15 Jul 2015

Getting a Letter of Recommendation from Your Lecturer

When applying for University or a scholarship award, you will need more than just paper qualifications to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants. You may have aced all your tests and examinations, but that’s not enough to convince the application office that they should pick you.

This is where a letter of recommendation from your lecturer plays a big part in proving your worth.
The Value of a Letter of Recommendation

A solid letter of recommendation can work wonders for your University or scholarship application. It portrays a third-party’s honest first-hand impression of you, giving the application office a more in-depth look into your qualifications. This allows them to assess you beyond just your grades, boosting your chances of getting selected!
Requesting for a Letter of Recommendation

A solid letter of recommendation is only possible if the lecturer writing it has had frequent and fruitful interactions with you – especially recently.

Furthermore, lecturers are only willing to write the letter if they can see how sincere you are about your application. When you’re asking for such a big favour from them, you had better be clear of what you require from them.

So here are a few tips to guide you through the process of requesting for a recommendation letter from your lecturer:

  • Be sure of why you’ve chosen that particular University or scholarship. Your lecturer wouldn’t want to write the letter if he or she feels that you’re not sincere about your application.
  • Have neatly organised copies of the relevant documents prepared for your lecturer’s easy reference (application forms, essays, examination transcripts, etc.).                                           
  • Make your request at least a month earlier. This is to ensure so that your lecturer has ample time to craft a well-planned letter. Make sure that it’s a convenient time for them as well.
  • Brief your lecturer on the key points and requirements of your application so that they can highlight the relevant information about you accordingly.
  • Send them a reminder of the submission deadline for the letter at least one week before the date. You lecturer probably has a busy schedule, so things might slip their mind.
  • Once the letter is written, follow up with a handwritten ‘thank you’ note. After all, your lecturer has dedicated a great deal of time to help you out. Showing your appreciation is the least you can do.
  • Most importantly, do update your lecturer on the status of your application – they certainly deserve to know!
A strong recommendation by your lecturer can be the defining factor for your University or scholarship application. Getting the letter isn’t an easy process, so be sure to take it seriously and start preparing early – it’ll be all worthwhile when you’ve finally secured your dream University programme or scholarship!