Did Someone Write a Recommendation Letter for You?

Did Someone Write a Recommendation Letter for You?

Every time someone writes a letter of recommendation for you, it’s important to send a thank-you email expressing your gratitude. It doesn’t need to be a long email (in fact you want to keep it under six sentences), but it should be sincere.

For the maximum benefits, send the thank-you email the same week the letter is done. However, if someone wrote a letter for you last summer and you didn’t know to send a thank-you email, get it done today. It can still count.

Although there are more, here are three reasons you should send a thank-you email:

1. It’s professional. Thanking someone for their time is a good professional habit to develop. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge when others help you succeed. This matters more than you might realize.

2. To stand out. Thanking someone for their help increases the chance that they will remember you. This matters because you might need….

3. Future letters. Few students know that the simple act of sending a sincere thank-you email can set the stage for a future letter. Professors receive a near-constant stream of requests for letters of recommendation and they can’t write them all. You need every advantage you can get.

Sometimes students will include a line in their email similar to "thanks in advance" thinking this covers the thank-you note. However, these words ring insincere and can send the message that a recommendation letter isn't appreciated as much as expected.

So, send that brief thank-you email. It will take you far, far less time to do than the person spent writing your letter.