To write a letter of recommendation for your job or internship application, postgraduate or phd programme application, I need to know you in substantial capacity, for example:
- I'm your personal tutor, or
- You have written a dissertation under my supervision, or
- done a project under my supervision.
If none of the above applies, I can only write letters of recommendation if the institution you are applying to requires more than one letter. I assume that you ask your personal tutor or thesis supervisor for the first one and ask me for the second one, in which case I should know you reasonably well, for example, have taught you in a small group module at least once.
To write a letter of recommendation I will need the following documents/information at least a couple of weeks before the deadline:
- your CV - the same version you are submitting to the institution,
- your cover letter for the application,
- your full transcript produced and confirmed by the Undergraduate Office from past years of study,
- the list of modules you are taking in the current year,
- I would prefer to have a chat with you before the reference letter deadline to learn about your interests and motivation,
- I will write only confidential letters of recommendation, not open letters. (It is virtually impossible to be honest and unbiased in a non-confidential letter!) So, please assist me in maintaining confidentiality by waiving your right with universities to examine your recommendation letters, and by arranging for me to send my recommendations directly to the institutions (either by web, or by e-mail, or by hardcopy) rather than giving them to you. Thus I will need to know (i) the deadline for the reference letter; (ii) how should I submit it or where should I send it.
If you want me to write reference letters to more than one institution, I would appreciate that you apply to all of them and then let me know that you are done with applications, so that I can submit my letters in one "sitting", one by one, rather than revisit your application many times over several weeks.