Our Staffing Director’s Top 5 Pieces of Advice!
- Start early. A good recommendation takes an hour to write, and can require research. Provide backup material for your recommender such as supervisor notes, previous emails, a summary of the cases that you completed or the grades/projects you did under their supervision. A “brag sheet” will give them quick material to draw from when discussing your capabilities.
- Professors or clinic supervisors? Answer: a mix, with an emphasis on the supervisors working in your desired setting. I look to professor recommendations to tell me how to manage your workflow & stress, and give me a window on your learning style. I look to clinic supervisors for specifics about how you create and manage specific field work. Try to collect at least four: that way, you can choose which ones mesh best with a specific position.
- Write a handwritten thank you note. It’s old fashioned, and stands out because of its infrequent use. Consider a small token thank you gift such as a plant, bouquet, or food item.
- When submitting your resumes or recommendations, label them so they can easily be filed and found later. Valente.ProfessorRecommendation.2021 will help the employer review it properly and match it with your other materials. A resume submitted as “Resume” when 30 people are submitting applications is easily lost. More resume tips can be found here.
- If you choose to write a cover email, tailor it to the position. The most powerful cover emails demonstrate that you have reviewed our website and found an aspect that meshes with your interests or qualifications. Pretend that I am standing before you asking “Why are you applying to ME specifically?”
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