As a counselor, you play a huge role in helping students along the path to college. Throughout their four years, you support them in setting goals and making plans for after high school. When it comes time to apply, you write their letters of recommendation.
Having worked as a college counselor and spent the past year as a grad student intern in a high school counseling department, I saw how much counselors do in the college planning and application process. I also saw the challenges of supporting large caseloads of students and writing hundreds of letters of recommendation, often around the same hectic time. Despite the mad rush, these counselors crafted eloquent letters customized to each and every one of their students.
Based on my observations and my own experience writing letters for my students, I've compiled what I think is the most helpful advice for writing memorable and effective recommendations. I'll go over key content, structure, and style, as well as discuss what not to include in a recommendation letter.
Since it's always good to keep your goals in sight, I'll start by going over the purpose of the counselor letter of recommendation. What are they for, and how do they differ from a teacher recommendation?