LPT: When asking for a recommendation letter, send a draft. Don’t have them do all the work for you.

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When someone has asked me for a recommendation letter I’ve always asked them to give me a list of 10 or so qualities that they want me to include. That way I’m highlighting the things that they believe are important for their purposes but still writing the letter. Assuming I agree with all of the things they’re providing, of course. That gives me a head start and gives them the letter they’re hoping for.


I never understood how that made sense. That feels dishonnest to put your name on a recommendation that you didn’t write.


I write a lot of LoR. I always ask for a list of accolades to write about.


I would add a caveat in that if the thing you need a recommendation letter for requires multiple, don’t send the same draft to all recommenders, I’d imagine if all the recommendation letters were very similar, the person receiving the letters might not think they are authentic or legitimate.