Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

I am happy to write letters for students I have worked with generally for at least 2 quarters. Here are the steps to ask for a letter:

  1. Slack/email me asking for a letter at least 3 weeks before the deadline

  2. If you are requesting multiple letters, please send me a google spreadsheet with the list of the programs to which you are applying, together with due dates and how I should submit letters (URL, email address, I should wait until I get an email from them, etc.). 
  3. Once you have my agreement, please send me the following information at least two weeks before the first deadline:
    1) Briefly describe the program(s) and / or company(ies) you are applying to.

    2) Briefly describe your history and/or context that is relevant to the program/scholarship/company/lab you ar applying to. Example: I am a sophomore HDFS major who did some research with FRI and moved into Dr. XYZ’s lab etc. This helps me frame the letter for you.

    3) Describe why you are interested, and how it is related to your current and/or future goals (either personal, professional, or both).

    4) Describe why you believe you would be a good candidate.

    5) Optional: Is there anything that you are unable or uncomfortable mentioning in your application that I can do so for you? For example, did you work full-time while going to school full-time making your high GPA all the more impressive? Maybe you experienced a tragedy during one semester that I could mention as a way to explain your poor academic performance that semester? Or, perhaps you are the first in your family to go to college? Faced unusual circumstances that demonstrate your resiliency? Maybe you are a leader in an extracurricular activity, spending lots of time doing something impressive but that isn’t evident from your academic record?

    6) Send me your CV/resume
  4. Be sure to send me a slack message/email reminder about a week before the deadline, if you haven’t heard from me!
  5. Please let me know when you hear back from the program,  I really enjoy when students stay in touch and keep me posted on their career paths!

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