Personal Development
How to ask for a letter of recommendation (with examples)

How to ask for a letter of recommendation (with examples)

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How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation is a powerful addition to your reputation, as it is written and signed by someone with personal knowledge of your professional or academic performance. These letters are generally used for college applications, job applications, scholarships, and fellowship programs.

Most selective colleges and universities require at least one to three letters of recommendation with your application. These are typically written by a guidance counselor or teacher. Keep in mind that a reference letter is different from a letter of recommendation, as it is a more generalized assessment of skills and experiences. Reference letters are usually addressed "To Whom It May Concern" and employers usually require a list of these for further evaluation. On the other hand, a letter of recommendation is usually addressed to a specific recipient, such as the hiring manager of a company.

Choosing the Right Person to Write Your Letter of Recommendation

Finding the right person to write the letter of recommendation is essential. While it is beneficial if they are experienced in their field, the most important factor is their connection to you. Choose someone who can speak to your character and understands your personal and career goals. Your manager, supervisor, teacher, or coach are all great options. Family members or close friends should be avoided, as they can be emotionally biased. It's also better to have different people writing your reference letter and letter of recommendation since they serve different purposes. Having a diverse range of referees provides a comprehensive outlook on your abilities.

Steps to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

Asking for a letter of recommendation can require some preparation. Before requesting a letter, make sure you know the person's deadline and the information they need to include. When making the request, be sure to explain the purpose, how it will be used, and why you are asking them. Include any relevant information such as your CV or a description of the role you're applying for. Providing an example of a recommendation letter can help guide the process for your referee. Finally, thank them for their time and express your gratitude. Your appreciation will help build trust and demonstrate your excitement about applying for the role.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Letter of Recommendation

A quality letter of recommendation can be the make-or-break factor when it comes to getting the job or program you want. As such, it's essential to devote some time and effort to writing it correctly. Here is a step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect letter of recommendation.

1. Make a List of Possible People to Ask

Before you send out your requests, take some time to think of the people who can best speak to your character and experience. Begin by making a list of your networking connections that know you well enough to write a personal recommendation. This could include past managers, supervisors, teachers, or coaches.

Tips for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

It's crucial to select someone who is capable of articulating both your skills and character, and who is familiar enough with you to do so convincingly.

Reach out to the Person, Followed by a Formal Letter

If it's feasible, it's preferred to have a conversation with the individual you would like to ask for a letter. This is a great way to initiate a personal relationship and express your deep gratitude for their time. If this isn't possible, the next best thing is to call or email them. Emails are seful for including all the necessary details, and provide a paper trail for your request.

Give Ample Time

People tend to forget that the person writing your letter of recommendation may have other duties and priorities to attend to. Even if they are excited and keen to help, you should provide them with enough time to craft the letter. The last thing you'd want is a hasty letter with little effort.

Send Your Resume or Brag Sheet

An excellent way to show your appreciation is to make the letter writer's job easier. To do this, you can send them your resume or a 'brag sheet', which is an organized list of your abilities and accomplishments that you'd like to be highlighted. This makes the job easier, as well as preventing any important information from being omitted.

Include Necessary Details

In addition to your brag sheet or resume, you should provide any other necessary details about the position or program you are applying for. This enables the writer to understand why you're requesting the letter and what it should contain. Logistical information such as the address and due date are also key.

Send a Thank-You Letter

Although the letter is a favor and not a paid service, it is still a kind gesture from another person. Expressing your appreciation is an important aspect of the process. A thank-you email or letter is the ideal way to do so. You can further show your gratitude by keeping them updated with any future accomplishments that your letter may have helped you to achieve.

Who to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

Choosing who to ask for a letter of recommendation is an important task. It's key to select somebody who knows you intimately and has an unbiased opinion. Professional or career-based letters should be requested from reliable colleagues, supervisors, or managers. After narrowing your list down to two or three people, it may be helpful to ask others for advice.

What is the Fastest Way to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation?

If you are in a rush or need to beat competitors for a spot, the fastest way for requesting a letter of recommendation is essential. If you work or study alongside the letter writer, booking an in-person appointment is the quickest approach. This also allows you to begin building a personal relationship with the person providing you with the letter. If this isn't possible, send an email. You could also call them and then follow up with the details via email.

