January 4, 2013
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to offer my sincerest recommendation in favor of __________________________ for acceptance to your university. In the 3 years I have known __________________________ it has been my privilege to watch her grow in three areas that exemplify her worthiness of your acceptance.
First of all, __________________________ has grown in her capacity as a leader among her peers. With __________________________ , __________________________ has exemplified all the characteristics of what it takes to lead: strong character, enthusiasm for whatever she endeavors, confidence in her abilities, she is orderly and purposeful in situations of uncertainty, consistently calm and composed, stays focused on task achievement, and sets excellence as her standard. I believe __________________________ ‘s success and growth as a leader has instilled the necessary foundation to ensure her ongoing achievement.
A second aspect of my experience with __________________________ that leads me to believe him to be an ideal candidate for your university is her love of learning. __________________________ has a true passion for knowledge. She has an innate drive that facilitates a need to employ her critical thinking skills. In a given situation __________________________ will take everything under consideration, and make sense out of things or issues that may even appear to be chaotic at first. She is always focused on the matter at hand, and takes her time to review any information given until it is comprehended. __________________________ also realizes that in many instances, learning is not always a spontaneous event, but sometimes something that is realized over a period of time.
A third consideration I’d like to bring to your attention is difficult to measure but plain to see. __________________________ shows a level of maturity above many of her peers. While she is not standoffish or somehow aloof from her peers, she nonetheless rises above the more superficial concerns that typify many youth today. She instead often serves as a clear moral and intellectual standard to which her friends aspire.
I believe your university will gain an asset with your acceptance of __________________________ . I have every confidence that she will complete her studies and complete them in a way that brings honor and esteem to the traditions and goals of your university. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
So there you go, generic letter of recommendation 😀
I remember the first time I had to ask for one. One person I asked said she would and never did 😦
Never say you are going to do something and then don’t.
It was not easy for me to ask that first bunch of people for letter of recommendation, not because I didn’t think I deserved the letters; in my case it is mostly because I never like asking anybody for anything. Not that I would have the feeling of owning somebody a favor in return, my style is to stand alone as much as possible. Maybe some of you have been asked in the past to write a letter of recommendation for a person and you had a difficult time because you are not exactly sure what to say. It did take me the better part of a day coming up with what I wrote. A lot of it was looking at sample letters on the internet and some of it was paraphrased from stuff I was reading regarding teaching, learning, and the exceptional student. Does what I wrote really apply to the person I wrote it for? To a large degree, yes, everything I wrote does apply to the person I wrote it for.
Last time, several years ago I was surprised how long it took some people to get back to me with their letters of recommendation. One person took two months! I think part of the reason, though, was I wasn’t applying for anything, I just wanted them for my files, keep things updated, you never know 😀 A little more than a year ago I applied for a got a job offer to teach at a year-round school in the mountains. I would live there through the week and come home on weekends. After going home and starting to fill out the standard paperwork to complete the process, I called back the administrators that interviewed me and withdrew my application. The reality of living away from everyone started to hit. Plus some of the questions I was asked lead me to believe there were a couple of “head” cases on staff already.
The questions were basically of the nature of was I aware of and how would I handle living in close quarters with people I hardly knew and how would I handle people who might have not the best reactions when things don’t go as planned and maybe living conditions get uncomfortable due to the nature of living in a remote area.
They had no idea I had all that totally maxed out and nailed down! 😀 Thank you very much.
I wonder how closely letters of recommendation are actually read. I have assisted principals and department chairs in sorting through applications for credentialed positions and I have never read a single letter! I admit I was only a part of the initial interview process. I would be in an administrative office somewhere with stacks of applications. We would glance superficially at the applications and make two piles: neat and organized, and not 😀
Being neat and organized goes a long way in this world. I understand some people can work efficiently, in their own way, not neat and with their own sense of organization. But if you really want to be efficient and work well with others, people need to be able to walk into your work space and immediately recognize that you can get stuff done.
I saved the last letters of recommendation I got in soft copy form. It’s a good idea to get a signed copy, but also request a soft copy, as you may want to make some cosmetic changes and you can recopy the letter and cut and paste the signature. If you need to make significant changes, let the person that gave you the letter know and why those changes need to be made.
Well, thank you readers. Always good to get feedback. Thank you fellow bloggers for the likes, you are an amazing bunch and I will soon blog about your blogs 😀 There is some amazing writing going on out there