• Increases student commitment to do well in the class.
  • Allows you to build a network of community outreach.
  • Creates another connection with the student.

How to Begin:

  • Ask for a copy of the job posting or the name of the graduate school and the student’s resume.
  • Use the ERAU heading.  It looks more professional and official.
  • Keep the letter short. It should be no longer than one page single-spaced with three to four paragraphs.
  • The first paragraph of the letter should explain how you know the student.
  • The second paragraph should include what you know about the student. Are they punctual? Do they have good attention to detail? Are they good at communicating?
  • Paragraph three should include specific examples of the student exhibiting the skills from paragraph two. You can even compare them to people you have worked with in your career.
  • In your closing statement mention your belief that the student (by name) will be an outstanding grad student or addition to the company. Provide your number and email with a mention of your eagerness to share the additional perspectives of the candidate.

How to Soften the NO:

  • Always use “I” statements rather than “you” statements during your refusal.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable endorsing the applicant, it is better to decline than to write a sub-par letter.
  • Be respectful and have a mature exchange with the student.


The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.

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Resources for supporting students including career guidance, writing, APA, and EAGLET.