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How to Choose People to Write College Recommendations for You

If you're sweating that college admission, this guide will increase your chances by helping you find the right people to represent you in writing.


  • Step 1: Start early Start your search early, even before you formally apply to a college, to give your writers plenty of time to complete the letters.
  • TIP: Review the college admission requirements to be able to tell the writers what is being asked of you, the student.
  • Step 2: Go for variety Choose a variety of people who know you in different ways, such as family friends, volunteer coordinators, and former employers.
  • Step 3: Talk with teachers Talk with teachers or professors who can speak about your academic accomplishments or study habits.
  • Step 4: Choose relevant experience Choose a person with relevant experience to your chosen field or who attended the college or university you are applying to for admission.
  • Step 5: Ask for an interview Ask the potential recommendation writer for an interview to make sure they have enough positive things to say or if they know you well enough.
  • TIP: Don't feel that you are intruding by asking for a letter. Most employers and faculty understand it is part of the job and wish to see you succeed.
  • Step 6: Go for warm and supportive writers Find people who have a warm personality and a lively writing style to keep the readers interested and engaged. Soon, you'll shine on paper as well as in person.
  • FACT: In 2008, the United States Postal Service processed 203 billion pieces of mail and drove 1.2 billion miles to deliver all those letters.

You Will Need

  • Time
  • Variety of writers
  • College admission requirements (optional)

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