Q: I am in the process of applying to graduate schools. How should I approach those who will be writing letters of recommendation? Also, when and how should I follow up with them or thank them?
A: It is best to ask people in person for recommendations if possible. If not, a letter would be in order. When asking for a recommendation you might mention the relationship you have with that person, and, if the person is a former professor, you might mention his or her class and bring copies of your work that you did well on. If the graduate school provides you a form, be sure to bring it with you or include it in your letter. When a person agrees to write a letter, you should follow up within a few days with a thank-you note. The note needn’t be lengthy. A simple thank-you for writing the letter is sufficient and it would be appropriate to add that you will let him or her know the outcome of your application.