You’ve probably looked on the back cover of a book you’re looking into reading. If so, you’ve probably seen a handful of recommendations on some. By the time you are finished reading the testimonials you typically feel good about reading the book. Businesses use testimonials of people to help you see how valuable a product is. Pretend you are a book or product. Who is it that knows the product of your life well enough to vouch for it? To help sell your life story it’s important that those who are completely new to it have some references or other opinions to help them overcome what seems like an innate hesitation to trust.

You can request a letter of recommendation from anyone that has worked with you in a school, work or club setting. Basically anyone that can vouch for your character is what you’re looking for. If your soccer coach can share with your potential online college that you worked harder than anyone at practice and it showed up in games, great!

When asking for these letters you can help those from whom you request them by doing the following.

Prepare a letter or email letting them know what you’d like them to talk about. Attaching your resume can help them get a better idea of what to write about, especially if you’ve highlighted those abilities you consider to be your greatest assets. Ask them to share how they know you and for how long. Ask them to give a sincere evaluation of your professional skills (if it’s a boss or coworker), your personal attributes (if it’s a coach or team member) or your excitement for learning (if it’s a past teacher or classmate).

Some may agree to write a letter of recommendation for you, but ask if you could create it and just have them sign it. While this is avoiding the real purpose of the letter (to get an idea of what the writer thinks of the applicant), if both you and the individual from whom you are requesting the recommendation are honest then write something up that underscores some of the experiences you have shared together and what qualities or traits were displayed. Be real and he or she should have no problem recognizing it as such and feel comfortable putting their name to it. If you get this request, you may try to remember some nice things they said about you while you worked together. They’d be more likely to resonate with such a letter.

Lastly, have them wrap up with a statement of why they think you should be accepted and how you make a valuable contribution to their program.

Preparing your letters of recommendation is not difficult. A personal stamp of approval is what this all boils down to and having a variety for the school to look at to assess your personality and character is what you’re after. Be sincere and assuming that you’ve been sincere and worked hard in the past, you should have no problem. If you doubt that there is anyone that could vouch for your personal integrity, perhaps there’s a reason and that needs to be first addressed. But regardless of the level you’re at, if you have shown some personal dedication in any field that benefits mankind, you should be able to get a witness from those with whom you worked. Good luck meeting your online college requirements!

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