Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are one of the most important components of a job or internship application. They provide insight into your clinical abilities, problem-solving skills and personal qualities. What’s more is they carry the weight of the practioner’s reputation

Note: Most internship programs require 1-2 letters of recommendation

Who should I ask for letters?

professor teaches a student
  • IPPE Preceptors
    • Preceptors whose specialties are related to your career areas of interest
    • Preceptors who have worked with you most closely on research and/or projects
    • Preceptors who are sure to give you the most positive and personal feedback
  • Pharmacists who have directly observed your clinical work
  • Pharmacists with whom you have done research

But don’t ask…

  • Friends who are pharmacists*
  • Family members who are pharmacists*
  • Residents

*Unless you have worked with them extensively in a research/clinical capacity

When should I ask for a letter?

  • Ask for the letter at least 2 weeks before the deadline.

How should I ask for a letter?

Be sure to include relevant information such as:

  • What you are applying to
  • To whom the reference letter should be addressed
  • Link to the application form
  • Bullet points of specific topics the recommender should talk about in the letter
  • Instructions for the delivery of the letter (Do they send you a signed copy to you directly or submit it via email, web form, etc.)

Consider sharing the following as well:

  • Any letter of intent or statement of interest that you prepared for the application
  • A copy of your most recent CV and/or resume

Additional Resources

Letter of Recommendation video screenshot

Lisa Vandervoort, Pharm.D., a clinical lecturer and regional coordinator, discusses letter of recommendation in this video. You can download Dr. Vandervoort’s slides.