How Do You Ask for a Letter of Recommendation Via Email?


Quick Answer

A recommendation request letter sent via email should follow the same template and include the same information as a letter delivered in person. When sending an email, include a relevant subject heading, such as "Request for Recommendation," that alerts the recipient to the email's time-sensitive nature. Once the recipient has agreed to the request, consolidate specific instructions and supporting documents into a single follow-up email.

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How Do You Ask for a Letter of Recommendation Via Email?
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Full Answer

As with any formal letter, an email request should be free of grammatical mistakes and punctuation errors and should maintain a polite, professional tone. To help the recipient identify who is sending the request, the email should mention prior associations from college or work and should include a transcript if a professor is the recipient. Send the email well before the letter's deadline to give the person plenty of time to formulate a personalized letter of recommendation. Some universities suggest informing professors anywhere from two to six weeks in advance.

To ensure the recipient doesn't overlook any attached documents, make sure the body of the follow-up email clearly references them. Helpful documents to include are a resume or CV, lists of accomplishments and qualifications, and copies of previous work. The email should also note the letter's due date, special delivery instructions and an overview of the academic program or job position.

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