Question on requesting letters of recommendation

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alohabear
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Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby alohabear » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:41 pm

What is a reasonable time-frame to give someone to write a letter of recommendation for school application? I've had a series of lucky events happen that could result in a paid for PhD, but due to timing, I only have one month to put everything together. I don't know if one month is plenty of notice to request a recommendation, or if it is unreasonable. Any thoughts?

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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby Tightwad » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:22 pm

alohabear wrote:What is a reasonable time-frame to give someone to write a letter of recommendation for school application? I've had a series of lucky events happen that could result in a paid for PhD, but due to timing, I only have one month to put everything together. I don't know if one month is plenty of notice to request a recommendation, or if it is unreasonable. Any thoughts?

Hmmm...I guess that would depend on who's doing the writing. If it's a retired family member or friend then they should be able to get right on it. If it's the CEO of a major company then I'd give them as much time as possible. A month would be reasonable to me.

FWIW, I had a friend get accepted to the Naval Academy & he had to get letters of recommendation from a member of Congress. That obviously took a little time & probably a campaign contribution from his family.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby Bichon Frise » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:02 pm

I also write the letter of recommendation for the person and offer it up as a template for them to correct as they see fit or to totally scratch it they want to go another route. But, it will also remind them of accomplishments that they may not remember if they tend to go another direction with it.
Bichon Frise

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alohabear
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby alohabear » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:08 pm

Thanks, Tightwad. The program to which I will apply requires three letters. My intent was to ask some combination of current/former professors, mentors and supervisors (none of whom are members of Congress :D ). I just hate asking favors of people, and don't want to request something that has a huge burden like a short turn-around.

Bichon, thanks for the suggestion. My intent is to provide each person with a summary of accomplishments, plus my statement of objectives for the degree program so they're familiar with the program I intend to pursue and how that fits with my accomplishments and overall objectives. I've thought about providing a template letter, but wonder if that would seem too presumptuous. Plus, these folks know me in a different capacity (professional v. educational), so it would require different templates for each one. (Not that I mind putting in that kind of work, but I'd hate to do it and it be seen as inappropriate.)
Last edited by alohabear on Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DoingHomework
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:12 pm

If you need the letter quickly then there is nothing wrong with telling the writer that. There is nothing wrong in my opinion with saying "This fantastic opportunity just opened up and I am trying to meet a very tight deadline. Can you write me a letter of recommendation by next Tuesday?" Most professionals will be responsible enough to either get it done or just decline because they cannot meet the deadline.

I have mixed opinions about writing the letter yourself. I have written quite a few letters and I've had a few written for me. I find that I always say better things about the person than they say about themselves and that was exactly what happened to me as well. I walk on water according to the people who've written letters for me even though I personally only say I'm a mediocre swimmer. I personally don't like it when people offer to write the letter for me but I don't hold it against them either.

In your case maybe you should ask people and be up front about expecting them to meet the deadline. Then offer to write a letter yourself to facilitate meeting the deadline.

alohabear
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby alohabear » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks for weighing in, DH. I like your suggestion on how to open my request. And you're right; the people I'm asking will simply say "no" if the turn-around time is too short.

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5MinuteMoneyTips
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby 5MinuteMoneyTips » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:17 pm

I've always followed this approach:

1. Write the recommendation (at least bullet points)
2. Ask them and give them the timeline.
3. Offer a sample letter that you wrote just for them. Let them know they can take it and personalize it.
4. Give them a postage paid stamped envelope (the guilt power of the prepaid stamp is tremendous). Write the mail by date on the outside of the envelope.
5. Ask them to let you know when they mail it so you can check it off of your list.

____________
Jake
http://5minutemoneytips.com/2013/07/05/ ... niversity/

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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby bpgui » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:22 pm

5MinuteMoneyTips wrote:I've always followed this approach:

1. Write the recommendation (at least bullet points)
2. Ask them and give them the timeline.
3. Offer a sample letter that you wrote just for them. Let them know they can take it and personalize it.
4. Give them a postage paid stamped envelope (the guilt power of the prepaid stamp is tremendous). Write the mail by date on the outside of the envelope.
5. Ask them to let you know when they mail it so you can check it off of your list.

Why do you keep bumping long dormant threads?

alohabear
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby alohabear » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:44 pm

bpgui wrote:Why do you keep bumping long dormant threads?


Ironic, considering I said in the original post 8 months ago that I had a short turn-around time on this.

Seriously, even the Kitchen Liverpool posts aren't as annoying as necro'ing a thread.

stannius
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby stannius » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:14 am

alohabear wrote:Seriously, even the Kitchen Liverpool posts aren't as annoying as necro'ing a thread.


I dunno... at least they're personal finance related. And his responses are more well thought out than Jerry's.

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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby VinTek » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:54 am

stannius wrote:
alohabear wrote:Seriously, even the Kitchen Liverpool posts aren't as annoying as necro'ing a thread.


I dunno... at least they're personal finance related. And his responses are more well thought out than Jerry's.

Time will tell. We already know that Jerry doesn't ever explain the reasoning behind his posts. Let's see how responsive 5MinuteMoneyTips is to the question as to why he recommends a financial adviser to someone in their 20s (in this thread).

alohabear
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby alohabear » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:15 pm

stannius wrote:
alohabear wrote:Seriously, even the Kitchen Liverpool posts aren't as annoying as necro'ing a thread.


I dunno... at least they're personal finance related. And his responses are more well thought out than Jerry's.


Yes, but when someone necros a thread months or years later, it's almost a given that whatever situation the OP posted about has been resolved or is in some way or another no longer an issue. Otherwise the thread would still be active. What good does it do to give a poster advice/opinions on a situation that no longer exists?

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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby bpgui » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:42 pm

VinTek wrote:
stannius wrote:
alohabear wrote:Seriously, even the Kitchen Liverpool posts aren't as annoying as necro'ing a thread.


I dunno... at least they're personal finance related. And his responses are more well thought out than Jerry's.

Time will tell. We already know that Jerry doesn't ever explain the reasoning behind his posts. Let's see how responsive 5MinuteMoneyTips is to the question as to why he recommends a financial adviser to someone in their 20s (in this thread).

I tend to think he's just pimping his website. I could be wrong, but let's see if he even responds.

stannius
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Re: Question on requesting letters of recommendation

Postby stannius » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:58 am

alohabear wrote:
stannius wrote:
alohabear wrote:Seriously, even the Kitchen Liverpool posts aren't as annoying as necro'ing a thread.


I dunno... at least they're personal finance related. And his responses are more well thought out than Jerry's.


Yes, but when someone necros a thread months or years later, it's almost a given that whatever situation the OP posted about has been resolved or is in some way or another no longer an issue. Otherwise the thread would still be active. What good does it do to give a poster advice/opinions on a situation that no longer exists?


I totally get the pros and cons of necro'ing a thread. I am simply comparing evils for the fun of it. For some reason Jerry's "responses" really bug me.


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