Carol C. Shilepsky
Wells College, Aurora, NY

Here's what I need from you to give helpful recommendations.

Letters and Forms
Time. Give me requests at least 4 weeks before they are due. A good letter requires time to think and rewrite. Many requests come between the end of classes and Christmas since that is when you are done with your work. I will get to them in January.

Information. You may not need to remind me that you were President of Collegiate or received an award, but it helps to jog my memory. Please include anything you think would be helpful. For example:

Stamped, addressed envelopes.

Waiver. If you waive your rights to see a letter or form, it has more credibility. If I cannot write a positive letter, I will let you know.

Email Recommendations
Email is becoming an accepted way to submit recommendations. Make sure you give me the correct email address, as well as the title of the person and position for which you are applying.

Oral Recommendations
I am happy to have you list me as a reference. Often this is even more effective than a written evaluation because I can emphasize how you fit a particular position and answer specific questions.

Include my title and position. For example: Dr. Carol Shilepsky, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Email is the best way for them to contact me for a time to talk, but also give my home and office phone numbers:(315)364-7421, (315) 364-3262.

Let me know to whom you have given my name and the position you want. I can respond more coherently if I know that I might be called.

The Materials you Submit
What you write to a prospective employer or school will be extremely important. They will look for clear, correct, direct writing. A few suggestions:
Other Thoughts
Pick the person who knows you best and can comment most favorably on your work. It doesn't help if I like you but don't know first-hand about what you have done.

Have a safety option. Even if you should get in to the schools you have chosen or position you want, the process can be unpredictable.

Consider the role of character in an evaluation. Employers want to know how well you work with other people, that you are curious beyond just completing an assignment, and that you are honest. Over the years, Wells faculty get to know you well and being able to comment on these can contribute significantly to your acceptance to a school or position.

Let me know what happens. It helps me with future students to know where you have, and have not, been accepted.

Things to think of before you need a reference. Here are questions I was asked for a recent graduate.