Asking for Letters of Recommendation
October 14, 2021 | Posted in: Scholarships | Student Resources
As part of your Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) application, we would like two (2) letters of recommendation. A letter of recommendation helps us get a sense of who you are beyond your transcripts and personal statement. A teacher or employer can tell us about your unique personal assets, the talent or drive that you will bring to the table as a scholarship winner.
Whom to Ask
An effective recommendation will come from someone who knows you well and can address your strengths and personal character. If you are a student applying for a scholarship, ask a teacher, coach, or guidance counselor with whom you have a good rapport. Choose a teacher in whose class you performed well or a coach who had high praise for your teamwork or leadership. As a high school student, you will probably want to ask someone from your junior or senior year because they will recall recent interactions.
If you are an employee asking for a letter of recommendation, be sure to ask a supervisor or manager. You can also ask a colleague from work or a professional organization. These people will know your day-to-day performance and should be able to attest to your passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for the printing and graphic communication industries.
How to Ask
Although all we need from you is an email address for each of your recommenders, you should ensure that contact from PGSF doesn’t come as a surprise. Set up a short meeting or schedule a time during office hours to ask for a letter of recommendation in person.
Give the person you want to engage details about the scholarship you are seeking and the organization awarding it. (Feel free to send them to www.pgsf.org for more information as well.) Let them know your interest in pursuing a career in printing and graphic communications. Confirm that it is okay to share their email address with us. Finally, make sure to tell them the application deadline. (For 2022, it’s May 1st.)
When to Ask
Be sure to give the person enough time to write, refine, and submit their letter of recommendation. Most guidelines say to make your request at least two months before the due date. Remember, teachers and guidance counselors will have many requests for recommendation letters as college applications are being submitted, so be sure not to rush them. For those in the professional field, a three-week lead time is suggested.
A week or two before the letters are due, follow up with a reminder or inquiry into the progress of their submission.
What to Do Once You’ve Asked
The most important thing to remember once someone has agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you – they are doing you a favor. Sending a thank you card or email after it’s submitted is the expected etiquette. At this time, you can also ask for a copy of the letter. Finally, circle back with your advocates after you hear about your scholarship award. If they have recommended you, you can be sure they are interested in your success and will want to know the results of your application.