To Whom It May Concern

Most of us occasionally needs a letter of recommendation from a past employer or senior colleague. In the academic realm, it’s not atypical for a reference to ask that the letter requester write the letter himself, about himself. The following is a sample letter I recently provided to one of my putative references. Let’s see if he submits it as is.


To Whom It May Concern:

Re: Dr. Raywat Deonandan

I’m not sure what drew me first to Dr. Deonandan. Was it his raven hair, so youthful and masculine? Or was it that boyish grin, disarming yet concealing a delicious danger. Or was it perhaps the throaty, manly tremor of a voice, with a singsong lilt that would soothe the most ferocious beast, yet sufficiently virile to command legions to die willingly at his whim?

Whatever the cause, I –like so many before me—was charmed by this man among men, this Caesar among Alexanders, this dazzling diamond among shiny baubles. With a wit so sharp it could cut steel, and features so chiselled that they might have been sculpted by the master himself, Dr. Deonandan strolled –nay, glided!—through the hospital halls like an angel subtly extruded into the mortal realm.

To have such a king of men grace your faculty would be godly fortune indeed. But I will not recommend him to you. Nay, I shall instead weep for you should you choose to deny his application; for in such a case, it would be you, not he, who would be the poorer.