Letter of Recommendation

I will write more than 100 letters of recommendation this year and to do so effectively I need your help! If you need a letter of recommendation from me I need some things from you in an e-mail.

  1. The address of the place the letter is to be sent. Put the address in block form so that I can cut and paste it into the letter. I MUST have this even if it is an on-line letter, so look it up.
  2. Who the letter should be addressed to (To Whom it May Concern is your worst option, but I’m willing to do it)
  3. The website of the organization to which you are applying (if you are applying to a specific department put that department’s website down)
  4. The school, semester, and year that you and I had any classes together
  5. A copy of your current resume or c.v. If you need help with this and are an ND student (past or present) click here and seek out some help.
  6. If the letter is for graduate school tell me who you specifically are thinking about working with at that school AND what specifically you intend to study.
  7. If the letter is for a teaching job tell me all the subjects you’ve taught (and if the job is for a new subject tell me why what you already have taught will help you in the new job). Also tell me why you are moving to a new place (the answer can be for a relationship or more complex than that too). Please also share with me what you think your greatest teaching asset is and what is the area in which you need the most growth in as a teacher. I will spin these in a positive way in the letter, but I just want some starting point ideas.
  8. A deadline by which the letter must be mailed or e-mailed (not received). If the letter is to be submitted electronically let me know that too.
  9. If there is ANYTHING else that I should know you need to include it in the e-mail.
  10. Please don’t tell me anything in the e-mail that I need to respond to – as I am simple and can do only one thing at a time.
  11. It is not a good idea to have me write general letters of recommendation. I want letters to be successful and letters that are specifically tailored are your best option. In extreme cases (like Law or Med School) you can get me to write a general letter, but tell me that it is the norm in your field. Don’t tell me you want a general letter because you don’t want to make more work for me writing hundreds of letters, this is part of my job and I’m happy to write for you.While all of this makes me sound like I require a lot I do it because I want to write the strongest possible letter on your behalf.

Please send me a check for the cost of a first-class stamp for each letter you want (unless you are an ND student past or present as ND pays for your postage). Send the check to:

Dr. Brian S Collier
107 Sandner Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Brian S Collier, Ph.D.
107 Sandner Hall - Office 206M
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556