Letters of Recommendation

Faculty and staff are excellent resources for letters of recommendation. Whether you are applying to a job, a scholarship, or a graduate program, you should consider members of Marquette’s faculty and staff as potential writers of one or more of your letters of recommendation.

If you have a good relationship with faculty and staff, and they notice that you are a successful student, chances are they will write you a favorable letter of recommendation. However, if the faculty or staff member does not know much about you, and you were not an exemplary student, do not expect a letter from that professor.

Give faculty and staff enough time to write the letter of recommendation.

If you need a letter of recommendation, give the faculty or staff member several weeks in advance to write it for you — some professors ask for a month. Keep in mind that faculty and staff have many students they work with, and they also have a life outside of school. It is considered unprofessional to demand a letter of recommendation with only a few days’ notice, so be proactive and talk with the faculty and staff member writing a letter of recommendation for you well in advance.

Make sure the writer of your letter of recommendation knows you well.

A good letter of recommendation can help you stick out from other candidates because it will offer the reader a clearer picture of who you are and what your interests are. If you want a good letter of recommendation, then the person writing it for you will have to be someone who knows you well.

In order to get a better picture of who you are beyond the classroom setting, the writer of your letter of recommendation may ask for more information on your extracurricular activities and/or work experience. Maintaining a detailed document highlighting your extracurriculars and/or work experience ready is recommended.

More tips

Some applications ask you if you want to waive your right to view recommendation letters. Make sure you do so. People who review your application tend to not view applicants who have not waived their right to view recommendation letters favorably.

Provide the writers of your letters of recommendation with all the necessary information — deadlines, a description of what you are applying for, address of where to send the letters of recommendation. Many programs ask for materials to be submitted electronically, and that includes letters of recommendation. Make sure to provide the writers of your letters of recommendation with the proper URL, which they will use when uploading the letters.