The more information you provide your recommender, the better the letter will be. I suggest that all students prepare an Activity Resume or a Brag Sheet that details the following items: extracurricular activities; community service involvement; leadership positions; honors, scholarship and awards; employment; internships and job shadowing experiences and what you've done during your last three summers. Make sure you focus on your responsibilities and accomplishments in the resume so that teachers will be able to capture some of those details in their letters.
Be certain to waive your right to view recommendation letters on your application forms. Admission officers will trust them more if you haven't seen them.
Send a confirmation email to your recommenders thanking them for agreeing to write your letter of recommendation and being specific about next steps.
Send thank you notes once you know the colleges have received the letters of recommendation.
Lee Shulman Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website College Admissions Strategies.
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