I've Requested a Letter of Recommendation and My Professor Hasn't Responded. What Do I Do?

I've Requested a Letter of Recommendation and My Professor Hasn't Responded. What Do I Do?

So you’ve requested an LOR from a professor and they haven’t responded yet. Should you worry?

In short, no. Professors get many, many emails every day, and it’s most likely that, despite your concerns, a lack of response is not a “no”. Rather, it means that the professor is busy and hasn’t had the time to respond, or that they put it aside and forgot about it.

Here’s what you do next — Send a polite follow-up email like this:

Hello Dr. XXX,
I am just following up on the email I sent on XXX. I am sure you are very busy, but I was wondering if you’ve had the chance to review my request for a letter of recommendation.
I am applying to XXX program(s) with due dates XXX.
Please let me know if you are willing to write me a letter of recommendation or if you’re too busy so that I can make other arrangements.
I have attached my resume for your reference, and I am more than happy to send you additional information if you need or want more from me.
Thank you in advance for your time, and I hope you are well!
Best,
Eager Applicant

Alternatively, if you are on or near campus, you should consider visiting your professor in person. Doing so will not only add a personal element to your request, but it will allow the professor to ask clarifying questions and/or glean important information quickly, without having to take the time to craft an email response. If you choose this route, come armed with your resume and a brag sheet.

If your professor has already agreed to write a recommendation letter but has not gotten around to it yet, you might address this situation like this:

Dear Dr. X,
I just wanted to touch base with you regarding my recommendation letter for XXX. Would you mind letting me know when you have submitted it/them so I can cross it/them off my to-do list? It will help me keep my applications organized.
As a reminder, my application for University X is due XXX/applications are due XXX.
Thank you in advance, and I appreciate your help.
Best,
Eager Applicant

Finally, be sure to follow up with the professor a week before the deadline if the letter has not been submitted yet, and send a thank you note once it is done.

Good luck applicants! Reach out to us at World Awaits if you have questions or need help with this ever-so-important step in your application journey.