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation via Email

When asking for a letter of recommendation via email, it's important to be succinct and straightforward. Here are some tips for sending out a request that stands out:

  • Create a clear subject line to help the recipient quickly identify the email.
  • Avoid using emojis, excessive punctuation, or lengthy statements.
  • Make sure to be identifiable to the recipient, so they can quickly reference you.

Tips for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

Asking somebody for a letter of recommendation can be intimidating since your future depends on it. Therefore, it's important to go about the process in the right way.

Requesting a letter of recommendation: A Guide

Requesting a letter of recommendation can be daunting but the fact that you are researching the topic is already a start. Here is a list of tips to be better prepared when making your request.


  • Don't leave it to the last minute. Allow the letter writer enough time to write a good recommendation.
  • When possible, ask in person. Having a conversation allows for better communication.
  • Show appreciation � they are doing you a favor.
  • A bit of flattery can go a long way.


  • If the person isn't comfortable writing you a letter, ask someone else.
  • Be graceful if they decline.
  • Be clear about what you need in the letter.
  • Use professional and confident language.

Additional Steps

When sending the email, make sure to advocate for yourself by introducing yourself and reminding them of any previous connections. Be friendly but direct and try to make it as easy as possible for them to write a letter. You can do this by providing information such as a personal vision statement or attaching relevant documents such as your resume and the job description if there is one. Lastly, be honest about your timeline.

What to Include in the Letter

The letter should go into detail about the relationship between you and the writer of the letter as well as a few examples to back up points. It should also include specific qualities the writer that finds impressive and conclude with a strong endorsement and a call to action. Make sure the letter is tailored to the individual receiving it and the tone is personalized.

Structural Considerations

Structurally, the letter should follow a formal letter format of address, body, and conclusion. The language used should be professional as well as appropriate grammar and spelling. If the recipient is a professor, be sure to include the correct terminology and research to demonstrate your academic knowledge. Make sure to thank the recipient for their time and give enough lead time before the deadline.


Below are two examples of recommendation letter requests:

A Professional Example of Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

Dear Mr. Collier,

I am writing to humbly request if you would be willing to author a letter of recommendation for me in support of my application for the position of Head Manager at JHI Associates. The hiring manager has instructed me to provide a letter of reference from someone on a professional level who is able to attest to my abilities and achievements. As we have worked together for an abundance of years, I am confident that you can provide vivid insight into my aptitude as a top managerial candidate. I learned a great deal from you during my tenure at Collier Caller Services.

Asking for a Salary Range- How to Start the Conversation

Discussing salary ranges can be a bit intimidating at times. Thankfully, there are a few uncomplicated strategies that can help you initiate the conversation without feeling uneasy. We have compiled five simple pieces of advice that can assist you in expressing and sharing your salary requirements with assurance.

  • Understand the Market- Before starting the conversation, it is essential to comprehend the current market and the salary range for the role you are interested in. This will help you establish realistic expectations and be better prepared for the discussion.
  • Highlight Your Value- During the conversation, concentrate on the value you can bring to the company. Speak about your special skills and qualifications and how they can benefit the business. Don't be afraid to emphasize your past achievements and experiences.
  • Be Prepared- Investigate the company and the industry. This can aid you in guiding the conversation and help you understand the company's internal procedures and expected norms.
  • Practice Your Negotiation Tactics- Have a few negotiation techniques ready to use during the conversation. Be confident and eloquent while you negotiate and don't be hesitant to ask for what you desire.
  • Be Flexible- Be willing to negotiate and be open to offsetting salary ranges. Have a minimum and a maximum in mind that you are comfortable with and attempt to negotiate within that range.

Asking for a Raise- Advice to Get What You Deserve

When it comes to asking for an increase in salary, it is of utmost importance to have a few approaches that can assist in getting what you are worthy of. Here are a few useful tips that can help you negotiate smarter and obtain the salary that reflects your value.

