How to Ask for a Reference Letter

As you apply for scholarships you will find that some opportunities require you have a letter of recommendation from a reference.

When you’re selecting who you want to be a reference, keep in mind that it needs to be an individual who can speak to your strengths and on the topic the letter needs to address. Before approaching your potential reference, you need to make sure that you have done your research to make the process as simple as you can for the individual writing the letter.

Once you approach your potential reference, have the following information ready to provide if they agree to write the letter:

  • Date the letter is due
  • How the letter needs to be submitted
  • What does the content of the letter need to include (academic/professional based)
  • Your updated resume or a cover letter, so they are aware of your achievements and goals

After you have secured your reference and they have agreed to write a letter of recommendation, thank them. They have taken time out of their schedule to put a lot of time and effort into writing to highlight the best parts of you.

As the deadline approaches, follow up with your reference. Make sure they do not need any information from you or have further questions. It is not solely their responsibility to make sure it gets submitted, you must work with them to get all materials turned in in a timely fashion.

Finally, after the letter has been submitted thank your reference again. It is also good to keep them updated on the status of your application and let them know if you have received the scholarship.