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建筑师该如何写推荐信?
How to Request/Write a Letter of Recommendation for Architects and Architecture Students

由专筑网李韧,韩平编译

大家都听说过推荐信,它往往能代表对一个人的评价,其中的内容也让人十分好奇。但是,一份出色的推荐信是否能弥补一些能力上的不足?你有因为推荐信不够完美而遭受一些拒绝吗?这些都需要视情况而定,但有时高校的录取、助学金申请以及其他类似事项都需要一份推荐信,由此我们可以了解到其中的重要作用了。

对于信件的书写有一定的基本技巧与规律,以下列出了一些注意事项以供参考。(请相信我的专业性,我已经书写过许许多多的相关信件。)

推荐信申请:

-选择合适的推荐人:选择一个合适的推荐人便成功了一半。如果你想要申请一个建筑设计院的工作,而你拥有6个月的OMA建筑事务所的实习经历,但我不建议你拜托库哈斯为你写推荐信。你应当寻找一些能够看到你实际工作的人,当然,这个社会具有名人效应,但是此时你应该注意其中的利害关系。

Letters of recommendations are strange in that we all know what they are, but save for the people who are actually using them to evaluate a candidate, what happens with the letter is shrouded in mystery. Can a stellar recommendation letter make up for a less-than-stellar transcript? Are you going to be removed from consideration because your recommender didn't make you sound like Captain Awesome? It all depends—but as long as these letters are required for admissions processes and grants and other things, we'll shed some light on how to ask for (and/or write) a letter of recommendation.
Whether you're on the asking end or the writing end, there are some basic tips and rules that should be followed. (Why should you trust me? Because I've asked for letters and written letters and things have worked out pretty well for all involved parties.)

Asking for a letter of recommendation:
- Choose the right person to recommend you: An accurate, sincere recommendation from someone who is familiar with your work is much more valuable than a stock recommendation from someone who is well-known. If you're applying for a position at an architecture firm and you interned at OMA for 6 months and sat in a room with Rem Koolhaas one time, he is not the person to ask. (He's not going to say yes either, so save yourself from being turned down). Ask someone who can attest to all that you invested in your professional endeavors. Sure, we tend to value the opinions of the "famous," but change starts right here.  

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-给你的推荐人以充分的时间:没有人喜欢在强压下工作,所以当你拜托你的推荐人为你写推荐信的时候,你需要让他们有充分的时间,很多人面对这种工作会直接套用模板,但如果你给的时间足够充分,他们也许会认真对待你的推荐信。

- Give your recommender plenty of time: No one likes to work under pressure, so make sure you line up your recommenders ahead of time and also ensure that you are giving them enough time to craft a letter that will get you noticed. Most people who have been asked for recommendations work off of a general template; the more time you allow, the less "template-y" and more personal your recommendation will be.

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-不要偷看推荐信!:虽然你很明白你的推荐人会为你说很多好话,但你可能永远看不到这封推荐信,不过没关系,毕竟为了保证推荐信能够起到最大作用,你需要抑制一下自己的好奇心。毕竟很多高校系统不允许私人查看推荐信内容。

-注意你的推荐人员的专业水准:你必须了解你的推荐人能够了解推荐信的提交流程。许多高校对这一过程都要求简化,但是你必须了解每个步骤的操作方式。但是一些奖助学金的申请对于推荐信的提交并不明确,因此你要确保这些流程的顺利进行。这不仅仅只是写一封信而已,还要准时地将它发送到位。

- Don't expect to see the recommendation: While you should bank on the fact that the recommender that you've chosen will write a glowing review of yourself and your achievements, you may not ever see the recommendation— and that's ok. After all, in order to keep recommenders honest and for the process to be worth a damn, there are sometimes going to be recommendation letters that aren't so… nice? Plus, most university recommendation systems are going to ask you to waive your right to see the letter.
- Be aware of the level of your recommender's tech-savvy: Make sure to do your homework so that your recommender is fully aware of the way in which they need to submit their letter. Most universities have streamlined the process; you'd have to be exceptionally technology-challenged to not be able to follow instructions. But some fellowships and grants follow less-obvious rules for submitting letters. Just make sure that all the bases are covered during your request. It's not just about writing the letter but also about getting the letter to its intended destination.

