Recommender etiquette

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Recommender etiquette

Postby nathan12343 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:09 pm

A couple of my recommenders haven't turned in their letters yet and two of the applications are due tomorrow.

How insistent should I be with the professors who I've asked to write letters? Should I just give them a couple of days, do the letters of recommendation really need to be in on time?

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby happymonkey » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:22 pm

You should email them - I assume you've done this. I'm sorry your in this position. I have one recommendor who hasn't returned my Dec 27 email, requesting he submit his recommendations, but I'm now onto the Jan 15th schools, so not a worry yet, cross fingers. I hope it works out, yikes!

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby nathan12343 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:33 pm

I e-mailed them a couple of days ago...

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby PhysicsPdx » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:50 pm

For sure you should email or/and stop by his/her office if it's possible.

I had one professor who had my letters written and sitting on his desk two weeks before I came and harassed him. He was lost in research and forgot to submit them. Another professor specifically asked me to remind him a few days before any of the deadlines. They are crazy busy people and you're probably not the only one they are writing letters for. I would say it is your responsibility, not theirs, to keep track of deadlines and stay on top of when they need to submit.

Recommenders know what they're signing up for when they agree to write on your behalf, I don't think it's rude to politely remind that a deadline in looming.

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby laladida » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:13 am

So what do you do if they still haven't submitted any letters, even after you remind them, like, 4 times? I'm still waiting on recs from 12/15 apps.
In my case, my boss is the recommender I have been depending on the most to come through with a stellar rec, and he still hasn't submitted a thing. I know he'll submit it eventually, but I'm afraid it won't be until it's too late.
So how do I politely tell him to get a move on?

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby naseermk » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:10 am

I faced a similar problem with one of my professors.

I asked him whether he is unable to write the letter and if I should ask another professor. He told me I should call to remind him and I called him couple of times (had told him about the letter at least 2 months earlier). I also told him that my application would not be complete until he submits the letter.

Another one of my professor (a very good friend as well :) ) submitted the letter the night of the deadline (~11:00PM).

I guess considering their work schedules, they are hard pressed.

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby nathan12343 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:10 am

All of my professors ended up getting in their recommendation in on time. I think it's a good idea not to get too worked up over this until AFTER the deadline.

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby cato88 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:55 am

Four weeks is more than enough time to get worked up.

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Re: Recommender etiquette

Postby G01 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:26 pm

Small, friendly, regular reminders are the key. Don't wait 2 months between reminders and expect your letter writer to have remembered!

My reminders started off slow and then became more frequent as the deadlines became closer. I had a reminder at:

3 Months (I asked for the letters) before deadline

2 Months before deadline

1 Month

2 Weeks

1 Week

All my letters were out by the deadline.

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