Letter of Recommendation
Requesting a Letter of Recommendation
When applying for VCESS 2023, all students (with the exception of Western Chances or Murrup Barak students) will need to upload a Letter of Recommendation from an adult in their community. This could be a teacher, coach, neighbour or employer, but cannot be a family member. Your letter must be in English, and a maximum of one page long.
Asking for a recommendation can be scary, but it can also be really important for applying for other jobs and opportunities in the future! To keep things straightforward for your VCESS application, we’ve compiled some tips and put together an optional template for the Letter of Recommendation.
Brainstorm people you could ask. There are a lot of options, from family friend to school principal to your Maccas boss! We don’t care what their title is, but please pick someone who can write positively about why you would be a great candidate to attend the program.
Create an inspo list. Your letter-writer probably doesn’t have the same expertise on you that you do! Create a document that lists any relevant information (like about your schooling, background or achievements), and let them know they can include these.
Make the approach. If you’re asking someone you see often, try to find a time in-person and ask if they could help you with something. Otherwise, you might need to send an email or make an appointment. Be polite and don’t stress if they say no! They’re helping you choose someone else who can do a better job.
Explain why you need their help. Good letters know why they are being written. Make sure you tell your letter-writer what VCESS is, and how it will impact you or help you to work towards your goals. If you are applying for the online or Residential programs or for a bursary, tell them how this opportunity will help you too.
Thank them for their time! Writing great letters can be tricky business, so make sure your letter-writer knows that you appreciate their help. If you can, thank them in-person or in writing, and if you attend the program let them know how you go!
For an extra bonus tip, try asking your letter-writer if they could also be a reference for jobs you apply for in the near future. If they say yes, make sure you also let them know when you apply so they can prepare for a call or email.
Writing a Letter of Recommendation
We’ve also compiled a few tips to help your letter-writer! You can direct them here or to our template below for guidance on writing a Letter of Recommendation for VCESS.
The Letter of Recommendation should be in English and a maximum of one-page long. The student will upload the letter to their online application, so a Word document or similar is preferred.
In the letter, please tell us:
Who you are and how you know the student
Why you think they would benefit from attending the VCE Summer School (and perhaps how we would benefit from having them!)
Why you think they are a good fit for our Residential program, online program, or bursaries, if they are applying for these
If there are any special circumstances that you think we should consider
We have created an optional template to follow, which you can download below. You can deviate from the format we have set out as you like, though we strongly recommend addressing the points above.
Download our VCESS Letter of Recommendation template here.
If you or your letter-writing have questions writing a formal letter, check out this ABC resource that covers the basics. It's a great skill to learn for next time you need to write a formal letter (like for a job application)!