Is it better to ask in person or via email for letter of recommendation?

  1. I've graduated for a year from nursing school. I am planning on asking for LOR from few of my past clinical instructor I had anywhere from 1 - 3 years ago. I plan on using the LOR to bring with me to job interviews. Though I haven't been keeping in touch with them, I think they'll remember me when they see me. I was an A student, hard working, quiet in clinical but they always had good impression & final eval for me.

    I was wondering if I should drop by in their office hour, or just ask it via email? would it be too blunt to just visit them? I'm sure they'd be happy to see me, but I mean the asking for LOR part.. would they find it annoying?

    If email - how and what should I write the email? since it's been a long time since we last talked.

    and is 4 - 6 weeks enough time for writing a good LOR - I'm not in a hurry of getting them, just thought it'd be helpful to have with during interview.

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    About nooneelse

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 18


  3. by   sauconyrunner
    They are used to people needing Letters of Recommendation. You can call or email, or even drop by if you feel like seeing them again. Any of those ways are acceptable, and would not seem annoying. Part of their job is to do these references.

    However... it is not normal to bring along letter with you at interviews. I have never done that, and I have never not been hired. Unless you are told to bring a letter of recommendation, I would not bring the letter specifically.

    Something that you carry in with you can't be validated, and could just as easily be written by you. More normal is to simply ask them if they can be used as a reference. You then put their name title and contact info in your references section of your resume. This way HR can contact them when they need to, rather than relying on something you carry with you.
  4. by   nooneelse
    ah.. i see. I was reading online and somewhere on this forum too of how people bring extra resumes and even LOR. and the LOR was actually helpful to the interview. I guess it depends on the situation. thank you for the information! and thank you for the reply, I think I will just ask for both and meet them in person. thank you again!
  5. by   That Guy
    I would only bring resumes. But my general rule is that in person is ALWAYS better than email/telephone/text/drive thru etc etc
  6. by   llg
    It's usually rude to drop by someone's office, unannounced. If you happen to be in the building for another reason and run into them, that's OK. But to just show up in their doorway and expect them to drop whatever they are doing to speak with them is inconsiderate.

    I'd call or e-mail ahead and ask for a few minutes of their time. ... Or go ahead and ask for the letter at that time and offer to come in and meet with them if they would like to talk with you first.
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    Moved to our Nursing Career Advice forum

    Great advice on WHO to ask and HOW to ask: Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

    Asking Individuals to Help The people you want to write letters on your behalf will be both eager to help and flattered. If you get a less than enthusiastic reaction to your request for help, then you're not asking the right person. How you ask a person to write a letter is a matter of personal comfort. With that in mind, it is easier for someone to say "no thanks" in less personal settings.

    The three most common approaches, in order of effectiveness are:

    • Face-to-Face Meeting: It's very difficult for people to say "no" if you're standing in front of them. Meetings are a very effective means of gaining support, but they can also be seen as "pressuring" people into agreement.
    • Telephone Calls: Picking up the phone and calling someone is less formal than a meeting, and more personal than an email. You're not putting anyone "on the spot" while at the same time you're making sure they receive your request.
    • Emails: While emails make it easier to organize your thoughts and stay on point, it's easier for the recipient to ignore the email or even pretend it was never received; especially if they're busy.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jun 15, '12