Apologizing to recommenders
November 26, 2017 6:28 AM   Subscribe

I had asked my recommenders (about a year ago) to sign a certain recommendation form, but the recommendations were supposed to be submitted online....they never got the recommendations online but they nonetheless signed a bunch of forms that would never be used -- should I apologize to them for making them sign the forms? But come to think about it, after all signing a few pieces of paper is no big deal...so maybe there is no need to apologize. Any thoughts? I may or may not ask them for these online recommendations later on. Should I include the apologies with the requests for these online recommendations only in the instance that I do get to ask them again?
posted by red_alert_3 to Education (4 answers total)
Just move forward. Signing forms that may never get submitted is part and parcel of being an academic.
posted by rockindata at 6:54 AM on November 26, 2017 [10 favorites]

Do not think of this ever again. If you need them to do online recs, just ask. And, there is no need to reference the previous paper forms. Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing etc is the norm.
posted by Gotanda at 6:59 AM on November 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yep, just move on. Applications can be confusing, and they probably have no recollection of signing the forms anyway. We do hundreds of these a year.
posted by BrashTech at 7:18 AM on November 26, 2017 [5 favorites]

Definitely don't apologize. Right now they feel happy and supportive (to the infinitesimal degree they think of this at all) because they took 5 minutes to sign forms in support of you. You apologizing takes away those happy feelings. If you need to ask for recommendations in the future, say, "Thank you so much for your support and filling out all those forms last year. It meant a lot to me. I'm now applying for X..." And then actually apply for X :)
posted by arnicae at 8:44 AM on November 26, 2017 [6 favorites]

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