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Letters of Recommendation and Scholarships

April 5, 2010 Comments off

 

 

Some scholarship applications require Letters of Recommendation (LOR).  Here are some tips to help you get the best LOR possible:

Do’s

  • Do choose someone who knows you well enough to give you a recommendation.
  • Do get recommendations from employers, professors, school administration, and anyone else who is familiar with your work ethic.
  • Do ask for the recommendation in person, rather than sending an email.
  • Do tell the letter writer why you need the recommendation letter.
  • Do mention specific things that you would like to see included.
  • Do send a thank you note afterwards.
  • Do keep copies of the letter. You may need to use it again in the future.

Don’ts

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Secure letters of recommendation as soon as possible.
  • Don’t ask someone to lie.
  • Don’t ever forge signatures.
  • Don’t choose someone only for their title. Pick someone who has a title AND knows you well.
  • Don’t choose someone who is a poor writer.
  • Don’t hesitate to get as many recommendation letters as possible. Choose the ones that show you in the best light.
  • Don’t be surprised if the person you are asking for a recommendation letter asks you to write a letter that they will later modify and sign. This is a common practice.
  • Don’t forget to say please and thank you. A letter of recommendation is a valuable resource.

Information taken from:

http://businessmajors.about.com/od/recommendationletters/a/RecDosDonts.htm

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Letter of Recommendation Essentials

April 5, 2010 Comments off

Many scholarship applications require Letters of Recommendation (LOR).  Let’s examine the different sections a good LOR should contain.

Salutation
A salutation (Dear Mr. Marina, Dear Ms. Templeton, etc.). General letters should say “To Whom it May Concern” or simply don’t include a salutation.

Paragraph 1
The first paragraph of the reference letter template explains the connection to the person being  recommended, including how the writer knows the person being recommended, and why the writer is qualified to write a reference letter to recommend a scholarship.

Paragraph 2
The second paragraph of the reference letter template contains specific information on the person being written about, including why he/she is qualified, what he/she can contribute, and why the writer is providing a reference letter. If necessary, more than one paragraph can be used to provide details.

Paragraph 3

A  specific letter referring a candidate for a scholarship will include information on how the person’s skills match the scholarship being applied for. 

Summary
This section of the reference letter should contain a brief summary of why the person is being recommended.  Look for phrases like “highly recommend” or “recommend without reservation” or something similar.

Conclusion
The concluding paragraph of the reference letter template should contain an offer to provide more information. Include a phone number within the paragraph, include the phone number and email address in the return address section of your letter, or in your signature.

Sincerely,

Writer Name
Title

–Information taken from http://jobsearch.about.com/od/referenceletters/a/refertemplate.htm