Jo Wen Wu, Ph.D.
Fullerton College

Requesting a Letter of Recommendation

  • I receive many requests for letters, remember that I have a very busy schedule, especially at the beginning and end of semesters. I am usually willing to do them for you, if I feel I am the appropriate person to do so. You must contact me if you later decide NOT to apply the program -- as these letters take me a long time to write.

    • Which professor should you ask for a recommendation letter?
      • Although written for law school, see advice at http://www.top-law-schools.com/letters-of-recommendation.html
    • Trying to decide about waiving access to the letter?
      • http://www.career.cornell.edu/HealthCareers/HCEC/letters/waivingAccess.html
      • http://www2.ucsc.edu/careers/letters/grls.html#towaiveornot

      Steps to requesting a letter of recommendation from Jo Wu:

      1. Waive your access rights to the confidential recommendation letter. Jo Wu's policy: if you do not sign the waiver to keep the letter confidential, then I will not write the letter. If there is no official waiver with the school program, then here is one that you can sign and send. Download the waiver as Word doc file or as html file.
      2. Email or drop off the following information (see below).
      3. If I have not previously talked with you before about your career goals, I may call you to do a short interview.
      4. Send me a reminder near the due date
      5. Email me when your application is successful ... or hook up with me on Linked-In, so that I can see your future progress.
  • If given a preference, I prefer to send electronic recommendations instead of paper letters.

    Email (preferred, you can copy and paste this list):

    • Please put in the Subject Line of Email: "Letter Request for (your entire name) due (date)"
    • NAME: Legal name (and nickname used in my class)
    • Your Cell Phone Number
    • Your Email address
    • FC STUDENT ID number
    • COURSE and SEMESTER of my course
    • LETTER GRADE received in my course
    • Your science GPA and completed science units
    • Anything Special or Outstanding that you did during my course, to help me remember you
    • Any family obligations, jobs, volunteer service that impacted your school years and time-management skills (or refer to your resume)
    • Deadline of the letter
    • OFFICIAL PROGRAM NAME that you are applying to
    • COMPLETE MAILING ADDRESS that letter should be sent

    Supplemental Information:
    (please use file names such as "JoeSmithTranscript.pdf", "JoeSmithResume.doc"

    • Attach the signed waiver statement that specifies that my letter is confidential.
    • If it has been over a year since I last saw you, please attach a photo (preferrably what you looked like while in my course)
    • Attach a list of extracurricular activities or resume
    • Attach a copy of any application personal essay that gives more information about your personal motivation towards your career goal, or personal obstacles that you had to overcome
    • Attach any specific forms required by the program (if possible) or weblink so that I can download forms
    • Optional -- Attach list of science course grades or transcript (unofficial or web version is fine, pdf file preferred)

    Hard-Copy (as needed):

    • specific forms required by the program
    • stamps if letters are to be mailed (no envelopes, as I must use envelopes with official letterhead)

    Practice Interview Questions: (just do a Google search)

    • Medical School. http://www.mommd.com/interview.shtml
    • http://www.job-interview-site.com/Job-Interviewing-tips/frequently-asked-interview-questions-and-answers

    My official contact information:

    • Jo Wen Wu, Ph.D.
      Professor of Biology
      Fullerton College Division of Natural Sciences
      321 East Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832-2095