By Meghen Jones
Finals have come and gone, graduation was a success, and now, it’s finally time to say goodbye to your alma mater as you venture off into the real world. While it’s the one moment you’ve anticipated for quite some time— especially with the pressure of recent months— it’s admittedly a bittersweet feeling, knowing this important chapter of your life is finally coming to an end.
Unfortunately, we all must accept the reality of becoming an adult and taking on the responsibilities that come along with it. At least it comes with some reward for you, being that you dedicated four years of your life to your college education— all so that you can land your dream job! Now that you’ve reached this point, you’re probably in need of a few letters of recommendation to get the job, and who better to write them than the educational mentors you’ve worked closely with the past four years? And yes, we mean your professors.
With uCribs’ solid advice, you’ll be able to secure those glowing letters of recommendation and be well on your way to the next chapter of your life. You know, the one that heavily revolves around building your career with the educational tools you now have in your back pocket.
Reach out to the professors you’ve built a personal relationship with.
Have you ever noticed how there’s always at least one professor that you bond with on a deeper level? Maybe it was a history professor that helped you complete a significant research project or an English professor, who shared a common love for reading and analyzing Shakespeare. No matter how you came to interact with these professors, you were able to develop a genuine relationship with them throughout your college career. So, why not reach out to them now for a letter of recommendation?
Of course, you can request a letter from any former professor, but we highly encourage you to stick to those you’ve worked closely with. These professors have learned about your personality, work ethic, and dedication on a more personal level. They also hold insight on your professional development over the past few years and can easily elaborate upon your skill set in their letter. Sure, it will warm your heart to know what your mentor thinks of you, but more importantly, it’s a great way to secure your dream job.
Ask for his or her assistance in a sincere manner.
Requesting a letter of recommendation can be as simple as sending an email or making a phone call to your professor’s designated office number. But, you don’t want your request to come off as rushed, forced— or worse, insincere. You can start your conversation with them by recalling a moment you really enjoyed in their class, whether it’d be an intriguing lecture, fun experiment, or remarkable guest speaker. Reminding your professor of the good times you’ve experienced as their student will show them that you truly found their class or classes worthwhile and fulfilling.
Additionally, you should include any information regarding the job position you’re applying for because it will help them construct the letter in a more efficient way. In other words, by including a description of the job, the qualifications needed, and the position’s responsibilities, your professor will have a clearer understanding of what should be included in the recommendation letter itself. The more information that you give your professor, the better chance they’ll have to compose an outstanding letter that will really knock the socks off HR.
Remind your professors of the time spent in their class.
Considering all the students they teach on campus in a given semester, you may believe that your professor has already forgotten about you. The odds are, however, that your fears are far from the truth. If you were an active student that consistently participated in class, your professor probably remembers more of your interactions than you can possibly imagine. Professors tend to notice students who challenge themselves on a consistent basis, as well as those who take extra time to grasp the course material.
Despite the way you stood out, if you’re searching for a solid letter of recommendation, it’s your responsibility to remind your professor why your relationship with them was special, whether it’d be all the hours spent in their office working on paper edits or the weekend field trip you took to a nearby archeological site. If you want to take it a step further, you can mention the more sentimental aspects of the time spent in their class and how it impacted you on a personal level. No story or memory is too sappy—it will mean a lot to them to hear your treasured recollections. Most professors aren’t doing this job for the money if you know what we mean.
Most importantly, thank them & let them know that you want to stay in touch.
So, you’ve received your glowing letters of recommendation. But, there’s one last step that you just can’t forget: sending thanks. We understand that it may slip your mind once all is said and done, but the fact remains that your professor dedicated their personal time to constructing the perfect letter of recommendation for you. It would be just unfair to let their kind gesture go unnoticed.
Reaching out only takes a few minutes, requiring a mere email or handwritten note of appreciation. It’s as simple as expressing your gratitude, and maybe even dropping a line or two about the outcome of the job hunt. This last step is also beneficial for networking purposes. Simply put, you never know who knows who and staying on a good playing field with all your professional relationships may provide you with a future job opportunity—or at the very least, someone you can turn to for yet another recommendation letter.
If you’re in need a letter of recommendation, it’s best to reconnect with those you’ve worked closely with during your college career: your professors. When it comes to the letter writing process, it boils down to knowing exactly what’s needed and communicating it clearly. Your professors will be happy to help and even happier to see you succeed on your blossoming career path. With a splash of sincerity and sweet reminders of cherished moments spent with them, it will be simple to secure a solid letter of recommendation from your professors in no time at all—just don’t forget to send your thanks when all is said and done!