How to Ask for an Early Letter of Recommendation

1. Make an appointment to speak with your recommenders.
Don’t just thrust letter materials into a teacher’s hand the five minutes you have between periods or tackle a coach in the locker room. This shows that you’re respectful of their time.

2. Explain.
Given the number of students who (erroneously) wait for the last minute, your teacher will most likely be surprised you’re asking for a letter so early. Explain that you already know that you’d want a recommendation from him or her. And you wanted to give him or her plenty of time. Also you wanted the teacher to be able to write you a recommendation while your achievements were still fresh in mind. The expectation is that the teacher will store your recommendation on the computer until it is time to paste it into an official letter of recommendation form.

3. Help your recommender.
At your meeting, make sure you give those chosen people information they can use to write your letter. You gain extra points for yourself because your letter will, more likely, be properly detailed. You gain extra points with recommenders for showing them that you are taking this process seriously and that you appreciate their time and effort.

Information to provide your recommender should include:

* Your full name, address, email and phone number.
* A copy of your resume or a list of activities and achievements. (This information can
be used to write a stronger letter.)
* Detailed examples of any accomplishments/ improvements in this particular teacher’s
class or subject

4. Follow Up.
Remember, your recommenders are doing you a favor. Show your appreciation by sending a thank-you note.

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