What to Information to Give to a Recommender
When you ask someone to be a job reference, you don't usually have to give them anything. They'll be aware that for the most part they're going to be answering questions about start and end dates, job duties, and general performance. If you're asking for a letter of recommendation, though, that requires the recommender to sit down and write specific and glowing aspects about you. So once they've agreed to write the letter, you should provide them with the following:
- A 3 – 4 sentence description of the goal. Are you applying for a job? If so, what position and what are the requirements? Are you applying for school? If so, what is the degree and what are the prerequisites? Are you applying for a scholarship? If so, what are the ideal qualities of the recipient? This will help the recommender focus on what's important.
- The deadline. Make sure your recommender knows exactly when they need to finish this and send it in. Keep in mind that a "received by" date will be different than a "send by" date.
- Where/how it needs to be sent. The recommender will need to be informed whether to send the recommendation letter to you or the final recipient, whether they should upload it to an online application or email it, and whether there needs to be a hard copy version sent.
- A brag sheet (optional). If you have a brag sheet, or a list of your accomplishments, jobs, degrees, publications, classes, duties, etc., you can offer it to your recommender. They may not need it, or they may be grateful for the chance to be reminded of your comprehensive background.
Index of letter of recommendation templates