Requesting Recommendation Letters

Andrew B. Wertheimer, Ph.D.

Part of my job as a professor in a professional school is to write letters of reference for you.  It is my pleasure to be able to recommend my students for grants or the job market, so do not feel bad about asking me to do this. On the other hand, I spend a good deal of time on these letters, so I ask you to help me by following these steps.

Please send me an e-mail requesting a letter.  In the note, remind me which class(es) I had you in and when, what grade(s) you got, and the titles of some paper or project you did for the class. Feel free to send me any comments from the paper if they are memorable.

I can also write letters for students who worked with me in the ALA-SC or Beta Phi Mu in order to comment on your leadership or contribution to the organization.

Please let me know what you are applying for. I need the address and name of the contact person. It would also help me if you could cut and paste the job (or grant or school) description, so that I can customize my comments to the position you are applying for.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could also send me your CV as an attachment or your URL if it is online.

Please allow me at least two weeks (much more in summer) to write letters on your behalf if possible. Do let me know of the deadline for your letters. Please also let me know if there is some special form I am supposed to complete, and leave that for me in my campus mailbox. Of course, it does not hurt to double-check with me if the employer hasn't yet received a letter.

Whether you are applying for a scholarship, grant, job, or other degree, I encourage you to give me some clue as to what you want from me in your letter. If you are applying for a job in Montreal, and happen to speak French, you might want to remind me so that I include it in your letter. That does not mean I will include it, but it gives me things to think about. Good luck!

>>>Updated 19 May 2005.