How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation
Published on Dec 4, 2020 by Abby Stassen
Beyond your GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities, a letter of recommendation is often a crucial part of a college application. A good letter of recommendation can prove who you are beyond grades, it can provide a character reference, and it showcases who is willing to vouch for you. Here are a few tips for asking for and getting a great letter to accompany your college application or your resume.
Ask the right person. "A good letter of recommendation comes from someone in a position of authority, like a teacher or someone you've worked for, or a guidance counselor," says Tom LaCroix, Full Sail's Vice President of Admissions.
People who are involved with your after-school activities are a great resource for post-college letters. "If you're a member of a club or some other extracurricular thing that would have been overseen by a staff member here at Full Sail, that's usually a good source," says Doree Rice, Full Sail's Director of Career Development.
Provide details. Your English teacher may know you're an excellent student and that you're always on time for class, but they may not know about your volunteer work or long-term career goals. Letters that highlight soft skills can give a more complete picture of what you have to offer. "Things that are not apparent in the transcript are important to include," Tom states. "It's really about, can you collaborate with other people? Do you have a good drive? Do you have a good personality?"
Post-college admissions letters from Full Sail won't focus on many soft skills, but they're still a valuable addition to your job applications. "We're limited in what we're allowed to include in those types of letters," Doree explains. "We can speak to your observable skill sets, but we can't comment on your character or anything like that."
Show appreciation. "When asking, I would say 'I have a lot of respect for you and your opinion, and I would appreciate it if you could write me a letter of recommendation,'" says Tom.
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