If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably considering asking me for a reference letter. If so, I ask that you answer the following questions and share a few files with me.
What is your name as you are writing it in your application(s) (I may call you “Liz” but you go by “Elizabeth” or your family name has changed recently) as well as your preferred pronoun(s)?
What is/are your major(s) and your [expected] graduation semester?
How do I know you? How well do I know you (Note: I am often uncomfortable writing letters for students who have only taken a 100-level course with me, especially if the only interaction I’ve had with the student is in the classroom among their peers)? What final grade(s) did I assign to you (if applicable)?
What is/are the thing(s) you are applying to? Include links! When is each recommendation due? The sooner you ask, the better! I will usually need several weeks’ notice.
Why are you asking me to recommend you? What interactions have we had, what feats/accomplishments of yours have I personally witnessed, and what personality traits have I seen that I should include in a letter to recommend you?
What haven’t I seen first-hand that qualifies you for the job/program/school (especially those things that set you apart)?
What are your short-term goals, and what are your long-term goals? (If applicable, is this thing you are applying for a stepping stone, or could you see yourself doing it for the rest of your life?) Are you planning on going to graduate school? If so, for what?
Are we connected on LinkedIn?
Most institutions ask for multiple recommendations, and you may find yourself applying to jobs/programs/schools again in the future. I suggest that you upload some commonly requested files to a folder within a file-sharing service like box, dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, etc, and share that folder with whom you are asking for letters of recommendation. These will likely include:
Your resume and/or CV
An unofficial copy of your transcript(s)
Any relevant personal statement(s)
Any form(s) needed for your application(s)