Let the LOR writer know when you need to upload the LOR by (typically in August, or as soon as possible), then ask for a good time and contact person/number/email to follow up with. Maintain a high professional standard at all times so as to not risk your LOR due to annoying or antagonizing the writer. A late LOR is much worse than changing the writer’s mind completely and losing the LOR altogether.
Here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts
- Treat every LOR as if a delay will happen. Try to secure your LOR before the end of your clinical block (click here for how to ask for an LOR) to minimize any gaps between leaving the block without a letter.
- Offer ways to save the LOR writer time (click here). This could be anything from providing additional background information to providing a draft of the LOR yourself.
- Utilize the ‘Clinical Experience Assessment Draft‘ writing service by AmeriClerkships if you need help drafting an LOR.
- Contact the LOR writer only during their regular working hours and follow up with their staff when possible as to avoid antagonizing the writer. Ask the writer how they would prefer to be contacted if you do want to follow up so you don’t risk doing so too often.
- Treat the LOR as something you are owed. An LOR is performance-based, and part of that performance is respecting a writer’s right to evaluate you objectively. Acting like you deserve it is against the spirit of what an LOR truly is.
- Follow up with the LOR writer constantly. If you are calling, emailing or speaking to the LOR writer multiple times a day or week, you are risking the LOR by acting desperate. A desperate individual that is constantly contacting a writer or worse, physically asking for the letter over and over, is risking the LOR altogether. Follow up at regular, mutually-agreed-on times with either the LOR writer or their staff.
- Be unprofessional. Don’t raise your voice, demean or otherwise antagonize the writer or any support staff at any time. This will harm the LOR’s strength, your ability to obtain it, and may even risk termination of your AmeriClerkship’s membership if escalated.