Request a Letter of Recommendation
You'll find info about requesting that I serve as a job reference and about how to request a letter of recommendation on this page (scroll down!). Please email if you have a request that isn't covered here. If you are requesting a letter that is due in less than one month, please state that in your email. While I may be able to help, the closer the deadline is the less likely it is that I will be able to fit it into my schedule.
If you are applying for a job and would like to list me as a reference, please email me first to make sure that I can serve as a strong reference. Here’s what you should address when you email me your request:
- The position title, the posted required and desired qualifications, and a description of what you would be doing
- What experience, skills, and talents you would bring to this position
- What kind of information you think that I can provide your potential employer based on our interactions
- When you will be applying for the position
Please send me a copy of your latest resume/CV when requesting that I serve as a reference. It also helps to have a reminder of when you took my class(es), and which class(es) you took with me.
Please note that it is virtually impossible to reach me at my office number below. I live 3 hours from campus and am rarely there. I do receive voice mail from that number; however, it is best for potential employers to use email set up a time to speak with me. Over school breaks, I typically take 1-2 weeks away from email and will not be available to serve as a reference during those times.
Information You Will Need
Letters of Recommendation
I know it can be intimidating to reach out to a former professor to request a recommendation letter. I love hearing from you and am happy to review all requests, even if it’s been a while since you took my class. Once you contact me with the information below, I’ll give you an honest assessment of whether I feel I can write a strong recommendation letter for you. If I don’t think that I can write a glowing letter that demonstrates strong familiarity with your work, I will likely recommend that you seek out another faculty member.
How will you know if you are a candidate for a strong letter from me?
- You excelled in one or more of my classes
- You made strong contributions to class discussions
- Your behavior in class and in any subsequent communication was professional (work was generally submitted on time and was of high-quality, communications with other students and/or our TA were respectful, etc.). Note that I do not equate “professional behavior” with “formality." It's entirely possible to behave professionally yet informally!
When you email me to request a recommendation letter, please include the following information:
- Which class(es) you took with me and when these took place (include the year and the trimester)
- Which program/position/credential you’re applying for
- The deadline(s) for the letter(s)
- A copy of your personal statement, cover letter or another piece of writing explaining why you’re pursuing this opportunity
After receiving all of this information, I’ll let you know whether I can write a strong letter for you. If your letter is due in less than one month, please understand that I may not be able to fit it into my schedule. If I've already agreed to write your letter, please view the Instructions for Recommendation Letters and follow the steps there.
I often get numerous requests for letters at the end of the trimester, which is an extremely busy time for me. I agree to as many as I can, and if you are sending a last-minute request (< 3 weeks before the deadline), particularly when a break is coming up, I may not be able to help. It is not because I don’t care; it is because I need to honor my commitment to my current students and to those who have already asked for letters.