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If you want your letters of recommendation to be the best they can be take note of the following when having your mentors or peers filling them out: - Request for the letters of recommendation at least three months before the deadline of submission for the document. Make sure the person who is recommending you knows you well and can give a full account of abilities and potential It is a lot more courteous and respectful to solicit them for the recommendation in person rather than by phone Gather as much recommendation letters as you can so you have a healthy lot to choose from Never ask people to lie or to invent fraudulent information that will make you look better. - Never ever forge signatures. An academic recommendation letter is a document that can make or break your future.
Start by asking for your recommendation letters at least six weeks in advance. This allows busy teachers to take their time in writing great responses. After two weeks remind them with a note in their mailboxes. Seven days after that make a visit to their classroom. Remind them in person that your application could be late and disqualified and that you will come by in a few days to pick it up. Thank him or her again and then stop by once more. One way to avoid total mayhem is to ask for more letters than is really needed (awards may vary in the number of letters neededIf the requirement is two for an award ask four people. If you are applying for more than a couple of scholarship awards (and you really should be) ask if the teacher or whoever would be willing to put their comments on a CD. Remind them that you will be sending out dozens of applications. It will save them time. Then you will bring the letters by for their signatures. They can inspect the documents before you send them in.
Therefore if you dont write in favor of the person and instead take a neutral stand the letter will damage more than do any good. Similarly a bad recommendation letter will contain weaknesses of the candidate. Unedited content - Attention-to-detail errors reflect your reluctance to proofread the letter. This shows how unwillingly you wrote the letter for the employee whom you are claiming to know very well. Alternatively it puts a question mark on your credibility which in turn weakens your recommendation. Absence of factual information or supporting references - The exclusion of important details which proves your recommendation will not convince the reader about the genuineness of the recommendation even if you write ten pages discussing the qualities of the person.