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-当推荐人拒绝你的要求时,请不要太绝望:有时推荐人会拒绝你的要求,也许是他们对你的了解不够,也许是他们没有太多时间,但这不影响你的申请过程,如果你中意的推荐人拒绝了你的要求,那你可以换另一位推荐者来帮助你。

- Don't sound so desperate that the recommender won't be able to say no: Maybe the recommender needs to say no because there just isn't enough time to write you a respectable letter of recommendation, but won't because your request comes off like some dying wish. Or maybe your chosen recommender has nothing to say about you. It's good to give them a way out.

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-寻找推荐人时,应当通过书面方式询问还是当面沟通?:这事关社交技巧,但这也取决于你的习惯和你的推荐人的习惯,有时当面沟通可能效果更好。另外,如果你能确保这位教授能够为你写推荐信,那么你可以当面询问他,因为他也许十分乐于为你提供帮助。但是切记,无论是任何方式,你都最好提出书面请求。在当今网络如此发达的社会,你可以通过许多网络方式联系到你的推荐人。你还可以通过电子邮件,或自动提醒设置,让你按时完成这项任务。(你也许会问,如果你的导师不会使用网络怎么办?如果是这样,那你最好能够联系上导师的助理,让助理提醒导师按时完成这项任务。)

- Ask in person or via written request?: This is going to require a bit of social savvy but depending on your personality and the personality of the recommender, an in-person request may be either awkward or rewarding. It essentially comes down to this—if you're fairly certain that this person will write you a glowing recommendation, go ahead and ask them in person; they will be pleased to know that you would like him/her to comment on their work. But whether you ask in-person or decide not to YOU MUST put your request in writing. It's 2017. There's texts and Facebook messages and Instagram and god knows how many ways to get in touch with people. Get an email address and set up some sort of automatic reminder so that you can re-confirm the status of your letter as the deadline approaches. (I hear you asking…but what if my professor/mentor/sensei doesn't use computers or the internet? If this is the case, make sure you get verbal confirmation and try to get the information of an assistant or someone who works for said sensei so that he/she can be guided through the process and deadline).


该如何写推荐信:

-这是我的人生第一封推荐信,我无从下手:距离你上一次写信应该是在1998年的英语课堂上了吧?还是曾经手写的那封乱七八糟的小信件?不要害怕,其实这是一件很容易完成的事,我的第一个建议就是不要惧怕它。记住,以前是别人为你写推荐信,现在轮到你了。

Writing a letter of recommendation:
- I've been asked to write a letter of recommendation and I have no idea what I'm doing: The last time you wrote a "letter" was in 1998 during your 8th grade English class? Or did you swear off writing once your diploma was in your sweaty, greedy little paws? Fear not. Letters are actually really easy to write because they are really close to speech. So, the first piece of advice is, don't say no because you think you're a sh*tty writer or you think that the process is going to be a hassle. Remember, someone wrote you a recommendation letter, so keep the circle of life in bloom.

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-列出内容清单:你可以熟练地用“亲爱的”作为开头,也可以用“真诚的”作为结尾,但是信件的主要内容让人十分忧愁。不要担心,你可以先列出一些要点,你希望让单位接收方了解到这位学生哪些方面的相关信息?这位学生有哪些闪光点?不要写废话!最好在信中写出这位学生的具体项目。这样对方才能相信你对这位学生有一定的了解程度,因为你能够说出一些细节信息。找到要点了么?

