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Thread: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

  1. #41
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    I got my second letter of reference and I think that she didn't give me 3 copies. Whoops. I can't really help it at this point so I sent it as it. That letter was really thin, so I guess it will reflect badly on me since I didn't get them to give me the three copies.

  2. #42
    ゴミ箱の女王 tobio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    What is this "three copy" thing you're talking about? The Canadian application and instructions don't say a thing about three copies so I'm curious why your country asks for three...

  3. #43
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Our application asks for 3 copies of every document.
    That way they send a copy to Japan, one stays in Washington DC and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the third goes to the consulate you chose for interviews and etc.

  4. #44
    ゴミ箱の女王 tobio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    LMFAO I panicked a little just now and double checked the Canadian reference letter instructions in case I missed something but the instructions don't say a thing about that THANK GOODNESS. I guess the Canadian consulates do the photocopies themselves.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Yeah, I don't have a way to get more copies of the letters or reference, but if it disqualifies me, or lowers my score then so be it. Not gonna stress too much at this point.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Penguee View Post
    I got my second letter of reference and I think that she didn't give me 3 copies. Whoops. I can't really help it at this point so I sent it as it. That letter was really thin, so I guess it will reflect badly on me since I didn't get them to give me the three copies.
    It won't reflect badly on your application, since the mistake is the fault of your reference and there's nothing you could have done about it. Don't worry!
    Quote Originally Posted by Libellule View Post
    I really hope Japan doesn't turn me into this.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    It won't reflect badly on your application, since the mistake is the fault of your reference and there's nothing you could have done about it. Don't worry!
    Correct. You won't be dinged for something that your LoR writer failed to do.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Bumping this thread up for another question on reference letters.
    I'm going to be applying this year in Russia (apparently, the application timeline here is different from the English-speaking world) and I'm a bit lost on who to get reference letters from.
    I've applied once in the past and was rejected. That time I was still in college and both letters came from professors - the supervisor of my master's thesis and another who I also had a good relationship with. However, I have been out of college for three years now, and my thesis' supervisor actually passed away several months ago, so even if I wanted to get letters from the same people, I couldn't.

    Now, since graduating, I have worked successfully as a freelance translator\interpreter. I'm thinking of getting the second letter either from a colleague or from one of my former clients. The colleague in question is himself a translator and interpreter, who is well-known for his literary translation work and IIRC is a personal acquaintance of my location's consulate general. However, he is not directly related to anything I've done in terms of promoting cultural exchange and such. We just worked in the same workplace, were friends and he saw some of my activities. The client, on the other hand, is just one of the people I've done interpreting work for, a mid-level engineer in a Japanese company, completely unrelated to the world of academia, education and cultural exchange. However, he can provide a first-hand account of the things I did to promote cultural exchange and understanding in the workplace, which, I suppose, would look good on my application, since ALTs are often said to be "culture ambassadors".

    Now, I know that the selection criteria vary a lot depending on location, but I would really appreciate some opinions from members here on which of those two people would be a good choice to write my reference letter. As of right now, I honestly feel that the pros and cons of both options kinda balance out, so without some outside input I'll probably decide this by flipping a coin.

  9. #49
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Russia doesn't have ALTs as far as I know, they have CIRs. Much like China and Korea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Russia does have a few ALTs and there are currently open positions for both ALTs and CIRs, but the CIR positions only accept applications from one region of the country, and I don't live there.

  11. #51

    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Lots of good advice so far. Ill just kinda summarize the major points I put my focus on to make it easy for myself (and my letter writers).

    1) pick people who can carry some weight or hold some kind of sway in whatever regard you are going to them. I have been out of school for a year and a half, but had a letter lined up from the dean of the Econ department from my graduating school. Sure, he has nothing to do with japanese, english, or most things an ALT will do, but he had a LOT of cred from research, as well as a good understanding of my future aspirations (from teaching a few of my classes and me going to his office to ask for research work).

    2) BUILD REP WITH THESE PEOPLE FOR THE NEXT (XX) NUMBER OF MONTHS!!!!! Even if you just pick a random someone at this point from your Major Department at school, or have a high up boss you think would help out a ton, start chatting them up. Get to know them a bit and really build a small bit of a bond.
    The letters I ended up going with ended up not even being from the Dean from school, just do to the fact I had built up enough rep with a VERY well published doctor who runs the research center i currently work for. I happened to have clinical observations with him for a few months, ended up super friendly and having a ton to relate to.

    3) Give them a heads up to when you may need the letter. I gave my letter writers a month and a half to do it, since they were all busy busy bees. Give them a summary of your ambitions for JET, why you are applying, the whole shebang (no more than one page, bullet points). I typed that up, and handed one to each person i wanted a letter from. I sat down and made sure they understood my goals and skills i would be utilizing for applying, told them the goals of the JET program to give them a grounding, and let them go from there. Treat it just like any other reference letter you would get for a job... essentially.

    Since you are so far ahead of the applying timeline at this point, just start really talking to people and getting a feel for them as representatives for YOU. Then pick and go. Its up to you to let them know your interests and ambitions with your career and education, so dont assume old teachers or even professors you have had a few times will understand or want to write you a letter. Get out there and prove you deserve a good letter.
    Last edited by gibbity; February 18th, 2015 at 04:09.

  12. #52
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikorai View Post
    Russia does have a few ALTs and there are currently open positions for both ALTs and CIRs, but the CIR positions only accept applications from one region of the country, and I don't live there.
    No shit. You actually have two! A third and fifth year. And here I though you guys were just cirs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  13. #53

    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Both sound alright to me, but honestly, the best thing for your LoR is for you to pick someone who will write you the best letter. It helps if that person is somehow able to talk about something you've done in direct relation to the ALT job - for example, if you had a teacher write about your ability as a Teacher's Assistant to help kids.

  14. #54

    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    I chose two people who have seen my work on school projects. The two professors I chose asked me to submit my old final project so they could review it, went in and talked to them a bit and finally got myself an interview which I give a ton of credit to these two people. Personally planning on keeping these two in the loop for any potential reattempts if I don't get selected this year or any other programs I try for so it does not seem like I am only hitting them up for recommendations and not taking it serious. But yeah, talking to your LoR writers, keeping them up to date with whats going on and what not is the best way to get a good letter written.

  15. #55

    Default Re: Applying for 2015 - reference letter question.

    Quote Originally Posted by JET ProgramCoordinator SF View Post
    Correct. You won't be dinged for something that your LoR writer failed to do.
    I second this. Of my two reference letter writers, one forgot to sign the back flap of the envelope after sealing it despite a sticky note on the flap saying "Please sign". I was extremely nervous, but I ran out of time to send the letter back through the mail asking for a signature. I sent the unsigned reference letter along with my application and was still granted an interview. I don't know if points were deducted but I am very happy to say that this setback did not disqualify me from an interview and hopefully I will be accepted this year.
    2014 DC alternate
    2015 DC shortlist

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