What are Letters of Recommendation?

Assemble a collection of three to four letters of recommendation that speak to your strengths.  While they are not often required, recommendation letters can attest to your character and back up your key strengths.  Seek letters of recommendation from: 

  • Current or past employers
  • Professors
  • Advisors
  • Your internship supervisor
  • Others who know your key strengths/skills


Tips for Obtaining Recommendation Letters

  • Indicate to your reference the type of job/internship you are seeking
  • Provide them with a copy of your resume
  • You may also include a sheet of paper listing some of the key points you hope they might include in the letter
  • Try to give your references at least a months notice
  • If your reference does not wish to write, or is having trouble writing an entire letter, Career Services has a "candidate evaluation form" they may use
  • Generally do not ask for references from family members, close friends or clergy
  • Do not use a recommendation letter that you are not happy with


When applying to graduate school, you will generally seek letters of recommendation from professors in your field who can attest to your knowledge, skills, abilities and potential. Letters should be addressed to a specific school and are generally sent in a sealed envelope.
Review information about writing a Cover Letter