Faculty scoop: What are the best strategies for asking for a letter of reference?

We’ve reached out to faculty members across disciplines and asked them what are the best strategies for requesting a letter of reference. Here’s what they had to say: 

Give them at least a 3-week notice and provide a short version of your CV. The student requesting the letter of reference should have taken at least one class or worked with the professor in some capacity. – Professor in Education 

Provide a description of the program you are applying to, a copy of your CV, the deadline for submission, a short summary on why you want to apply, and something you would like the referee to focus on specifically. – Professor in Medicine

The longer the lead time the better. Have regular but not importunate constant reminders. In your request, include your CV, pertinent information about the institution, reason for applying, and specifics as to whom, where, and when to send the letter. – Professor in Arts

Meet the referee in person. Provide a transcript, your statement of interest, and a list of schools you plan on applying to. – Professor in Science

Let your referee know why you see them as a good reference. Provide your CV and point to things you want them to highlight. – Professor in Education