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Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

Most pharmacists need a letter of recommendation (LOR) at least once during their career. Whether it is for entry into a pharmacy school, a scholarship, a post-graduate training program, or a job, the odds are highly likely that you will need to ask a mentor for a letter of recommendation. This section will provide suggestions and tips on how to acquire a positive letter of recommendation.

Letter of Recommendation Requestors:

How do you determine whom to ask for a letter of recommendation?

The individual you ask should have the ability to speak to your personal and/or professional growth and understand your interest in and knowledge of pharmacy. Some experts in this field suggest knowing the individual for one year or more; however, pre-pharmacy students and pharmacy students can also consider asking faculty, preceptors, or employers who have seen your growth and work ethic via rotations, summer internships, or semester-long classes.

For those seeking a residency post-graduation, the pre-residency track, led by Dr. Brandon Bookstaver, has details regarding which faculty/staff should write a LOR. We suggest you participate in the pre-residency track and follow Dr. Bookstaver’s advice regarding this subject. For those seeking fellowships, it may be advantageous to listen to and follow the advice of Dr. Bookstaver as there are some similarities between the types of post-graduate training programs.

Based on the application requirements, including the number of letters requested and the relationship to each writer, will help you determine whom to ask. This worksheet may help you determine the best mentors to ask for a LOR. On the first page is an example of how the worksheet can be used to help you identify who you may want to ask for a recommendation. The second page is a blank sheet that you can use to fill out as many times as you need. To help generate a list of potential writers, consider former or current employers, faculty members, preceptors, and research mentors.

Writers should be provided ample time to compose LORs. Some sources suggest asking 3 months in advance. At a minimum, we suggest asking 1 month in advance of the LOR deadline to be considerate of the writer’s existing schedule.

Once you've identified your potential writer, follow the process below which outlines the best practices for requesting LORs.

 

 

If you find our resources helpful or have suggestions for additional resources to include, please let us know here.

Resources

For Requestors: For Writers:
KCES LOR Worksheet + Example

Writing LORs- Michigan Pharmacists Association

LORs: A Pharmacy Residency Program Perspective- PharmacyTimes Tips for Writing Strong LORs- UCF Medicine 
Who Should Write My LOR for Pharmacy School?- UCI Pharmacy School