Letters of recommendation are a big deal. They serve as a secondary source for all your strengths as a student so they provide the admissions committee with a look as to how capable you are in the classroom. Therefore, you need to be able to ask your professor as the opportune time and be confident that they know you well enough to write a strong letter of recommendation.
The Basics of What You Need to Know About Letters of Recommendation
Since asking your professors and enduring they write a personalized account of you as a student is tenuous, I have a few tips to make the process a bit smoother.
- “Medical School Letters of Recommendation: Your FAQ” is an article that covers the most common questions on pre-meds that are just beginning their application process. It discusses what is an effective letter and how to get the results you want.
- “Who Should You Ask for Letters of Recommendation” discusses the criteria for picking your professors, making sure they fit your desired medical school’s criteria and so that they will write you an excellent letter.
- “Letters of Recommendation for Medical School: Who to Ask?” covers the same topics as the above article but goes more in detail on having the right balance of people writing your four letters to ensure you best represented on your application.
After figuring out just who to ask to write your letter of recommendation, you need to prepare yourself and schedule a meeting.
- “Want a Great Letter of Recommendation for Medical School? Here’s How?” relate to my conversations with professors — there a few things students do that will not lead to a very good letter from their educators because their approach was wrong. Here, I discuss these topics so you don’t tick off your professor and end up with a bad letter.
- “Asking for Letters of Recommendation for Medical School Admissions” explains how to approach your professors and even go the extra mile — discuss the content! A lot of students simply ask and then bolt out of the meeting instead of discussing in detail what they want mentioned.
Extra Questions and Concerns
Now that you’ve done the most important tasks of choosing your professors and asking them to write you letters of recommendation, you may have a few other questions that have been left unanswered.
- “Will Letters of Recommendation Delay My Application Process?” is a common question I get asked by my students. Countless times I’ve heard of professors submitting recommendation letters weeks after the application was due. No worries, submit your application regardless of the letter.
- “How to Use Interfolio to Manage Your Letters of Recommendation for Medical School?” talks about the process of organizing all your material. After graduation, you need to do all of this yourself! So get prepared with Interfolio.
Finally, as a bonus article, how do you write your own letter of recommendation? — Sometimes professors might ask you for a rough draft which might strike students as strange. In this article, I discuss that topic which is a lifelong skill you need to eventually master for the working world.
My Guide and How Help You
Currently, I have a huge guide called “Great Letters of Recommendation” on what you need to know in regards to letters of recommendation. It’s 178 pages of good stuff to ensure you get an excellent letter from your professor covering topics such as
- Who to ask
- The best way to approach your professor
- Convincing your professor to write a personalized letter
- Writing your own recommendation letters
- What a good recommendation letter looks like
- Managing your letters
You can receive a PDF version and a physical copy. I have spoken to plenty of professors and my years of experience means I know what the admissions committee is looking for. Check it out! I’m sure you’ll like it.