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Hey friends! Can you believe it’s November already? I can’t. I realized today that we are more than half way through the semester, which means that these next few weeks are going to be chocked full of reading, writing and CAFFEINE. But before they get too crazy… let me break you off with the… FREE TIPS OF THE DAY! (That’s right people I said tipS… plural… you’re welcome). Today’s tips are about everyone’s favorite thing… Recommendation letters. 

1. Follow instructions: If the school you are applying to asks for a letter of recommendation from a faculty member then be sure to provide a letter from a faculty member. I used to be an admissions counselor and nothing made me angrier than when students tried to go “above and beyond” – providing 70 rec letters when we only asked for three. Generally I would throw away 67 and keep only three. The idea is to do only what is asked and do it well. Coincidentally this brings me to my second tip.

2. Quality NOT quantity: Recommendation letters give programs the opportunity to how others in your sphere of influence perceive you. Choose people that know you AND can articulate your strengths well.

3. Give your recommender three weeks and a resume: Typically three weeks is plenty of time to write the recommendation. The resume helps emphasize your strong suits as an applicant. It also shows thoughtfulness and fore planning on your part.

4. Give the recommender an early deadline: We know that people are busy and sometimes things slip their mind. So I would encourage you to give your recommender a deadline that falls at least a week or two before the application information is due. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Finally…

5.  Send thank you notes: People love to be recognized for the selfless work they do. So be classy and send a note.

Well folks that’s all the tips I got for today. Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know think or if you have any suggestions of your own to add to my wonderful list. Have a great week!