Jim Smith at MSU

Things I need to write a meaningful letter of recommendation for you

Many students each year ask me to write letters of recommendation for them for jobs, internships, and professional and graduate school. In general, I am happy to comply with these requests.

If you would like me to write a letter of recommendation for you, the first thing I ask is that you provide me with the following things:

  1. A CV/resume that summarizes your academic background, work experiences, extracurricular activities, and any honors or awards that you've received. This is not a one-page resume to get your foot in the door somewhere; please tell me about yourself and what you've done, and don't feel that you need to limit this to one page.
  2. A list of the courses that you've taken (with the grades that you received) during your college career at MSU. MSU students can access this information easily by downloading their unofficial transcript on STU-INFO.
  3. A draft copy of a personal statement that you will be submitting with your application. This is a very important piece that tells me a lot about you.
  4. The names and addresses of the people to whom your letter should be sent, and the deadlines indicating when the letters need to be received. Please supply any special forms that are required for the school or program to which you are applying, if there are any.

If you'd like to meet in person, we can do that. Please contact me to schedule a meeting (20-30 minutes) to tell me about your future plans, goals, and dreams. After we talk, I'll have a fairly complete picture of who you are and what you are trying to do, and I'll be able to write a pretty meaningful letter for you.

Good luck with your applications!


Jim Smith 

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last modified April 21, 2015