When requesting a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, ask early ― at least three weeks before you need the letter if possible. When applying for a scholarship, always check the application deadline and review instructions for submitting letters of recommendation.
If you are requesting a recommendation from a faculty member, keep in mind that he or she can decline your request to write a letter of recommendation because of time constraints, or for other reasons, at the faculty member’s discretion. If a faculty member declines your request, the faculty member does not need to provide a reason.
Include the following in your request to a faculty member:
- Your program, specialization, and the date you graduated or expect to graduate.
- The course title(s), section number, year, and term you were in the faculty member’s course(s).
Include the following in your request to all referees:
- The specific name of the scholarship you are applying for and a link to information about the scholarship.
- Clearly ask the referee if he or she would agree to write a letter of recommendation for you.
- Provide key points that you would like the referee to highlight in the letter:
- Relationship to the applicant (faculty, supervisor, colleague, etc.)
- Interpersonal and relational skills and competencies
- Academic and work experience
- International experience and development work
- Logistical information such as:
- Address the letter to ______________
- Submit the letter to ______________ or send an email to ______________
- The deadline for receiving the letter is ______________
- My phone number is ______________
- Please send a copy of the letter to me at email@example.com
- Attach a PDF of your curriculum vitae or resume or provide a link to your e-portfolio which includes these documents. Close with a “thank you.”
After sending the request:
- If you do not hear back within five days, send a gentle reminder email.
- After you receive the letter or notification that the letter was sent, immediately send a “thank you.”
- Keep the referee informed on the progress of your application and thank him or her again for their support.
- Visit OptimalResume’s Letter Builder to view sample requests for a letter of recommendation.