  • Formulate a Plan- Before beginning the negotiation process, take some time to devise a plan. Consider what your objectives are and how you plan to reach them. This will aid you in leading the conversation and can improve your chances of achieving your goals.
  • Know Your Worth- It is crucial to possess a clear understanding of your worth. Research the current market and the salary range for your position. This will help you set realizable expectations and be better prepared for the discussion.
  • Concentrate On Your Value- Highlight your best skills and emphasize how you have added value to the company. Explain how you have invested in the expansion of the company and how your contributions have helped the company to grow.
  • Negotiate with Confidence- Be confident and articulate while you negotiate. Don't be scared to ask for what you deserve but be willing to meet in the middle. Recall, it is a negotiation, not a one-way street.
  • Be Patient- It is essential to remember that negotiations take time and results may not occur overnight. Be patient and persistent. Don't be afraid to seek feedback and make any adjustments as needed.

How to Answer 'Tell Me About a Time' Questions with Confidence

Responding to 'tell me about a time' interview questions can be intimidating. However, with the right preparation and knowledge, you can easily overcome these questions and showcase your best self. Here are a few tactics that can help you answer these questions with assurance.

  • Research- Prior to the interview, research the company and industry. This will aid in understanding the company's expectations better and allow you to personalize your responses according to the information you have gathered.
  • Prepare Your Responses- Take some time to think about your prior experiences and prepare your answers in advance. Consider your biggest accomplishments and have a few stories on hand to use during the interview.

Effective Interview Preparation- Tips to Improve Your Performance

Interviews can be intimidating, but with the right preparation, you can set yourself up for success. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your upcoming job interview.

  • Research the company- Before the interview, take some time to research the company and the position you are applying for. Be prepared to answer questions about the company and their work.
  • Study common questions- Take some time to study and practice common interview questions. This will help you think of relevant answers that showcase your skills and accomplishments.
  • Practice your answers- Once you have your answers ready, practice them. Rehearsing your answers helps to make them more articulate and confident during the interview.
  • Be concise- It is important to provide clear and concise answers. Focus on your successes and how you specifically helped the company. Avoid rambling and keep your responses relevant to the question.
  • Be honest- Always be truthful and honest in your answers. Be open to feedback and be willing to learn from your mistakes.

The 6 Best Resume Builders for Every Situation

Creating a resume that stands out can be a challenge. To make the process easier, we have compiled a list of the six best resume builders. These resume builders can help you craft the perfect application, ranging from beginner-friendly templates to advanced customization options. Take a look and find the best fit for your needs.

  • Canva- Canva is a free online tool that allows you to create professional-looking resumes. The platform offers hundreds of customizable templates and you can tailor it to your preferences.
  • Adobe Spark- Adobe Spark is a free online platform that offers a range of resume templates. It is user-friendly and allows you to customize your resume.
  • Wix- Wix is a free online website builder that offers a range of resume templates. The platform is easy-to-use and you can customize your resume.
  • Microsoft Word- Microsoft Word is a powerful tool for creating a resume. It offers a range of ready-made templates that you can customize.
  • Google Docs- Google Docs is a free online tool that allows you to create and customize a resume. The platform offers a wide range of templates to choose from.
  • Gravit Designer- Gravit Designer is an online design tool that is free to use. It offers a range of customizable templates that you can use to design your resume quickly.

How to Decline a Job Interview- What to Do When in Demand

When you are in demand, it can be difficult to respond to all job requests. But there are some strategies that can help you politely decline a job interview. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to decline an invitation without coming off as unprofessional or rude.

  • Be honest- Be honest about why you are declining and thank the interviewer for considering you for the position.
  • Be courteous- Be polite and courteous when declining an invitation. Express your appreciation for the offer and apologize for not being able to accept it.
  • Explain your decision- Explain why you are declining the offer and provide a valid reason. This will demonstrate that you have taken the time to consider the offer and make an informed decision.
  • Offer alternatives- Offer the interviewer an alternative solution. You can refer them to someone else who might be a better fit for the position or offer to help in any way you can.
  • Follow up- Follow up with the interviewer and thank them for their time. This can help maintain the relationship and the interviewer might consider you for future openings.

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