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Writing a Letter of Recommendation

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Writing a Letter of Recommendation

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Writing a Letter of Recommendation
Addendum to

Making the Right Moves:
A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty second edition

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, second edition © 2006 by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Burroughs Wellcome Fund All rights reserved. “Writing a Letter of Recommendation”: Electronic addendum published 2009 Writer: Laura Bonetta, Ph.D. Production: Martine Bernard Design Permission to use, copy, and distribute this publication or excerpts is granted provided that (1) the copyright notice above appears in all reproductions; (2) use is for noncommercial educational purposes only; and (3) the publication or excerpts are not modified in any way (except when used for noncommercial educational purposes). Requests beyond that scope should be directed to labmgmt@hhmi.org. The views expressed in this publication are those of its contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute or the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This publication is available online at http://www.hhmi.org/labmanagement.

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WRITING A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION

As a beginning independent investigator, chances are you will soon have to write

a letter of recommendation on behalf of a student, a postdoc, or even a colleague. Your job as letter writer will be to describe the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the position or program in a way that is both thoughtful and personal. A letter that falls short of this goal will be of little value to those evaluating applications and will not help the candidate...