top of page

Dr. Krystal Miguel Rawls

This page is about us and how we can help one another in our communities. One way we uplift our communities is to share our social capital.  Social capital is a collective body of community information that informs and educates others without personal experience.  When you sign your name to a letter of recommendation, you agree that the person you are signing for has the skills and qualifications. Your endorsement is one form of capital you offer society.


Here, you will find resources that will help you request a letter of recommendation or leave a testimonial yet, you don't actually have to do either here.  Use the information below to craft letters for others, leave great messages on the social media of those who have been important to you, or even ask for a recommendation/reference for a scholarship or internship.

Think about this: this is how you can show up in the experience of others.  This is how you make a difference.  When you ask me for a recommendation, I expect that you have found something valuable in our interaction.  When you offer a testimonial, when my day gets hard it reminds me how I have made a positive impact and allows me to 'smell my flowers while alive'.

Letter of Recommendation and Testimonials

Computer Keyboard

Requesting a letter of recommendation is an important part of building a professional network.  The person you ask to provide a letter should have three qualities: 1) they have knowledge of your suitability for a position, 2) they have time, and 3) they are willing to use their name and influence to help you.

If you have been out of contact with the person you are requesting the letter from for a while you should remind them who you are and how they know you. 


For example, "I am Michael Hernandez and we worked together in the project on homelessness in February 2020."

Tell the person why you think they are the right person to write a reference. 


(Ex: Working with you helped me see that Social Services is the field I belong in.  I am applying to a social service position and I immediately thought you would be a great person to speak to my passion and commitment to the community.)

Make sure you give the person at least 30 days to write you a letter (more if they are a faculty member or a person likely to write a lot of letters like this). Do not assume that a person has the time to write a good letter of recommendation in a short period of time.  Requests that don't allow the writer some time to do a good job are often template letters that do not offer much information about the candidate.  This means they really aren't too helpful and may even hurt your chances at a position. Provide your letter writer with a deadline a couple of weeks before the due date when possible.  This will allow you and them a small grace period if other arrangements need to be made or if more information is needed.

Request a Letter of Recommendation
DO NOT SEND AUTOMATED REQUESTS FOR A REFERENCE without contacting me first, please.

If you believe your association with me will benefit you, you may request a letter of recommendation on this page. 

Or email me your resume

Thanks for submitting!

Make sure you provide your letter writer with some basic information.  A good start is your resume and a copy of or link to the opportunity so they can connect what they know about you to what they understand about the opportunity.

Finally, if someone believes in you enough to use their name and position to write a letter for you please remember to thank them.  Writing a good letter takes time.  No one owes you their time.  Never be rude or demanding when asking for a letter.  Never submit a person's name for a reference without their agreement first. Although you are requesting a letter today, tomorrow you may be the one writing it so treat others with the respect you would like.

Writing a letter of recommendation

1. Be generous with yourself.  Although you may get many requests for letters of recommendation, you do not have to say yes to all of them.  Start by identifying how long it takes you to write a letter for a person who has impressed you.  An hour? A day? Then identify how many letters you can comfortably write. 2 or 3? 5-9?  This is your limit!  If you want to write good letters then don't press yourself for time.  Not allowing enough time will cause you to write mediocre letters for people you are willing to share your time and influence to support.  YOU WILL HAVE TO LEARN TO SAY "I am unable to assist you at this time."

Also, you are not obligated to write ANY letter.  If you can not say positive things with conviction then perhaps this phrase will help. "Thank you for considering me however I am unable to assist you at this time".  You don't owe any explanations for not writing a letter.  If pressed for an explanation, this phrase may help, "I typically devote a lot of time to writing a letter and I do not feel I can do that right now".  Beyond that, I default to, "I said I can't help".

2. Make sure you have the information you need.  Feel free to recreate and modify the form shared on this page as needed. If you received a resume and a link to the opportunity then read both carefully.  Where do the qualities of your requestor overlap with the qualities expressed in the opportunity?  This is what you write about, the overlaps.  Use examples to help the reader see what you believe to be good about the candidate.


3. A good letter of recommendation will tell the reader some very important things like, how you know the candidate and why you feel you are in a position to write a letter of recommendation.  Be explicit about how long you have known the person and why you think they would be a good match for the opportunity.

Here is an example: "Xiclacly Terenzi worked as my administrative assistant for six years at my trucking company, Hardt Pack in Loma Linda California.  I have known her work to be detailed, timely, and exceptionally creative." 


The best letters will expound upon the opening reference statement shown above with a story as an example of when Xiclaly did an exceptionally creative thing.  "Our team was behind schedule and Xiclaly created a mini flow chart with easy-to-use clickable icons to help identify critical tasks.  This resulted in information being shared more quickly in our team."

As Carla Harris, a successful Black woman Wallstreet CEO on once said, "the best use of one's personal capital is to spend it!"

What is a Testimonial?

Businesswoman with Tablet

A testimonial tells a brief story.  It is short and conversational.  A social testimonial is one where people offer their unsolicited feedback on their experience with a person (or product) using a specific example to accompany their comments.  The example is one way a testimonial differs from a review. 


Some examples of a testimonial about your experience with a person or a business might include are:

"Deandra helped turn my project from an idea into an outcome I was proud to share. He took my comment about my husband being my hero and my family my primary source of encouragement and support and created an image of my family as my superhero team!"

"Alana was an extremely supportive co-worker and encouraged me when I failed to be successful in obtaining a promotion.  She reminded me that my value was not in how others misperceived me but in how I chose to share my talents with my community. This motivated me to try immediately for another opportunity that I received!"

"...helped me recognize confidence I didn't know I had"

"...taught me [insert specific thing learned]".

A quote testimony can be taken from a document where constituents have shared opinions of a person or business.  This information is shared by the person or business instead of the original author.  For example, as a faculty member, I might post teaching evaluation comments where a student has shared the impact of my course with me.  Below is a comment a student wrote in a course evaluation and I loved it because it shows that we can be both afraid and brave with a little encouragement. 

If you believe your association with me has already benefited you and you wish to share your thoughts you can add your own testimonial. 


"Thank you so much for teaching this class the way that you did. I can honestly tell you now :) that it did cross my mind to drop your class because of my own personal fear of failure. I was trying to convince myself of all the reasons why I knew I was going to fail. But as the quarter went on and I listened to your lectures you pushed us, inspired us, and most importantly never gave up on us. I truly did learn a lot from your class, not just the material but about myself too and I just wanted to say thank you! Thank you for making my first quarter experience here challenging, which feels weird to say but it really did help me grow personally. Oh and I love telling people now to "level up" at work :) THANK YOU!"

Leave a Testimony

bottom of page