Letters of recommendation are important to admissions officers because they provide contextual interpretation of your academic performance. Writers share critical insight into your work habits and learning style as well as your ability to respond to challenges and setbacks. They can help explain irregularities in your academic program and/or performance and shed light into key factors that define your learning environment.
So who should you choose to write your letters? The people best positioned to support your application are those who know you well from your recent work in the classroom. They are familiar with your intellectual abilities and academic skills. They have watched you respond to a range of challenges in the classroom and understand your capacity and desire to learn.
They are your teachers, counselors, and advisers—they are your champions. Let them help you.
The following are five tips for securing recommendation letters that can help strengthen the overall presentation of your applications. As you anticipate the start of your senior year, keep the following in mind:
Who should recommend?
Depending upon the level of study, recommendations could be made by,
For admission at the Bachelor’s level – Lecturers, who has taught the student in key subjects or specializations and has a good insight on the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant.
Choose teachers who know what you can do
These are the teachers who push you and don’t let you settle for “good enough”—the folks who are more likely to be invested in your long-term success. Contrary to popular belief, your most insightful supporter may not be the teacher regarded as the most popular. Generally speaking, at least one of your recommenders should be someone who is familiar with your critical thinking and communication skills.
Talk with your recommenders about why college is important to you
Share your dreams and ambitions. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. If there are factors beyond your control that have influenced your ability to perform as you would have liked, make sure your recommenders are sufficiently informed so they can help you tell your “story.” Give them the necessary information and insight so they can write well-balanced letters on your behalf.
Share a brief résumé of your activities and achievements
While your teachers know you well from your work in their respective classrooms, they may not have the benefit of the big picture that defines you.
Provide a list of your application deadlines and the appropriate forms
This includes the pre-addressed, pre-posted envelopes used by each of the colleges for letters of recommendation. While your recommenders may elect to use their own forms, they will still benefit by being able to respond to the guidelines and information requests provided by the colleges to which you are applying.