Letters of Recommendation
Graduate programs typically ask for two to three letters of recommendation from either clinical or academic faculty. You can ask an audiologist that you have observed or worked with for a letter of recommendation. You can also ask a boss for a letter, but use your judgment regarding whether that person can write about your leadership and interpersonal qualities. It is not recommended to use family members, family friends, or families of those you babysit. Letters of recommendation are very important to the application board because it provides an outside perspective of your strengths and abilities.
When considering who you would like to ask to write your letters, think about a few factors: who can fairly represent you and your academic skills, who do you have a good relationship with, and who knows about your life goals. It is important that someone can speak on your academic potential. When asking, you should seek out that faculty member in person. Of course, you can send an email to see if they will be willing to write a letter for you. However, if you ask in person, the faculty member can put a face to the name, especially if you are in a large program. Most importantly, always ask if they would write you a positive letter of recommendation. Faculty members will be honest and inform you if they would or would not write a positive recommendation. Be prepared with a backup because some might inform you that they don’t have time to write a letter. Once you have decided who to ask for your letters, make the request as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to write you a strong letter.
The next step is to prepare a packet for that faculty member about you. It should include a current version of your resume, a list of programs with point of contact information and deadlines, submission addresses, and pre-stamped and addressed envelopes if necessary. Most recommendations are submitted electronically and will typically require the applicant to provide the recommender’s email. The application program will often send a recommendation request directly to the recommender’s email. Additionally, you could include your personal statement to help the recommender understand your interest in the field. Assemble the packet so information is quick and easy to find; you want to make this process as easy as possible for your faculty member.