Here’s a sixth critical thing to know about getting a letter of recommendation: request an alternate, immediate method of getting in contact with your recommenders! A personal email address or phone number, for example, would be good to have.
Long story short, one of my professors has gone AWOL, and I have no way of contacting him besides his school email and office phone number. Despite repeated emails and a couple phone messages, it would appear that he is going to forget to send in my recommendation by today. What can I do at this point but cross my fingers and hope that this school isn’t super strict about their recommendation deadlines? I mean, they already took my application fees, so…cut me some slack (please)! Ever been in my position? How did it turn out? Leave a comment below!
In any case, I finished my second application over the weekend, so now I’m par-2 for the course. Sort of.
UPDATE 01/04/11: A happy ending — I got an email confirmation from one of the schools saying that my professor had turned in his recommendation last night. Phew! I very much appreciate the effort, Professor, but couldn’t you have responded to at least one of my emails saying that you were on it!?