What to do about a recommender who won't write the damn letter?

  • Livestream AMA: Join SDN as we welcome Dr. John Ligon, a Pediatric Oncologist with the National Cancer Institute on May 11th at 8:00 PM Eastern. Register now!

elyswim

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2009
214
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
So I've been having some major issues with one of my recommenders. I asked him May 11th to write me a letter and never got a response. I sent him an email asking him again saying that we've worked together closely for a long time and that I woudl really like to write him a letter. He responded (within 1 day) saying he would be "delighted" to and that I give him a deadline. I told him "the end of june or early july." The end of June/Early July comes and I receive no letter submitted (they do this stuff at our school). I send him email, no response. I send him another email (yesterday) still no response. I really want him to write my letter, but I don't know what else to do. I don't want to seem like i'm badgering him, but I'm almost done with some secondaries and I want to get this thing goinggggg!:mad:

Any suggestions on what to say to him?
 

SN2ed

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2007
7,545
195
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
If he's dragging his heels this much, he probably doesn't want to write it. You don't want someone writing a letter of recommendation when they don't want to write it.
 

JJMrK

J to the J
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2007
13,091
324
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
So I've been having some major issues with one of my recommenders. I asked him May 11th to write me a letter and never got a response. I sent him an email asking him again saying that we've worked together closely for a long time and that I woudl really like to write him a letter. He responded (within 1 day) saying he would be "delighted" to and that I give him a deadline. I told him "the end of june or early july." The end of June/Early July comes and I receive no letter submitted (they do this stuff at our school). I send him email, no response. I send him another email (yesterday) still no response. I really want him to write my letter, but I don't know what else to do. I don't want to seem like i'm badgering him, but I'm almost done with some secondaries and I want to get this thing goinggggg!:mad:

Any suggestions on what to say to him?

This is why you gotta request in March/April and give a false, early deadline. Can you go visit this guy in his office instead of just emailing him?
 
About the Ads

BerlinDude

7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2009
528
6
Status (Visible)
So I've been having some major issues with one of my recommenders. I asked him May 11th to write me a letter and never got a response. I sent him an email asking him again saying that we've worked together closely for a long time and that I woudl really like to write him a letter. He responded (within 1 day) saying he would be "delighted" to and that I give him a deadline. I told him "the end of june or early july." The end of June/Early July comes and I receive no letter submitted (they do this stuff at our school). I send him email, no response. I send him another email (yesterday) still no response. I really want him to write my letter, but I don't know what else to do. I don't want to seem like i'm badgering him, but I'm almost done with some secondaries and I want to get this thing goinggggg!:mad:

Any suggestions on what to say to him?
I'm in the same position.

Good luck with your problem. Especially if your recommender is an important guy, getting faculty to write a letter is harder than I am when I watch "Who's Nailin Palin?".
 

SteinUmStein

10+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2009
1,948
140
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I'm in the same boat, and I'm at the point where I already asked for a LOR from another professor and got a yes, and should be getting that letter in the next week or so.

However, I do have one question: I already designated my previous LOR to all of my schools, and his name is on my secondary file online for several schools. If I remove the LOR completely from AMCAS, which seems to be an option from what I've seen, will my schools automatically get the update and change the letter name to the new one that I will soon add?
 

acridknight

10+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2009
125
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
visit the prof in his office and nicely bring this up/ remind him about it (eg. ask if there's anything you can do to help him with the letter).

in the meantime, leverage your contingency plan. ask other profs. you can't have too many letters (you'll select each letter per school, so having a choice can't hurt).
 

elyswim

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2009
214
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Thanks for the responses. I think he actually does want to write the letter, but he works in Hollywood as a screenwriter so when he's not teaching he's producing/writing films (aka really busy)... I've worked with him for a long time, and I can't imagine that he would write me a poor/mediocre letter. I'll definitely try to contact him.

Thanks again!
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 11 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.