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writing reference letters for yourself

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hey guys,


talked to a prof, who agreed to write me a reference letter, but said I had to send them a rough draft or something they could go with


was wondering if you guys could give me cliffs on what i should include, i really don't know what important stuff to write



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Here's a thread with basically the same question as yours. It's from 2009, but I thought one post was especially good:


Wow! This is an amazing opportunity and a daunting task. I personally feel that as long as the referee reads it and agrees with what you said that it is not unethical.

As far as content, it is difficult to write something like that about yourself. I had a referee tell me to send him a note explaining what he wanted me to say in his letter. What I did (and what I recommend) is I sent him a note telling him that I hoped he could comment on my integrity, professionalism, dependability, and candor. As well as my suitability for medical school and to what extent he would trust his family to my medical care. I told him that the best letters give a brief experience or two that he had with me that displayed to him specific traits of mine. I then made sure he knew he should only praise what he felt comfortable praising in me. That he should omit any characteristic I asked him to comment on if he did not feel he has observed that in me and that he may comment on any other thing he wishes.

I got a pimp letter out of it.

What do you want that referee to say about you? Is there anything you think your other referees may not be able to say about you that you want the adcom to know? Write that.



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This book had a good chapter on reference letters at the end. Lots more on the internet if you search on how to write a letter of recommendation/reference.


Tips: use specific examples and anecdotes to back up assertions about personal qualities. What knowledge does your referee have of you that goes beyond your CV? When ranking your wonderfulness, it is more convincing if the referee gives a frame of reference by stating how many students they have worked with, and that you are in the top __.

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