidence of Extraordinary Abilities and Passions
- Strong Character
make sure to follow up with recommenders
As application deadlines come closer, make sure you are following up with your recommenders to see if they have already sent their letters. Follow up one week prior to the deadline and kindly remind about the deadline.