Academic Advising Resources


Richard A.Voorhees

Larry Landis

More students are requesting reference letters from faculty and staff than ever before.   Before I can Give You a Hand, I need to be able to tell prospective reference readers more about you than the fact that you have a nice smile or a pleasant personality.   In other words, you need to supply me with specific facts about you so that I can write more than a general letter.

Through experience I have become convinced that employers and graduate school admissions committees are interested in specific information regarding you, the applicant.Please take a few moments to provide me with the following:

  • A copy of your most recent resume or vita including specific information which may not appear on a standard application form.   For instance, membership in campus organizations, volunteer work, awards, leadership positions, etc.
  • The position description for the job, or information regarding the graduate program, for which you need this letter.
  • Specific information regarding why you are interested in this position.  How does this position fit into your career goals? 
  • Specific information regarding your special interests, background, motivation, and personal qualities which may distinguish you from other applicants.
  • Three phrases that describe your strengths and weaknesses. (This is the crux of a solid application.)
  • Your written permission to access your transcripts that on file in the Registrar's Office.
Signed: __________________________________      Date:_______________


As soon as I receive these materials, I will start the process of Giving You a Hand.   I will also provide you a copy of the letter I write if you ask.   Finally, I will retain your material for a period of two years so that you can request additional letters from me.   Requests occurring after two years will require an update.

Name _________________________________________Student ID number: _______________

Address _______________________________________________________________________

                            Street                                 City                        State, Zip

E-mail where you can be reached with questions?    ________________________

Phone where you can be reached with questions?   ________________________

When do you intend to graduate?   ______________         What is your overall GPA? ___________

What is your major(s)? ________________________   What is your GPA in your major? ______

What is you minor(s)? ________________________

Date that the letter or form is needed?   _________________    Please allow at least two weeks!

Where and to whom should I send the letter or form?

              Name ___________________________________________________

              Title   ____________________________________________________

              Address _________________________________________________

              City, State and Zip Code ____________________________________

  Attach all requested information to this form!   Thank you.

 Richard A.Voorhees, Association for Institutional Research

Larry Landis, Black Hills State University faculty emeritus

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