Advice for Resumes and Job-Search Letters

Detailed Resume Advice and Samples
Detailed Cover Letter Advice and Samples
Additional Samples

Requests for Recommendation Letters

You can email me your initial request or stop by my office hours, but you must do so at least two weeks before the due dates for the letters. Please collect all your documents and give them to me at the same time in *one* folder and/or attached to one email message. I need (if your letters are to be submitted electronically, then you can skip #1 and #2 below):

1. FORMS: any instruction sheets and blank recommendation forms for each program you are applying to. Fill in any information required from you and also fill out my title, address, etc. if needed. Use a highlighter pen and/or post-its to mark the due dates for each letter. If the letters will be submitted electronicall, make sure to provide me with a list of programs that you are applying to. Here is my info:

Randall Reback
Associate Professor
Department of Economics, Room 013 Lehman Hall
Barnard College, Columbia University
3009 Broadway
New York, New York 10027
tel: (212) 854-5005
fax: (212)854-8947

2. ENVELOPES: email me to remind me and I will put some Barnard letterhead envelopes outside my door for you. Use these for any programs that do not provide their own envelopes or offer electronic submission of letters. Type or write in the program's address on each envelope. Stamps are optional, but please put stamps on them if you would like the letters to get into the mail faster.

3. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS: copies of whatever application documents you are submitting to the programs. Please include a COPY OF YOUR TRANSCRIPT--this can be an unofficial copy. These show me how you are describing your strengths so that I can highlight these same qualities in my letter.

4. C.V. (resume): which includes any work experience, your courses and grades, languages, any prizes or honors. If you do not have a c.v. already, don't worry about making it neat, just give me this information in some readable form.

5. YOUR STRENGTHS & GOALS: a short memo of bullet points from you about you, that gives me information not in your c.v. This is a chance to tell me all of your strengths and accomplishments. For instance, what was your greatest accomplishment in the past year? Why do you want to study abroad (for example) and what are your goals for your time away? If you are applying for study abroad, for overseas graduate school, or for overseas jobs, they often ask if a candidate will be able to adapt to a different culture, so include any international travel, living abroad, or other multicultural or international experiences.

6. I will email you when I have sent out your letter(s). If you haven't heard from me 5 days before the due date for the letter, it is your responsibility to email me and remind me about the due date :).

Good luck with your applications!