Can students speed up the recommendation letter process and still get great results?
While planning ahead is the best way to proceed with letters of recommendation, life doesn’t always allow for that. If you are in need of a letter quickly, there are steps you can take to ensure your recommender has the information to write the best letter possible under the circumstances.
If you truly need a letter quickly, it would be a good idea to sit down face to face with the teacher and explain the situation. Be honest about why you are asking for this favor at this time and why you think this teacher is a good choice to write on your behalf. Depending on when you had the teacher in class, it may help to mention a project, paper, or assignment that will help the teacher remember your contributions to the course.
If you aren’t sure how well the teacher knows you outside of class and/or you want to look good and prepared, bring a resume with you to the meeting. Once your teacher has agreed to write, provide a copy of the resume and mention anything you hope the teacher will include in the letter. Make sure your teacher knows what the letter is for; if it’s a particular school or scholarship, tailoring the letter to include specific, relevant information can increase its effectiveness.