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Tara Kuther, Ph.D.

Manage Recommenders' Impressions of You

By December 18, 2013

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Students who intend to apply to graduate school know that letters of recommendation are a critical part of the application package. Many spend a great deal of time and effort obtaining experiences that will help them earn helpful letters of recommendation. Sometimes, however, students undermine their own efforts by approaching faculty in inappropriate ways, not providing essential documentation, or not accurately reading professors' responses.

Moreover, students may loosen up after requesting the recommendation letter and become sloppy, behaving in ways that harm professors' views of them. For example, a student may become more lax about attending class. He or she may make appointments and then miss them without explanation or with a poor excuse. Don't undermine your application and hurt your relationship with your faculty recommenders. Take care to nurture relationships even after you request letters.

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