When requesting a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, ask early ― at least three weeks before you need the letter if possible. Keep in mind that faculty will only be able to provide recommendations regarding your academic work. Faculty 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:
- 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).
- The reason for your request such as a job application, fellowship, or internship.
- Information about the position or your job target.
- Clearly ask the faculty member if he/she would agree to write a letter of recommendation for you related to your academic work.
- Provide key academic points that you would like the faculty member to highlight such as the quality of your writing skills, collaborative work, engagement in the classroom, creativity, and the overall quality of your work.
- Attach a PDF of your curriculum vita or resume, paper from the course, discussion post, or provide a link to your e-portfolio which includes these documents.
- Include logistical information such as:
- Address the letter on Walden letterhead to ______________
- Mail the letter to ______________ or send an email to ______________
- The deadline for receiving the letter is ______________
- My phone number is ______________
- Send a copy of the letter to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 faculty member informed on the progress of your search or application and thank him or her again for the support.
- Visit OptimalResume’s Letter Builder to view a sample request for a letter of recommendation.