How to Request a Dental School Letter of Recommendation from Someone You Shadowed—With Sample Emails

Learn how to request a dental school letter of recommendation from someone you shadowed with our helpful guide and sample emails.

Posted May 19, 2023

Free Event

Dental School Office Hours

Starting Wednesday, July 17

10:00 PM UTC · 45 minutes

undefined's profile

Featuring Rubee S.

Table of Contents

As a dental school applicant, there are several components of the application process you need to consider. One of the most important is the letter of recommendation. A letter of recommendation serves as a testament to your skills, work ethic, and potential for success in dental school. But how do you request a letter of recommendation in the dental field? In this article, we’ll answer that question and provide sample emails to make the process as smooth as possible.

Why a letter of recommendation is important for dental school applications

A letter of recommendation is an essential part of your dental school application. Admissions committees use letters of recommendation to evaluate your character, work ethic, and potential for success. These letters give them an idea about how you may perform in the classroom, as well as your readiness for the challenges of dental school. Medical school admission experts consider letters of recommendation second only to MCAT scores.

Furthermore, letters of recommendation can also provide insight into your interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team. Dental schools are looking for students who can effectively communicate with patients and colleagues, and letters of recommendation can attest to your ability to do so. Additionally, a strong letter of recommendation from a dentist or other healthcare professional can demonstrate your exposure to the field and your commitment to pursuing a career in dentistry. Overall, a well-written letter of recommendation can greatly enhance your dental school application and increase your chances of acceptance.

Who to ask for a letter of recommendation in the dental field

When it comes to requesting a letter of recommendation, it’s important to choose the right person to ask. You want to select someone who knows you well and can speak to your skills, character, and potential. Specifically, you should ask someone you shadowed, who can provide feedback on your work and personality.

Another important factor to consider when choosing who to ask for a letter of recommendation in the dental field is their position and experience. It’s best to ask someone who is a practicing dentist or dental hygienist, as they can provide valuable insight into the industry and what it takes to succeed. Additionally, if you have worked or volunteered at a dental clinic, you may want to consider asking your supervisor or a colleague who can speak to your work ethic and contributions to the team.

Lastly, it’s important to give your potential recommender enough time to write a thoughtful and detailed letter. You should aim to ask at least a month in advance of when you need the letter, and provide them with all the necessary information, such as the application deadline and any specific requirements or prompts. It’s also a good idea to follow up with a gentle reminder a week or two before the deadline, to ensure they have enough time to complete the letter.

How to choose the right person to ask for a dental school letter of recommendation

Choosing the right person to ask for a dental school letter of recommendation is crucial. You should look for a mentor who has taken an interest in your education and has seen you in action. Ideally, you should select a mentor who has been in the dental field for a while and can speak to your abilities and potential for success in the field.

Tips for building a strong relationship with your shadowing mentor before requesting a letter of recommendation

It’s important to build a strong relationship with your shadowing mentor before requesting a letter of recommendation. By doing so, you build trust and can increase your chances of receiving a positive recommendation. One way to do this is to communicate effectively with your mentor. You can also take the initiative to offer to help with projects or even study for a test together. By doing so, you demonstrate your dedication and work ethic.

Crafting the perfect email to request a letter of recommendation from your shadowing mentor

The email you send to request a letter of recommendation is critical. It should be professional, concise, and clear. You should also highlight your skills and achievements to remind your mentor of your abilities. Additionally, you could request a meeting in person to discuss the letter further.

What to include in your email when requesting a dental school letter of recommendation

Some things you may want to include in your email requesting a letter of recommendation include a brief introduction, how you know the mentor personally, information about the dental school you are applying to, the deadline for the letter, and specific instructions provided by the dental school.

Sample email templates for requesting a dental school letter of recommendation from someone you shadowed

Here are two sample email templates to give you an idea of how to write your email to request a letter of recommendation:

  • Dear [mentor’s name],
  • I am writing to request your assistance in preparing a letter of recommendation for me in support of my application to dental school. As someone who has known me in a mentoring capacity, I believe your input could be very valuable to me.
  • The application deadline is [insert date], so I would appreciate your response as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your help and support.
  • Best regards,
  • [Your name]
  • [Your contact information]

Alternatively, you could use this template:

  • Dear [mentor’s name],
  • I am writing to request a letter of recommendation from you in support of my application to dental school. Your support and guidance have been invaluable to me throughout my shadowing experience, and I believe that you have a keen insight into my abilities and potential.
  • The deadline for submission of the letter is [insert date], so please let me know if this timeline will be an issue. Additionally, please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you in the writing process.
  • Thank you in advance for your time and support.
  • Sincerely,
  • [Your name]
  • [Your contact information]

Following up on your request: When and how to follow up with your mentor

It’s important to be professional and respectful when following up on a request for a letter of recommendation. You should wait at least a week after sending your initial email before following up. When you do follow up, you should be concise and clear about your purpose. You should also thank your mentor again for their time and support.

Preparing your recommender: How to make it easy for your mentor to write you a strong letter of recommendation

You should try to make the process of writing your letter of recommendation as easy as possible for your mentor. This may include providing them with a copy of your CV or resume, a list of notable achievements or awards, or even a brief outline of talking points. You should also remind them of any specific ideas they may have discussed in previous conversations.

Common mistakes to avoid when requesting letters of recommendation

There are a few common mistakes that you should avoid when requesting letters of recommendation. These include not giving your mentor enough time to write the letter, being too generic in your request, and not providing enough information for the mentor to write a personalized letter. Additionally, you should avoid inundating your mentor with too many reminders or emails as this may be seen as pushy or disrespectful.

How many letters of recommendations do you need for dental school applications?

The number of letters of recommendation required for dental school applications can vary. Generally, most schools require at least two letters, but some may require more. Be sure to check the requirements of each school to which you plan to apply to ensure that you have the correct number of letters prepared.

Other types of letters of recommendations you may need for dental school applications

In addition to letters of recommendation from mentors, you may also need other types of letters of recommendation for dental school applications. These may include letters from academic advisors or professors, volunteer coordinators, or even employers. Be sure to check the specific requirements of each school to ensure you have the right types of letters prepared.

What to do if your mentor declines your request for a letter of recommendation

If your mentor declines your request for a letter of recommendation, it’s important to remain respectful and professional. You may want to ask for their feedback on why they can’t provide the letter and how you can improve your application in the future. Additionally, you can reach out to other mentors or individuals who can speak to your skills and abilities.

Final thoughts: Tips for success when requesting letters of recommendations from mentors in the dental field

When requesting letters of recommendation for a dental school application, it’s important to be respectful, concise, and professional. Choose a mentor who knows you well and can speak to your abilities and potential. Be sure to provide your mentor with enough information to write a personalized letter and make the process as easy as possible for them. Finally, be sure to follow up in a courteous manner and thank your mentor for their time and support. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to securing the letters of recommendation you need to succeed.

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles