392: How to Get (or Write!) an Amazing Letter of Recommendation

25 Oct

Find out what colleges are looking for in a good recommendation letter, what teachers should and shouldn’t say, and what families can do to help ensure that your letters knock it out of the park.

In this episode that originally aired October 6, 2014, Megan and Gretchen discuss all things related to letters of rec.

Students and parents will want to make sure they understand:

  • the true purpose of a recommendation letter: how to help colleges get to know students as real people
  • how to think strategically about who to ask for recommendations, and what they should say
  • how to create a recommendation packet for teachers so that you’re making it easy for them to follow through
  • how to ensure that teachers don’t write form letters or use overly flowery language that sounds fake

Teachers will be interested in these tips:

  • how to choose which students for whom you can write an effective recommendation
  • how to write specific stories about the student without taking a lot of time
  • what to do and say if your experiences with a student are mostly negative, but they ask for a recommendation anyway
  • how to know your district’s policies about writing positive and negative reviews of students.

Enjoy the episode, including hearing what Megan and Gretchen sounded like back in the early days of the podcast.