How to Request Teacher Recommendation Letters

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recommendation letters are one of the

most important factors and getting

accepted into your dream college welcome

to Concord college admissions if you are

new to my channel my name is Julie Kim

and I'm a graduate of USC and Harvard

and I mentor and guide high school

students to get accepted into their

dream colleges I helped more than 500

students to do so so today we're going

to talk all about recommendation letters

so welcome and be sure to hit the

subscribe button so that you will be

notified when I release new videos every

week so I get a lot of questions

regarding recommendation letters I don't

have control over my recommendation

letters or do I who should I ask when do

I ask do I need to give my teachers like

some sort of like a letter or list or

should I just ask when is the best time

to ask my teachers for recommendation

letters and do we need a rep letter from

counselors to do we need additional rec

letters from our extracurriculars so

today I'm going to use this video to

answer a few popular questions so that

it will give you a lot more clarity as

to when you should start what you should

be preparing for and much more what I

want you to really understand here is

that recommendation letters are really

important which means you don't want to

take this process lightly so please pay

attention and make sure that you put in

a lot of energy and high quality work so

that you do get the best recommendation

letter so keep that in mind it's

important you guys and don't worry

you're in good hands

using my strategies my students got

accepted into Ivy League's UIUC

where else you miss USC and why you much

more so this is a proven system so let's

go ahead and get started

number one our rep letters even

important yes recommendation letters are

very important when the college

admissions officers are reviewing the

letter that your recommenders submitted

they are going to take that letter

very very seriously but what you want to

keep in mind is that they're not only

looking for your intellectual abilities

but what they want to see is your

character your personality your

persistence your grit your quality your

values so keep that in mind because it's

not just about okay this student is good

at chemistry or the student is good at

writing essays what they're looking for

is the deeper qualities and elements

that cannot easily be identified in

other parts of the application or to who

is going to be my recommenders you will

most likely have to recommenders and it

really depends on the school there every

school has different requirements and so

let's just say that you are going to

work with about two recommenders these

two recommenders will need to be your

core subject teachers so that means your

English teacher history science foreign

language and mathematics your

recommender should not just be someone

that you know inside a classroom so it's

not someone who you just say hello and

bye to every single day before you start

your class you want to select a teacher

who is your core subject teacher but

someone who you know outside of the

classroom as well because like I said

they want to see more of your

characteristics and personality inside

and outside of the classroom but here's

a warning don't select a teacher to be a

recommender just because you have the

highest grade in that class go for a

teacher who recognizes your personality

your efforts how hard you try how

dedicated you are in class how

cooperative you are in class so that

your teacher is able to share how you

are in class how you instilled a growth

pattern in his class or her class so

basically it's not just that you have a

good grade but that you also have this

quality of yours where you will never


and you know you just really want to

show that passionate side of you and

your recommender will be able to do that

for you if you do choose the right

recommender even if you have a B in that

class but you know that you went from a

D to a B or maybe you were very lacking

in confidence the first semester but you

ended up doing really well second

semester that's a very good reason why

you want to ask that teacher to be your

recommender number three is how should I

ask my teachers to write me a

recommendation letter you want to do is

to set a time with your teacher not when

you are just about to leave her class

and say oh Miss Smith I need a letter

from you not like that you need to go to

your teacher and ask politely I would

like to set up ten to fifteen minutes or

fifteen to twenty minutes to talk about

my application and my recommendation

letters what time is gift for you and

this really shows that you are

navigating this process in a very

serious in a responsible way so set up a

time first and during that time is when

you want to share the couple of key

points such as what your strengths is

what your interest is what your career

plans are what you want to study why you

decided to go for this college or why

you decided to go for this major just a

little bit more of that human-like

interaction is really going to help your

recommender write the best letter for

you for if your recommender is someone

who you can't meet in person or it may

be a supervisor from you know maybe

you're studying abroad program or

something like that then you still want

to meet with them online right even

though you can't meet them in person you

can still meet them the risk I'd call or

zoom call or Google hangout there's so

many different platforms so even though

you can't meet them in person I still

want you to set up a meeting to talk

about your goals and why you are asking

this person to be a recommender this

request should be done as early as

possible so sometimes students

right before their summer break for us

and sometimes they do it right after

they come back from their summer break

typically I tell my students inside my

program to ask the recommenders around

May or June just to have that

conversation going so that your teacher

knows that you will be requesting for a

letter but sometimes I've had cases

where teachers will say no don't talk to

me about college applications before

summer break and so in that case we'll

have to postpone it for a little bit but

you want to ask your teacher and/or your

recommender and set up that meeting as

soon as possible but I would say March

and February will be too early number 4

do I need to share something with my

recommenders yes you do you have to

share two different items and this is

something that you can share with them

during the meeting right when you enter

the meeting room or the conference room

or the Skype call you want to share this

with them you can share this with them

in the beginning before you start

talking or after so that you guys could

just really focus on the content of the

conversation resume is something that

you want to prepare and have the copy

ready to go the Brat the resume should

really focus on basically what you did

and if you are a junior watching this

you should have your resume ready to go

I have my students start working on

their resume as soon as they have a

couple of volunteering and summer

program and extracurriculars on their

activities list so recommendation

letters should be written in a very

specific way and I might do another

tutorial on how to write a resume for

high school students so for today's

training though yes you do need a copy

of your resume so please have that ready

and you also want to share with them a

brag sheet so what is a brac sheet

you're basically listing out a couple of

key points that you want them to know so

there are a couple of questions that I

can share with you in this video and

they are maybe you're explaining an

inconsistency in your academic career

maybe you dropped out or maybe you

or whatever happened I could also share

your abilities and what you've done in

your school or in your community that

reflects your character you can also

talk about the fit for the schools

you're applying to so that you're giving

them a list of colleges and why each

college is a good fit and what is it

that really appeals you to that school

you could also talk about your strengths

as a person inside the classroom and

outside the classroom

your interest and how you fostered your

interests into a passion why you're

unique and what your career goals are

and what you want to get out of your

studies in college or as a professional

so you want to make sure that you're as

specific as possible when you write this

if you say that your unique ability is

that you are open minded it's like okay

well can you give me an example so you

always want to support your claim with

an example so that your teacher has a

better idea your recommender has a

better idea as to what you mean by truly

open-minded question number five when is

the best time to work on recommendation

letter black sheets and the materials

that I need to submit to my teachers I

answer this question somewhere in three

or four but I wanted to categorize this

into the last question because timing is

very important right so typically I have

my students start working on their

resume right now January and February

and then start working on the brag

sheets around at March and April because

around May and June you'll be really

busy with finals end of the year

commitment and SAT Subject Tests and any

other test that you have to take so we

sort of try to get the brac sheets out

of the way by March or April but if you

are watching this video around summer

time there is a way to speed up that

process so don't worry about it but that

is the ideal timeline you want to

continue to communicate with your

recommenders to let them know if there

are any updates so that this process is

not like okay write me a wreckless but

it's more of you know I sincerely thank

you for writing this letter for me and

here are some updates that I like to

share with you and when they come back

from school you want to also write a

quick email or

yeah an email saying you know welcome

back I just wanted to let you know that

my brackets are ready to go how would

you like to receive them by PDF Google

Doc in person so that you're really

making sure that you're connecting with

this recommender as much as possible

instead of just saying okay you know

write me a record because if you think

about it so many students are requesting

rec letters to one teacher and that

teacher has to write a lot so if you

could imagine you know the teacher will

give the most specific details and more

energy to a student who really was

responsible and timely and someone who

is fun authentic and just honest and

clear about the entire process right so

you want to maximize your chances of

getting the best recommendation letter

possible so you do need to put in

consistent energy so that you will get

the best recommendation letter possible

all right so that's it those are the top

five questions that I get when it comes

to recommendation letters it requires

you to work through each task on time

that's the most important thing because

you don't want to be working on

recommendation letter Bradstreet's and

resume and reaching out when you have to

focus on your passion project or your

essays and filling out the application

and preparing for the interview so this

is something that you could do in

advance so that's the good news for

those of you who are interested I am

offering a free 45 minute strategy

session the link is down below and

during the call I'll be able to assess

what you are currently struggling with

what you would need to work on so that

you can get accepted into your dream Ivy

League's or tops your colleges it's

completely free and it's really to

assess whether you would be a good fit

for our program or not I also want to

share with you our Facebook group

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there are around almost

100 members in there so check it out and

join the community so that you will feel

supported with everyone else who's going

through the college admissions journey

and we also have a podcast to mystify

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guests from all industries test prep

pre-med law Ivy League and much more I

also do a couple of so episodes when I

do have a big takeaway and there you

will really be able to gain motivation

about how to navigate the college

admissions journey the right way and how

to stay healthy and mindful throughout

this entire process and lastly I am also

hosting a live workshop this coming

Thursday the link will also be down

below so the live workshop is where I

share case studies with you high level

college admission strategies with you so

check it out register and take advantage

of it because it's completely free all

right you guys that's it for today's

video I hope that this video about

recommendation letter was helpful to you

all if you have any questions leave them

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music content alright have a great rest

of your day and I'll talk to you guys

soon bye everyone