Asking for a letter of recommendation from a professor can seem daunting, but it’s an essential step in pursuing your academic or professional goals. Whether you’re applying to a graduate program, seeking a job, or hoping to secure a scholarship, providing a glowing letter of recommendation from a trusted professor can make all the difference. However, crafting the perfect request can be challenging and requires a delicate balance of professionalism and personalization.
Don’t fret, though! You’re not alone in this process. In this article, we’ll provide sample emails asking for a letter of recommendation from a professor that you can use as a starting point. You’ll also learn tips and tricks to ensure that your email strikes the right tone and convinces your professor to write a recommendation that will showcase your strengths and accomplishments. So whether you’re a seasoned student or new to the game, you’ll find everything you need to confidently ask for a letter of recommendation that will help you reach your goals.
The Best Structure for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation from a Professor
Asking for a letter of recommendation from a professor can be a daunting task. You want to make sure you make a good impression and get a strong letter that helps you achieve your goals, whether that is getting into grad school, securing an internship, or landing a job. Here, we’ll break down the best structure for an email asking for a letter of recommendation, inspired by Tim Ferriss’s effective communication techniques.
1. Personalize your approach
Start your email by addressing the professor by name and mentioning how they know you. Doing so highlights your relationship and confirms that you are not sending a mass email to every professor you’ve ever had. Remind them of who you are and the specific course(s) you took with them. This helps jog their memory of you and your achievements in their class.
2. Express your gratitude and explain why you need the letter
Thank the professor for their time and dedication to teaching. Mention the specific reasons you are asking for a letter of recommendation from them: for example, you could say you admire their work in the field, or that you learned valuable skills in their class that you want to highlight in your application. Be honest and clear about what you want to accomplish with the letter, and how it fits into your overall career or academic goals.
3. Provide background information
Your professor may not know everything about the opportunities you are applying for, so provide some context and information. Explain the details of the program, job or internship, and what your goals are in pursuing it. Share your specific skills and qualities that align with the opportunity, and how you think their letter of recommendation could strengthen your application. This not only helps your professor write a better letter, but it also shows them that you have done your research and are serious about the opportunity.
4. Explain the timeline and provide details
Make sure you provide clear instructions on how to submit the letter, which institution or individual to address it to, and the deadline. Mention if there are any specific details they need to include in the letter, such as your GPA or particular skills. You could even provide a draft of your own letter of recommendation to give them an idea of what you are looking for. This thoughtful preparation makes it easier for your professor to complete your request and ensures they have all the necessary information to write a great letter of recommendation.
5. Offer to provide additional information and express gratitude again
Close your email with an expression of gratitude, acknowledging the work your professor put into writing a letter for you. Reinforce your appreciation by offering to provide additional information or answer any questions they may have. Thank them for their time and reiterate how much their letter of recommendation means to you.
In summary, a well-structured email that clearly communicates your personal connection with the professor, the reasons you need the letter, the background of the program, job, or internship, the timeline and details for submitting the letter, and your offer of providing additional information will help you receive a compelling letter of recommendation that helps you achieve your goals. Following the above tips, along with Tim Ferriss’s excellent communication advice, to write a stellar letter of recommendation request from a professor.
Sample Request for Letter of Recommendation from Professor
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Graduate School Application
Dear Professor Smith,
I hope this email finds you well. I am applying to graduate school for a Master’s degree in Public Policy and I wanted to ask if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. During my time in your undergraduate political science course, I was impressed by your teaching style and approach to complex topics. I believe your letter will highlight my academic abilities and passion for public policy, which will be valuable addition to my graduate school application.
Thank you for considering my request. Please let me know if you need any further information from me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Job Application
Dear Professor Johnson,
I hope this email finds you well. I am applying for a job as a marketing associate at a top advertising agency and I am reaching out to you to ask if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. Your expertise in marketing and your advice during my senior project have been invaluable in shaping my career aspirations. Your letter will attest to my skills and professional character, which will help me stand out in a competitive job market.
I would be honored if you could write the letter for me. Please let me know if there is anything I can provide to make the process easier for you. I appreciate your time and efforts. Thank you.
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Scholarship Application
Dear Professor Lee,
I hope this email finds you well. I am applying for a scholarship to study abroad in South Korea, and I am asking if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. Your class on Korean culture and society was a turning point in my academic journey, and sparked my interest in this field of study. I consider your letter essential to my application, as your knowledge and experience in Korean studies will illustrate my academic and personal qualities.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let me know if there is anything I can provide to assist you in writing the letter. I hope to hear from you soon.
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Internship Application
Dear Professor Chen,
I hope this email finds you well. I am applying for an internship at a humanitarian organization and I am asking if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. Your course on global health and development has inspired me to pursue a career in this field. I was impressed by your passion and dedication to making a positive impact on people’s lives, and I believe you are one of the most qualified people to testify to my commitment to this cause.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my request. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. I appreciate your help.
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Study Abroad Program
Dear Professor Davis,
I hope this email finds you well. I am seeking to participate in a study abroad program in Paris, France, and I am asking if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. Your French literature class was one of my favorite courses in college, and I still use the knowledge and skills I gained from it today. I believe your letter will speak to my language proficiency and cultural appreciation, which will make me a stronger candidate for this program.
