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personalized letters of recommendation help? They told me to write it.


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Hello there. Ive had the opportunity to work for some great people and shadow them for decent time periods. When it came time to request them to write me a letter of recommendation they told me to write it and they would sign it. Obviously this is great and unfortunate at the same time. I do not know what these schools want to see in terms of the letter and what is highly regarded and not, format, how much is too much or too little, etc. But, on the other hand I have a completely blank canvas. Double unfortunately, not one but two of my three references have asked me to write my own letter and I'm filled with anxiety and lost. I have a month to get something together thats going to get me in! Ive already taken one year by not getting in I need something phenomenal! I really need some help or guidance with this one. If anyone is so kind enough who has gotten in or applied to help me out if you are in a similar situation to post ideas or the letters you have received from your references. I have to make lightning strike not once but twice and I've never been in a situation where I was asked to write myself a reference. Thank you! :)

 

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Errrrr I hate to be "that guy" but you don't have a month to get this done. I'd say you have less than a week before your application gets buried and you odds start going south, fast.

 

If you wait a month it will be August before CASPA certifies your application and sends it out to schools. Many schools will have their first interviews in early August, which means they started reviewing applications weeks before then. Your application to CASPA really should have been done and certified by a June 1... waiting until mid-July to finish submitting your application is going to seriously hamper your chances. Every interview cycle that happens before your application seen reduces your odds as the number of seats go down and the number of applicants goes up. That means you need to get your letters done ASAP, like within a week, and submitted.

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This is actually a pretty good situation to be in.  You will know exactly what your references said then.  Make sure the letters are written from "different people" (i.e. discuss how each know you and write different strengths each would say you have).  Send them the electronic version as they will need to upload it to CASPA. 

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This is indicative of a good amount of trust.  Don't abuse it: Talk about what they saw you do, from their perspective.  Write a few "plus"es that you honestly believe reflected how you interacted in their situation. Finish it off with a  comment about how you think they would recommend you in comparison to your peers.

 

There are plenty of online examples of good letters of recommendation.  Don't go "over the top" with them, because not only would it be unethical, but it could also backfire.

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