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How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation: A Guide with Examples

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Are you planning to ask for a letter of recommendation from someone? It is important to pick the right person and request the letter in the appropriate manner. If you are wondering how to do that, this blog has the answer for you.

In this blog, we will cover a wide range of topics like: 

  • How to ask for a letter of recommendation? 
  • When to make a letter of recommendation request? 
  • Letter of recommendation request example

What Are Letters of Recommendation For?

Letters of recommendation are written in favour of students or job seekers who are looking for college/university admission or job approval. 

Since LORs are endorsed by dignitaries, it holds high value and becomes crucial when an applicant is considered for employment or admission.

Things to Keep in Mind While Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

  • Never rush to pick a referee for your recommendation letter. 
  • Select someone who is happy to support your cause. 
  • Provide the referee with an appropriate template to use. 
  • Ask as early as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute. 
  • Be thankful to the referee.  No one is obliged to write you an LOR. 
Need Help in Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

How to Ask for a Reference Letter?

It is always best to meet the referee in person and tell him about your LOR requirement. If that is not possible, you can consider these other options. 

Letter of Recommendation Request Email

If you cannot be physically present to request the referee for an LOR, you can make a request via email for a letter of recommendation. 

Letter Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

Another way to ask for a LOR is by drafting a handwritten formal letter requesting a letter of recommendation from the referee of your choice. 

Pro Tip: Prepare a list of supporters who you think will be happy to write you a reference letter. This list will be your plan B if you do not have anyone.

Need Help in Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

When to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation?

You may ask a referee for a recommendation letter under the following circumstances. While most referees are happy to recommend someone they know, it is advisable to check their convenience as well. 

  • When you need to apply for a higher education program.  
  • When you are required to include an LOR in your job application. 
  • When you need a reference letter to join an internship program. 

How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation?

Having established that you need a reference letter for a particular purpose, the next step is requesting it. Review the following points before asking for your LOR. 

Choose the right referee:

While you may have many referees to choose from, it is important to finalize someone who you think will support your cause – higher education or a job. 

Request in advance:

 Don’t wait until the last minute to ask a person to write you a recommendation letter. You need to request them at least a month in advance. 

Be polite:

If you are required to send the request for LOR by email, frame your request carefully using polite and semi-formal language. Remember that no one is obliged to write you an LOR.

Share all relevant details:

Don’t oblige the support to contact you for details. When you request the letter, provide all the relevant details required for drafting the letter.

Sample Request for Letter of Recommendation from Professor

Here is a template for asking for a letter of recommendation sample. Go through it carefully before you phrase your request.

Letter of Recommendation Request Template

Dear Mr. /Miss (name),

I hope you are doing well. I am in the process of applying for my master’s degree at XYZ University. The process of application requires a Letter of Recommendation and I want to ask you if you are comfortable writing a strong Letter of Recommendation for me.

I have had a great time working under your guidance and mentorship. With the insights gained from your training, I was able to perform well in my later professional life as well. Keeping this in my mind, I couldn’t find another person to write a professional LOR for me and I am sure you are the right person who can vouch for my skill set and abilities.

I have attached my latest CV and other details to consider while writing the LOR. I hope you are ready to spare time for me. The deadline to submit the LOR is (date). You can contact me if you require any further details.

Thanks in advance.

Yours Truly,

(Your Name)

(Your Phone Number)

(Your Email Address)

Need Help in Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

How to ask for a letter of recommendation via email?

The way you ask for recommendation letter email differs depending on the position of the referee. Here are different scenarios of requesting LOR by position. 

How to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation

LOR by a professor or teacher is highly valued. You can ask your professor for recommendation letter in the same way you can ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation – by email or in person. 

How to ask a Principal for a letter of recommendation?

A principal is the highest authority in a college or school. Request for recommendation letter from principal/Dean politely and in advance.

How to request a letter of recommendation from employer

Your employer can write you a recommendation letter. Consider requesting a letter of recommendation from employer, preferably the CEO or the HR manager who knows you well. 

How to ask a Coworker for a letter of recommendation?

Asking a coworker for LOR is easier as they are likely to know you better and write a more comprehensive and supportive letter. 

How to ask a Friend for a letter of recommendation?

Some companies would allow you to have one of the LORs from a friend. While asking a friend for LOR, you need to be extra careful to use a different format and structure.

How to ask someone for a letter of recommendation?

In some cases, you may be forced to get an LOR from someone who doesn’t know you personally. In such scenarios, it is necessary to provide the writer with background information about you. 

Tips for Getting the Best Letters of Recommendation

Use flattery to impress the referee:

It is important to make the referee feel positive and enthusiastic about writing an LOR on your behalf. So, impress them by using a bit of flattery. 

Share format and sample:

Your referee might not always be familiar with the right LOR format. To assist them, share a sample that has used the right format and points.

Avoid prejudiced referees:

If you know that the referee you have in mind is prejudiced in one way or another, it is better to avoid asking for a letter of recommendation email from them.  

Proofread and edit:

Mistakes in the LOR will reflect poorly on you, not on the writer. So, before the supporter endorses the letter, you must review it. Proofread the letter carefully. 

Need Help in Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

How to Follow Up Letter of Recommendation Request?

Asking someone to write a letter of recommendation is not a guarantee they will send it to you in time. If they are busy, chances are that they might forget it. If you don’t receive it after the said time, you can follow up on your request. 

  • Consider following up on your LOR request at least two weeks ahead of the deadline.  
  • Mention the status of the LOR and reminder about the deadline in the follow-up email. 
  • Consider meeting the referee in person or phoning if no response to the follow-up. 
  • If you get any good news from the referee that your LOR is ready, reply with a thank you message. 


We are positive that this blog has helped you learn more about sending a letter of recommendation request. 

How confident are you to go ahead now and request for letter of recommendation email from someone you hold in high esteem? 

We would like to hear from you. 

If you have any further questions, doubts, or concerns with regard to this topic, feel free to write them in the comment section below. 



I am Anjit.V.S, a freelance writer, overseas education consultant and an academic documentation expert. Over the years, I have written documents for thousands of students and hundreds of businesses and individuals worldwide. Many of the prominent study abroad counsellors in India refer me to their students for SOP, LOR, admission essays. personal statements and other similar documents. Not just the academic documents but whatever content needs you have, stay assured. Perfectly impeccable services are delivered.

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