When you are ready to apply for a scholarship, you may be caught off guard when you read you need recommendation letters. To add to the fire, you need recommendations from people other than your own personal references. So, who can write a reference for you? Most of the time, professors, teachers, and employers constitute as good scholarship references.
Nevertheless, how do you begin asking people to write you a recommendation? If you are shy or nervous, this may be a huge feat for you to take on. Consider the below tips to help you ask your professor or other professional to write you a recommendation.
Begin Asking Early
You never want to wait until the last minute to ask for a letter of recommendation. You should ask your professor or employer to begin writing the recommendation at least 6 – 8 weeks in advance. This will give your reference enough time to write a well thought out letter. You want to avoid having someone rush through writing your letter so the more time the better.
Give the Correct Information to Your Reference
One mistake many students make is they give the wrong information to the professor or employer they want to write them a recommendation. It is vital that you determine how the recommendation letters should be sent in and then let your reference know.
For instance, if the application wants letters submitted electronically through email, make sure your reference knows this and has the correct information on file.
Start with the Right Question
When you want to ask someone to be your reference, do not just say, “Hey, can you write me a recommendation?” Make sure the person knows enough about you to even begin writing one. Ask the professor if they have enough knowledge about your work to submit a good letter of recommendation.
When choosing the right person, make sure it is a professor you have taken many courses with or a class that had an intensive amount of writing in it. This way, your professor will have the knowledge of you and your work to write accurately.
When you want to initially ask for your letter of recommendation, do not just ask in passing. Write out a formal letter or email to the person you wish to write the letter for you. The information should contain all instructions for the letter of recommendation, your details, and any relevant works. You should let the person know what the letter of recommendation is for and what to ideally focus on in the letter.
Getting a letter of recommendation is one way to help advance your application ahead of others in the pool. You want to make sure you ask professors who are not only familiar with your work, but ones who know you enough to write a good letter. Remember, you want to always thank your professor or employer after they write the recommendation for you.