5 Tips When Asking SLPs to Write a Clinical Reference Letter

Your clinical reference letter is intended to display whether or not you will be a capable clinician based on your volunteer experience supervised by a registered SLP. The focus of this letter is your communication skills and your ability to interact effectively with clients. Here are a 5 tips to asking an SLP to write a clinical letter of reference letter: photo-1418479631014-8cbf89db3431


1. Be Straightforward

When you first begin your volunteer work, inform your SLP supervisor that you intend to gain a letter of reference. Also tell them when you will be applying to graduate school, don't make them guess based on what year of your undergraduate you're in.

2. Be Organized

When you ask, provide as much information as you can about your volunteer experience. Give an account for your hours, the dates you volunteered and (if necessary) information about the specific cases or clients you interacted with or observed.

3. Be Informative

If you feel like it will help, share additional information about yourself that will give the clinician an idea of your well-rounded application. For example, you can provide academic information, (such as transcripts) your resume, your letter of intent, a list of other volunteer experience etc.

4. Be Timely

Be sure to ask in advance to ensure that your supervisor has enough time to complete a letter without feeling rushed. While some schools accept online letters of recommendation, others require them to be mailed, therefore you need to account for mailing time too.

5. Be Strategic 

The strongest clinical reference letters come from clinicians who know the applicant well. If your supervisor doesn't know you well or can't remember much about you, they will likely write a vague letter that will not speak to your specific strengths. Maximize your volunteer experience by getting to know your supervisor, learning what you can and exhibiting your ability to become an incredible SLP.

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