- Start with a list: You may be able to start at "Dear" and end with "Sincerely" without any kind of hesitation or pause but most normal people stare at a blank document with a mixed sense of panic attack and "ughhh." Don't worry, start with bullet points. What do you want the school/grant committee/prospective employer to know about this candidate? Focus on what makes the candidate exceptional. Platitudes about being a good employee won't get anyone noticed. Make sure to include specific projects or examples in your letter. Your reader will say, "Oh wow, he/she must really know Billy because he/she has great recall of that time Billy went above and beyond." Got it?

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-注意实例、故事、琐事以及细节:上文中说过这一点,但是在这里我想再次强调,因为至少80%的写信人会直接借用推荐信模板,然后改个称呼完事。这种状况就类似于,你在和你的长辈写信时告诉她当时这位学生十分让你骄傲,二者的荒谬程度相同。

- Include examples, stories, anecdotes and details: Yes, I said this in the above paragraph but I'm going to say it again because 80% of letter-writers are just going to google "recommendation letter template" and swap out the name. Pretend you are writing a letter to your dear granny and you want to tell her about that time that your student/employee really made you proud.

关于推荐信,你该知道的那些事第8张图片
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-先写,后编辑:这条建议适用于纯粹自己写作的写信人,你只需要将各种语言先罗列出来,然后再慢慢编辑组织。另外,如果周围有朋友有文章编辑的天赋,你可以拜托他帮忙修改润色。

- Write first. Edit later. This advice applies to 100% of writing but I'm assuming you're here because you need to write a letter of recommendation and you need words of encouragement. Just put it all out there and then organize it. Bonus points if you have a willing and able friend who will take a look at the letter before you send it out.

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-无论谷歌还是百度,切记不要使用搜索引擎提供的推荐信模板!!:这对于原创信件来说可能相对困难。你可以想象一下,一个30多岁的项目经理在阅读充斥着70年代气息的模板信件会是什么样的感受。原创和借鉴其实明眼人一眼就看得出来。就当作帮帮你的学生,也是在帮你自己,认真对待这封信。

-如果你想拒绝,请直说:这样的状况时有发生,当有学生找你写推荐信时,你的第一反应是不知所措,因为你对这位学生并不了解。在校期间,我曾经拜托一位教我社会住房相关科目的老师帮忙写一封医学院的推荐信,你可以想象这是多荒唐的一件事。当然,当时这个请求也没有实现,后来我也没有再提,但如果当时有人可以直接告诉我说:“你好,我很乐意帮助你,可是我对你所转换专业的领域并不了解,而且,我也不太了解你。”这样也许会好很多。

- Don't Google "architecture recommendation letter" and use one of the templates you find on some SEO-optimized website: This is probably the hardest thing to do—to be original in your letter. We don't want to let down the people who have asked us to write a letter, but if you're a manager in your early 30s why on earth should your letter read (or look) like a recommendation from a dude/dudette who went to college in the 70s?! Original content is always going to stand out over regurgitated boilerplate. Do yourself and your mentee a favor and just write that letter to grandma (as I explained in point number 2).
- If you're going to say no, be honest: It's going to happen sometimes: you receive a request for a recommendation and your first reaction is going to be "what the…?" How do I know this? In my senior year of college I panicked and asked someone who taught me a seminar on social housing to write me a letter of recommendation for Medical School (yes, Medical School) because I was experiencing an existential crisis. The request was not fulfilled and it was never spoken of again, but it would have been nice to be told, "Hey Becky, this seems like a pretty left-field request—not because you want to change your professional focus, but because I don't know enough about you or what you want to recommend you."

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也许这些信息对现在的你并没有太多帮助,但也许以后能够为你节约许多时间。推荐信其实是来自人内心的认可,尽量不要过于匆忙地完成甚至伪造它,所以如果你不太愿意做这一件事,希望你明确的拒绝,而不要敷衍了事。

Maybe you just mean "no" for now, and you end up spending more time with, and learning more about, the person who came to you for a recommendation in the first place. Like true love, sincere recommendations can't be rushed or faked, so don't say yes when you really won't contribute anything positive.        


出处:本文译自www.archdaily.com/,转载请注明出处。

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