Thank you for considering my request. Please let me know if there is anything I can provide to help you write the letter. I appreciate your support.
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Research Fellowship
Dear Professor Brown,
I hope this email finds you well. I am applying for a research fellowship in the field of cognitive neuroscience and I am asking if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. I had the privilege of working with you on a research project during my last year of undergraduate studies, and I learned a lot from your guidance and expertise in this field. Your letter will attest to my research skills and potential, which will make me a strong contender for this fellowship.
Thank you for being a mentor and inspiration to me. Please let me know if there is anything I can provide to help you write the letter. I appreciate your time and efforts.
Request for Letter of Recommendation for Leadership Program
Dear Professor Wilson,
I hope this email finds you well. I am applying for a leadership program for young professionals and I am reaching out to you to ask if you could write a letter of recommendation for me. Your course on organizational behavior and leadership was transformative for me, and made me realize my potential for leading others. Your letter will highlight my leadership potential and interpersonal skills, which will help me demonstrate to the selection committee that I am a good fit for this program.
Thank you for considering my request. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me. I value your support and encouragement.
Tips for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation from a Professor
Asking for a letter of recommendation from a professor can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. With thoughtful preparation and communication, you can increase your chances of getting a strong recommendation that can help you achieve your academic or career goals.
Here are a few tips for requesting a letter of recommendation from a professor:
- Choose the right professor. Select a professor who knows you well, and who will be able to provide specific examples of your strengths and accomplishments. Ideally, choose a professor who has taught you in a relevant subject, or who works in the field you plan to pursue.
- Request the letter early. Professors are often busy, so it’s important to give them plenty of notice. Request the letter at least a month in advance of your deadline, and provide a clear timeline of when you need the letter sent.
- Provide necessary information. Be sure to include any relevant information that the professor will need to write the letter, such as the name of the program or job you’re applying to, your resume, and transcripts.
- Be clear about your goals. Let the professor know what you hope to achieve with the letter of recommendation. This can help them tailor the letter to your specific needs and highlight the qualities that will be most relevant to your goals.
- Ask politely. Make sure to ask the professor politely for the letter, and acknowledge that they are doing you a favor. Thank them for their time and attention, and offer to provide any additional information or support that they may need to complete the letter.
Remember, the key to getting a strong letter of recommendation is to establish a good relationship with the professor early on. Attend their office hours, participate in class discussions, and show a genuine interest in their subject. By building a relationship based on trust and mutual respect, you’ll be more likely to get a letter that truly represents your strengths, skills, and potential.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sample Email asking for Letter of Recommendation from Professor
What do I include in my email requesting a letter of recommendation?
In your email requesting a letter of recommendation, include your name, the purpose of your email, the name of the person receiving the recommendation, and a brief introduction or reminder of who you are. You should also provide specific instructions on how to submit the letter, any deadlines that apply, and a thank-you message for their time and consideration.
When should I send my email requesting a letter of recommendation?
You should send your email requesting a letter of recommendation at least two to three weeks before the deadline by which it needs to be submitted. This timeframe will give your professor sufficient time to write an effective recommendation and submit it before the deadline.
How do I ask my professor for a letter of recommendation?
You can ask your professor for a letter of recommendation by email or in person during office hours. It is important to be polite and respectful, and to explain why you need the recommendation. You may also want to provide some information about yourself and the program or opportunity you are applying for to help your professor tailor the letter to the specific requirements if needed.
Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
You should ask a professor from a class that you did well in or were actively involved in. Preferably, choose a professor who knows you well and can write convincingly about your academic achievements and skills.
How many letters of recommendation should I request?
You should request the number of letters specified in the application requirements. Generally, one or two letters of recommendation are sufficient. However, some programs may require more, so make sure to check the requirements before requesting letters.
What should I do if my professor cannot write me a letter of recommendation?
If your professor cannot write you a letter of recommendation, do not take it personally. It may be due to workload, a lack of familiarity with your academic achievements, or other reasons. In this case, you may want to ask another professor or academic staff member who knows you better and can write an effective letter for you.
How do I follow up on my email request for a letter of recommendation?
You can follow up on your email request politely after a week if you have not heard back. A brief email reminder thanking them for their time and asking if they had an update on the letter would suffice.
What should I do if I receive a negative response to my email request for a letter of recommendation?
If you receive a negative response to your email request for a letter of recommendation, thank your professor for their time and consideration, and move on to another potential recommender.
Should I attach my resume or CV to the email requesting a letter of recommendation?
You can attach your resume or CV to the email requesting a letter of recommendation to help your professor tailor the letter to the specific opportunity you are applying for. Make sure to include any relevant information that showcases your skills and qualifications.
That’s all for now!
Thanks for reading this article on requesting a letter of recommendation from your professor. By following these simple steps, you’ll increase your chances of getting a positive response from your professor. Remember to always be polite and respectful when making these requests. If you need any more tips or advice, be sure to visit our website again later. Good luck with your letter of recommendation!