How to Ask for and Get a Killer Letter of Recommendation

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letter of recommendation

If you’re old enough to need a letter of recommendation, you’re old enough to ask for it yourself.

Think about the difference in the letter of recommendation I’m going to write for two different kids: who do you think gets my vote of confidence? The kid who called to tell me about the application for the school or program or the kid whose mom contacted me?

It’s annoying and a bit of an insult when your mom calls me. This is especially true if you know me. You know how accessible I am and if your mom has my number, you probably have it too.

If you need something, such as a letter of recommendation, pick up the phone and ask for it. Questions:

  • Why are you allowing your mom to do something you could easily do yourself?
  • What are you thinking?
  • Are you afraid?
  • What exactly do you think might happen?

A fourteen year old needed a letter of recommendation. Here’s an excerpt from the actual letter I sent:

“I interact with thousands of kids each month. I can tell the ones who have their own voice and a sense of self, and the ones who will be fine in life.”

Ashley (name changed to protect the competent) is one of those kids. She is someone who’s not afraid of her own shadow. Regardless of what I need, she is always ready and capable. During dance convention classes, I’ve given her the microphone on several occasions and she has spoken to hundreds of kids with passion and clarity.

In the convention where we have a company program, Ashley auditioned and was accepted into that company.

Some assistants in my classes are incompetent and unresponsive. In other words, they just take up space. Many of them believe that dancing is all that’s required. A few lack critical life skills necessary to thrive in any industry.

Ashley pays attention. During my teaching years, I can count on one hand the number of students who actually follow through with anything. Ashley is one of them. That’s why I only have good things to say about her.

Ashley’s mom did not call me to ask for this letter of recommendation. Most kids have their moms do their work for them. Ashley actually called; she did not send a text message. She asked for that letter of recommendation herself.

Her conversation was brief, to the point and with a specific call to action from me.”

Ashley’s just fourteen-year old yet she is capable of initiating an important step towards her goal.

Young age is not a big hindrance to accomplishing what you want; it is the will, independence and initiative that count the most.

Strive for independence. I encourage you to stop the habit of having your moms do so much for you. Surely, she would not complain about you taking over some responsibilities. When you can, be independent! You’ll be proud and so will I. I believe in you.

Be in charge of things you can do yourself. Let your mom pay the bills (for now).

“You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence”. ~ Abraham Lincoln
“Participate in your own Revolution.” ~ Laurie Johnson
What are your thoughts on this? Are there other things you could do on your own? Was this post helpful in any way? Add your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

I’m hyper, don’t have TV, and enjoy making all my own blog graphics.

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Gracias mi amigos.
Yours in love and dance, Laurie

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