Letters of Recommendation

I will work with you to write humble and appreciative “Ask Emails” with specific requests of your Recommenders.

These letters provide admission committees with valuable information, not ascertainable from other parts of the college application, from a professional whose job is to prepare you for college rigors academically and, to some extent, socially.

From an admissions committee member: “Among a pool of students with the same academic qualifications, we use personality traits and strengths to decide who to admit or reject.”  Letters of recommendation should describe these.

I say “should” because that’s what a student hopes for but the letter, which the student will never see, may not contain these attributes. During the hiring process at one of the three schools where I served on the Founding Board of Directors, I worked with the Head of School on the inaugural year’s teacher hiring process. I can say with conviction that some dynamic and wonderful teachers are not great writers.

Generally, people agree that teachers are overworked and underpaid. At the beginning of a school year, they organize academic plans, get to know their students, and become knowledgeable about the ever-changing dynamics of working in a school in an unpredictable world. Approaching a teacher and simply asking, “Would you please write a letter of recommendation?” often sends shivers down their spine. Teachers know the importance of the letters, the dearth of time they have to make you stand out, and, perhaps, worry about the quality of their writing (or maybe they don’t but should).

These Ask Emails respectfully remind the Recommender of your traits and accomplishments specific to each Recommender, making their job of writing the Letter of Recommendation easy while conveying crucial information.

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