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Letters of Recommendation
In general, students should solicit letters of recommendation (for use in applying for employment or further study) from faculty members who have something meaningful to say about them. Thus, suitable faculty members would be those from whom the student has taken courses, thesis committee members (especially the chair), and DPPC committee members if the student was a member of that committee. Graduate assistants would be particularly advised to obtain letters from their supervisors.
Students should bear in mind that it takes time to write letters of recommendation and should, therefore, allow sufficient lead time to the person writing the letter. If a student expects to use the same letter from the same person for more than one application, then the writer should be so informed so that copies may be kept in the writer’s files.
Many faculty may find it helpful if the student provides background information about the position being applied for, the ad itself, a résumé -like summary of coursework, titles of research studies under the professor’s supervision, with dates, and quite possibly a cv.
All things considered, the better a faculty member knows a student the more meaningful (and useful) the letter of recommendation is likely to be to a prospective employer.
See Career Placement Services in this handbook for further information concerning letters of recommendation, opening a file for such letters, etc.