Letters of Recommendation for Current/Former Students/Postdocs

Letters of recommendation often play an important part in applications for jobs and graduate school.  Here are some guidelines for requesting them.

  • Generally speaking, applicants should request letters from people who have worked closely with them and know them well - for instance a supervisor of a recent summer project as opposed to an instructor of a class of 300 several years ago.
  • In my case, letters should be requested at least 2 weeks in advance (this means the links for the application form should be provided two weeks in advance).  Applicants requesting several letters should group them together.
  • Applicants should supply their latest CV, and information on where they are applying, as well as any other ammunition.
  • If a paper copy has to be sent, please provide an envelope with the proper address, as well as a cover letter ("Please find attached a  letter of recommendation for so-and-so from so-and-so").