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Letters of Recommendation

boston college career center

Many graduate schools and some employers ask candidates to submit letters of recommendation. Here are some strategies for getting the job done.

Choose people who know you personally

This might include professors who supervised a research project, coursework, research, extracurricular activities, paid work, or internships. Don’t be afraid to ask whether the potential letter writer knows you well enough to say positive things about you.

Don’t wait until the last minute

Give your recommendation writers as much advance warning as possible, preferably at least a month.

Make it easy for your recommenders

Provide explicit instructions on how and when the letter needs to be submitted. If the employer requires a hard copy of the letter, provide a stamped, addressed envelope. Consider creating a list of your personal accomplishments that they can draw on, or providing a copy of your resume, cover letter or essay, or graded work for a professor.

Consider setting up a credentials file

The Career Center recommends, a subscription-based online credential file management service that makes it easy to submit and manage portfolio materials such as letters of recommendation.

More Info

For more information about letters of recommendation, browse Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice.