Get Recs Ready, Nighthawks: How to Get That Letter You Need


As the end of the semester is approaching, so is the pressure for some students to secure future jobs and internships. A letter or two of recommendations can be a key factor when trying to stand out from other applicants. To get the most out of letters of recommendation, it is important to know the process.

Online resources recommend that students should first and foremost, find the professor they feel they have the best connection with. Ideally, when a student asks a professor for a recommendation, this should not be their first time speaking in person or over email. According to to How to Ask a Professor for letters of recommendation, “Use someone who is familiar with your academic work and performance. Choosing a teacher you have had personal interactions with is best.”

Carson Maloof, a senior education major on the UNG Dahlonega campus, says, “I asked those who… knew me well. I picked professors and mentor teachers and such who knew my work ethic and personality.”

Reece Phillips, a junior marketing major at the UNG Dahlonega campus, says, “I asked professors within my field. They were ones I had previously gone to asking questions about jobs and internship opportunities.”

After students find the professor, making sure to ask in a timely manner is the next step. Both students and professors have lives outside of school so to get the best recommendation, it is best to ask professors in advance.

Dr. Toluwani Oloke, a communication, media and journalism professor at UNG Gainesville says, “I tell students they should ask for the recommendations at least two weeks out, but I prefer a month.”

To ensure the letter of recommendation contains the components the student needs, Dr. Oloke says, “Students should specify if the letter of recommendation is going to be used for employers or school.”

Whether the purpose of the letter is for jobs or for academic related pursuits, students should create some sort of summary document. How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation says list each course you took with the professor and references any papers or projects that you successfully completed.

 Providing an up-to-date resume for professors to reference on top of the summary document is recommended. If students are using letters of recommendation for jobs,  How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation says, “Describe in writing the types of jobs you’re looking for, and the qualifications that you are focusing on. A copy of the job posting will make it easier for your professor to tailor their reference to the position.”