January deadlines are fast approaching. If you haven’t requested letters of recommendations from your teachers and counselor, time may be running out. Remember, their winter break is not included in that two week standard for requesting letters. If you haven’t requested them yet, you may be too late. Ask nicely and remember, they are not paid over winter break. Many school staff members have travel plans and time set aside to spend with their families. If you wait until the week before school is out for break, you may be too late.
If you are not using a request form for your letters of recommendations, you should be. If you don’t know what a request form is, email me.
Here are some tips –
1 – Do not use acronyms. Sure, your teacher or counselor probably knows about the organization you are volunteering at, but someone in another town, state, across the country might not. (The same rule applies to activities listed on your applications).
2 – If you are asking a teacher for a letter of recommendation, attach an extra section to your request form to detail a special project you excelled at during their class. Additionally, you might elaborate on a unit that had a big impact for you. You might also include a challenge you faced and overcame pertaining to their particular class. A recommendation is much richer when it comes from direct experiences and reflections.
3 – Attach an activity resume to a letter of recommendation request form.
4 – Use a Parent Brag Sheet.
5 – Explain all of your activities in detail.