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When to ask for a recommendation letter

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by msteez msteez (New) New

I'm a new grad and I'm starting to apply to jobs, but I'm new to this process and I was just wondering when would it be appropriate to start asking professors for recommendation letters? Should I ask before I actually apply? After I apply to a position? Before I have an interview? Any info. would greatly be appreciated.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I prefer my students ask me as soon as the course has ended. That way, I can write a generic letter and keep if for future reference. Then, when the student gives me the details of the job he/she is applying for, I can tailor that generic letter to fit the situation.

When students wait until the next semester -- or longer -- my memory of them starts to fade and my letter might not be as good as it could be. So I prefer to write my thoughts about them while they are still very fresh in my mind -- right at the end of the semester I taught them and have just reviewed their work and given them their grades.