When it comes to landing a job or getting into some college programs these days the old adage‘ it’s all about who you know’ still holds true. Especially when it comes to references and letters of recommendation. If it’s been a while since you’ve messaged one of these professional connections it might feel awkward so here are some tips to feel less like a weirdo.
- Reach Out (And Give A Reminder Of Who You Are). Unless you have no other contact info for them than their Instagram, it’s best to keep things professional and reach out to people via email or phone. When you do, lead with a reminder of who you are and what your connection is to avoid the dreaded “who are you” reply.
- Tell Them Why You’re Asking. Let them know why you think they are the best person to represent you. This is your chance to do a little flattering. It’s not required but it is recommended.
- Leave Them An “Out.” This is a favor you’re asking for, not a demand. Give them a way to turn you down without feeling like a jerk. Maybe something like, “if you’re too busy to write the letter, I understand.”
- Start Early. A DM that sounds something like ‘hey I know we haven’t seen each other since fidget spinners were in but could you write me a letter of recommendation tonight? ’isn’t cool. You should be hitting up people at least a month before you need it and let them know when that is.