Information for Getting Good Letters of Recommendation

In order for me to write a high quality letter of recommendation for you, you will need to do some work.  The more I know about your goals and activities, the better letter I will be able to write. SO… if you want a thorough, well-written recommendation I advise the following:

*** Give me the information requested below (can email it to me).

*** If it is month(s) before the application deadlines, and you are not sure to which schools or other businesses you really want to apply or you have not begun work on your application/ essay, wait to give me the materials until you have firmed these things up more.

*** As deadlines approach, please feel free to check with me to make sure the letters are getting in on time.

Written materials that I will need in order to write a good letter:

1. Organized, written information about yourself, about past activities, accomplishments, interests, or future goals, will be very helpful to me:

____•   A copy of your transcript or degree audit (an unofficial copy is fine).
____•   A copy of your resume (if you have one), or a list of activities and relevant experiences.
____•   A copy of your personal statement/ essay (talking about your strengths, experiences, goals) even if it’s in a very rough form.
____•   Any relevant test scores (GRE for grad school, MCAT for med school)

2. Remind me of anything specific on which you are hoping I will comment (e.g., classes you’ve taken from me, particular personal qualities, the great paper you wrote in my class,  the leadership you demonstrated…).  It will help me if you bluntly point out your strengths.  Don’t be modest here!

3. A list of all the schools or other locations to which you want a letter sent -if you are applying to multiple places.  For each place, list its deadline,  and what type of program (e.g., “clinical”) it is.

4. For each on-line recommendation, please fill in information about me (name, address, phone number, etc.).  I have included that information below.

The information about me that you will need is:

Name:  Donna K. McMillan, Ph.D., L.P.
Title:  Professor of Psychology
Institution/Address:  St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue,  Northfield, MN
Phone number:  507-786-3589