How to Request Letters of Recommendation
Requesting Letters via Interfolio:
- You can request letters of recommendation from your letter writers directly through your Interfolio account. When you send a new request, your letter writer will receive instructions (via email or a printed form, whichever you prefer) with all the information they need to upload or mail their letter to Interfolio. Tip: If you’d like to send the request as an attachment to a personal email, and not via Interfolio, you can save the printed form as a PDF and include it with a personal note to your writer directly from your email address.
When to Ask:
- Planning is the key! If you want someone to write a strong letter of recommendation, you will need to make an early effort to get to know them so that they can write about your academic and professional strengths.
- Ask your writers when they still know the most about you; after you finish their class, when you finish your internship, etc.
- Make sure to give your writer time enough time; give them at least 2 to 3 months prior to any application deadline.
Whom to Ask:
- Teachers Assistants with a professor’s approval and signature
- Employers / Internship supervisors
How to Ask:
- Email or call first to see if the potential author would be willing to serve as a reference.
- If so, set up a meeting during their office hours.
What to provide:
- Go to Interfolio and fill out the New Recommendation Request Form. To ensure confidentiality at every step along the way, make sure to check the confidentiality box of the form.
- While Interfolio will submit an email request to your writer, note that you can also print a copy to take with you for a face-to-face meeting or attach it to a personal email from yourself.
- You will be able to include a CV and other supporting documents. You can also let your writer know if this is a general recommendation or needs to be tailored to a specific opportunity.
- Once you submit your request you should receive a confirmation message on your screen.
- If you have not received a notification and your deadline is near, you will need to contact your recommender to remind them to send the letter out.
- Write brief 'Thank you' notes to your references.