Strong recommendation letters are a must!

When applying for graduate school, scholarships, fellowships, or internships, it is important to have strong letters of recommendation because this is one of the methods that application reviewers get to know you.  Many times, you will not able to impress them in an interview as there just isn’t time to interview everyone; as such, the letter of recommendation should portray what you have done and what others think about you professionally.

In order to have a strong letter of recommendation, consider these ideas:1. find someone who has known you for a while because you want someone who can speak to the depth of your abilities; plus someone who has known you for a while is a more credible recommender than one who has only known you for a limited amount of time; 2. find someone who has some clout; as much as it is important to find someone who knows you well, reach out in your connections someone who has some clout in the community, either academic, professional, or otherwise; 3. find recommenders that provide variety in your application; if you have one academic recommendation, then find another one who can speak to your professional abilities, etc.

Being able to place your foot forward through your recommendations is key, and your recommendations can serve to be the one big push to get you accepted or awarded.  Good luck!