So, you want me to write you a recommendation? Well, I need you to help me.

  • You need to give me a minimum of 4 weeks (one month) to complete the recommendation. If you need it in less than four weeks, I probably will not meet the deadline. Maybe you should consider asking another person.

  • You should schedule a meeting with me so we can talk. I won't simply agree to write a letter based on an email request. I want to know something more about you and what you're looking to do.

  • If this is a recommendation for a school, you need to provide me a copy of your 'personal statement.' Most schools will require that you write some kind of statement describing your goals and why you think you should be admitted. I can write a better letter of recommendation if I know something about your goals.

  • A good letter of recommendation will include specific details about you. Prospective employers and schools want details about you to figure out if you are a good match to them. Privacy laws prevent me from disclosing grade information, but I can and will state my estimate of where you are relative to all of the students I have worked with (e.g., top 5%, top 10% ... top half).

© 2016 David W. McDonald