Asking for a letter of recommendation can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to reaching out to someone via email. However, with the right approach and a well-crafted email, you can increase your chances of receiving a positive response. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of asking for a letter of recommendation via email, providing you with valuable tips and examples along the way.
1. Choose the Right Contact
Before sending an email requesting a letter of recommendation, it’s important to carefully consider who you will be reaching out to. Ideally, you should choose someone who knows you well and can speak to your skills, qualifications, and character. This could be a professor, employer, or mentor.
2. Craft a Clear and Concise Subject Line
When composing your email, it’s crucial to create a subject line that clearly indicates the purpose of your message. This will help ensure that your email stands out in the recipient’s inbox and increases the likelihood of it being opened. For example, you could use a subject line like “Request for Letter of Recommendation.”
3. Start with a Polite Greeting
Begin your email with a polite and professional greeting. Address the recipient by their appropriate title (e.g., Dr., Professor, Mr., Ms.) followed by their last name. If you have a close relationship with the person, you may use their first name.
4. Introduce Yourself and Explain Your Purpose
In the opening paragraph of your email, introduce yourself and explain why you are reaching out. Be clear and concise about your purpose, whether it’s for a job application, graduate school, or a scholarship. Provide some context about your relationship with the recipient and why you believe they would be a suitable recommender.
5. Highlight Your Accomplishments and Goals
In the body of your email, briefly highlight your accomplishments, goals, and the specific reasons why you are requesting a letter of recommendation from the recipient. This will help them understand the importance of their recommendation and how it aligns with your future plans.
6. Offer Relevant Supporting Materials
To assist the recipient in writing a strong letter of recommendation, offer to provide any supporting materials they may need. This could include your resume, transcripts, or a list of specific points you would like them to address in the letter. Make it clear that you are willing to provide any additional information they may require.
7. Express Gratitude and Provide Next Steps
In the closing paragraph of your email, express your gratitude for the recipient’s time and consideration. Let them know that you understand they are busy and that you appreciate their willingness to write a letter on your behalf. Finally, provide clear instructions on the next steps, such as when and how they can expect to receive the necessary information from you.
8. Close with a Polite Farewell
End your email with a polite farewell and a professional closing. Use phrases such as “Thank you for your time and consideration” or “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” Sign off with your full name and contact information, including your phone number and email address.
9. Follow Up
If you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe, it’s appropriate to send a follow-up email as a gentle reminder. Be polite and reiterate your request, expressing your understanding of their busy schedule. However, avoid being pushy or demanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How should I address the recipient in the email?
A: It’s important to address the recipient with the appropriate title and last name, such as “Dear Dr. Smith” or “Dear Professor Johnson.” If you have a close relationship with the person, you may use their first name.
Q: What should I include in the subject line of the email?
A: The subject line should clearly indicate the purpose of your email. For example, you could use “Request for Letter of Recommendation” or “Letter of Recommendation Inquiry.”
Q: How long should my email be?
A: Keep your email concise and to the point. Aim for a length of around 200-300 words, focusing on the most important information and avoiding unnecessary details.
Q: Should I provide any supporting materials?
A: Offering to provide supporting materials can be helpful for the recommender. Consider including your resume, transcripts, or a list of specific points you would like them to address in the letter.
Q: Is it appropriate to follow up if I don’t receive a response?
A: Yes, it is appropriate to send a polite follow-up email if you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe. Express your understanding of their busy schedule and reiterate your request.
Asking for a letter of recommendation via email can be nerve-wracking, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of receiving a positive response. By carefully choosing your contact, crafting a clear and concise email, and expressing gratitude, you can make a compelling request that is more likely to result in a favorable recommendation. Remember to follow up if necessary and always be polite and professional throughout the process.
For more information on requesting letters of recommendation, you can check out these helpful resources: