How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation (Updated 2023)

How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

Being a student is not an easy job as you will not only have to take care of your studies but will also need to take care of other things like applying to higher institutions, different jobs, etc. To get your work done you will need to submit the documents required by the institution. Although you will need to have the right letter of recommendation you must also know how much time should you give a professor to write a letter of recommendation. Therefore, here we will be discussing the letter of recommendation and how much time it takes to write it.

Quick Takeaways

  • A letter of recommendation is a letter given by someone who knows you professionally which helps to depict who you are professionally.
  • You must wait at least 2 weeks to get a letter of recommendation from the professor you have asked for.
  • Try to ask for the letter of recommendation at least one month before the deadline of the institution you are applying to.

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of the time taken to write the letter of recommendation and also how can you get one.

How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

What is a letter of recommendation?

A letter of recommendation is like a paper proof which is given by someone who knows you professionally. They are usually given by your previous employers, colleagues, professors, etc. It helps to describe your qualifications and skills professionally. It also helps to understand what achievements you have gained and also helps to understand how professionally you have worked with your previous employers.

In short, they are like an advantage that helps you to get admission the graduate school or to get hired in a company. Your letters of recommendation are directly sent to the higher authorities where you are applying. Therefore you will not be able to know what has been written in your letter of recommendation. Due to this, you must try to select a professor who knows you professionally and has seen your work very closely.

How much time should you give a professor to write a letter of recommendation?

How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

How much time will your Professor take will depend upon the professor itself. You must remember that your professor needs to get time to write up the letter of recommendation. It means that you must start as early as possible so that they can get a good amount of time to write the letter of recommendation. Usually, a professor can take around 3 to 4 weeks to write up a letter of recommendation. However, if you are still not sure whether they will give you the letter of recommendation or not try to follow up at least after 2 weeks so that you give them a reminder about it. 

What time is too late to ask for a letter of recommendation?

As we have discussed above that you Professor take time to write a letter of recommendation. Therefore you must try to ask for a letter of recommendation at least four weeks or 1 month before the deadline. It is because if your Professor do not agree to write a letter of recommendation you can at least which the professor and get it on time. Furthermore, if you start asking it 2 or 1 week before the deadline, then you may not be getting it on time.

Although we have discussed how much time it takes to write a letter of recommendation, it is also important to understand what are the different sections and the benefits of getting it. Therefore further we have discussed different sections of the letter of recommendation.

What are the different sections in the letter of recommendation?

There are a lot of different points that the professor will have to cover in the letter of recommendation due to which it took time for the professor to write a great letter of recommendation. Further, we have discussed some of the common sections that are added in the letter of recommendation-

1. Defining the relationship

Generally, the first paragraph is the one in which your relationship with your professor is defined. It means that it will include how the person who has written the letter of recommendation knows you.

2. Skills

When a new person hires you or when you want to go for higher education they will obviously want to look at the skills you have. As it helps them to understand what are you capable of.

How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

3. Character

Your character is an essential point at which most of the institutions and the companies will look. It is because no one wants to have a person who does not have the right type of character.

4. Personal experience of the person with you

In the letter of recommendation, the professor will also be adding the instances where you have used your skills. It is a great way to show someone how you use your skills in a time of need.

5. Contact details

After ending the letter of recommendation, your Professor must add the contact details. It is because a person who receives a letter of recommendation will always want to talk to the person who has sent it. Further, it shows the reliability of the letter of recommendation and will also help to increase their trust in you.

What are the benefits of getting a letter of recommendation?

The following are the benefits of getting a letter of recommendation-

1. Know more about you

Although your resume will help to identify your top qualifications but letter of recommendation can help to give you more details regarding you and your professional behaviour. It will help to understand how you have utilized your skills in your profession.

2. Show your credibility

As discussed above it helps to know how well you are with your work and your skills. It works as proof of your academic achievements and also how well you are with other professionals. 

3. Depicts commitment

Getting a letter of recommendation means that you have asked for it from your professor or someone who knows you professionally. It starts with having a letter of recommendation means you are committed towards your work and are also passionate about it. It can help you highlight your soft skills such as dedication.

How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

Although now you know the benefits of getting a letter of recommendation, let us discuss how to get one from your professor.

How to get a letter of recommendation from a professor? 

Following are the ways to get a letter of recommendation from your professor-

1. Decide which professor you need

The first thing you should do is to know from which professor you want to have the letter of recommendation. Although you can get a letter of recommendation from a person you don’t know well, you must still try to get it from one whom you trust.  It is because the professor who knows you well will understand your professional qualities more than the other professors.

2. Decide how to connect

How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

Every professor has its own way to get in contact with the student. Some professors may like to connect through emails and others connect through direct communication at the office. Therefore you must know how to connect to the professor.

3. Send a request

Make a request in which you have added everything about yourself. When you are requesting a professor be respectful towards them. The things that depend on how grateful you will be to get a letter of recommendation from them.

4. Set a meeting 

Once take a safety request try setting up a meeting so that you can have a face-to-face interaction with your professor. It will have a great impact of you on your professor and may also help to develop your professional relations.

5. Give the information needed

Make sure to give all the necessary information to the professor including where you’re applying at. Also, you must give them information about your achievements outside academics. It is because your professor may know every academic achievement of you but may not have the knowledge of the achievements outside it.

6. Give them reminders

As discussed above your professor has a lot of other work to do. Therefore giving up reminders to them is important. Make sure that you are at least sending the reminder after 2 weeks so that get the time to write it.

Why will you need to have a letter of recommendation?

There are different times when you will need to give a letter of recommendation to support your application. Thus, the following are the situations when you will need to submit ted of recommendation along with your application-

  • Professional school Fellowship
  • Graduate or professional school Fellowship
  • College or university enrollment 
  • Development opportunities 
  • Promotion applications
  • Certification programs Workshops 
  • Internship Program 
  • Job applications
How Much Time Should You Give a Professor to Write a Letter of Recommendation? (Updated 2023)

Conclusion

A letter of recommendation is like a letter sent by someone who knows you professionally. It can be your professor or an old employee for which you have worked. The letter of recommendation has a lot of things to add like your skills, achievements, character definition, etc. Therefore you must give at least 2 weeks to your professors to write it up as they may have a lot of other work to do.

If they still do not give you the letter of recommendation, you must try sending them a reminder mail so that they can work on it and send it on time. Further, you must make sure that you are asking for a letter of recommendation at least before a month’s deadline so that you can get it on time.

FAQ

How long does it take for a professor to respond to a letter of recommendation?

Usually, the professor will respond to the letter of recommendation request within a week. You must still wait for at least two weeks to get a response from the professor. It is because your professor has a lot of other work like evaluating the students. It means that they may be busy with their other stuff and therefore you must give them at least two weeks time to get the letter of recommendation.
However, if you have not received the response to the request for a letter of recommendation within 2 weeks then you must try to find a different professor to write the letter of recommendation. It is because you would not want to be late in submitting your application just because you have not received your letters of recommendation yet.

William Christie
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