Seeking a Letter of Recommendation for Studying Abroad – Tips for Getting a Good One
One of the most important factors in being admitted to a school of your choice is a good, strong letter of recommendation. You may need this not just for admission to a school or college, but also for a job or even a scholarship. In contrast to your college essay, a letter of recommendation represents the viewpoint of another individual, backed by their position of authority. Teachers, counselors or other people of authority generally write these for you. It is a way of asking them to vouch for your caliber, capability and character.
Are you interested in studying abroad, but don’t know how to get a letter of recommendation? The following tips can help when requesting someone to write one for you.
- Ask the right person: A counselor who knows you well or a teacher in whose class you performed well, is a great start. Although most schools and colleges require around three letters of recommendation, it is better if you have a few more people in mind to request from. Someone who knows you closely and can give a personal recommendation for you is best suited for a letter of recommendation. Even if you do not have three such people, schedule a meeting with the teachers in whose classes you did best or your school counselor. This way they can get to know you and may be able to represent you in the letter in a better manner. When it comes to postgraduate or graduate school, you can contact your professors in the college where you graduated. Ideally, you should find a professor who specializes in your field of further study.
- Do the homework for them: Even if a teacher knows you very well, chances are they will have trouble recalling each and every one of your achievements; however, a little nudge from your side may be helpful. The best way to do this is to make a list, much like a resume but simpler, gently reminding them of all the things that they could add to the letter of recommendation. Include your accomplishments and personal strengths which include the courses you took with the said teacher and the grades that you got; your best attributes demonstrated in their class; your academic record; extracurricular activities or volunteer work that you have undertaken; any work experience, if relevant; and what your goals are and why you are passionate about the course that you are applying for.
- Approach them timely: Remember, you are not the only one who will be needing a letter of recommendation around the time that all colleges ask for them. To make sure the teacher you approach can dedicate enough time and thought to your letter, try reaching out sooner. Give them at least a couple of weeks, a few weeks before other students who are likely to send a request for their letter of recommendation. As a result, they will be able to pay more attention to yours.
- Make a formal request: Before you send in a formal email requesting the letter of recommendation, it is always better to confirm it in person with the teacher concerned. In the email, let them know about the course that you are applying for, the due dates for submission of the letter of recommendation, detailed information about your achievements, and a pre-addressed and stamped envelope for any letter that may need to be sent by mail.
- Follow up: Check with the authorized person a week before the due date for the letter of recommendation and gently share a reminder (if required) about the pending submission. Moreover, you can update them about something that may not have made it to the list of achievements for the letter that you sent them before.
- Extend thanks: Send a note of thanks, acknowledging their effort and appreciating their support once the letter of recommendation has been received. Given that they have written your letter of recommendation, do update them once you are accepted.
Follow these tips and you should have an excellent letter of recommendation that should be able to get you into the college of your choice. Aplicar is your best resource and platform when it comes to all things related to admission. Log on to www.aplicar.io for more details.
Fulfil your dreams of studying in Canada and the US with Aplicar!
Aplicar connects students and recruitment partners to the best educational opportunities across Canada. It’s a one-stop solution to ease students’ journey towards studying in Canada.
The Aplicar Advantage
- Save hours of research and apply to the most suitable programs and schools in Canada
- Apply to the school of your dreams in just 5 minutes
- Apply to multiple schools/colleges with a single profile
- Excellent acceptance rate
- Streamline and simplify search, application, admission, study visa, and post landing services through our flexible service model