Tips on Preparing an EXCEL Award Nomination

When approaching the people who will write recommendations for your nominee:

  1. Give a definitive deadline.
  2. Give them ample time to complete the letters (about two or three weeks).
  3. Give yourself a “cushion” of two or three days prior to the final submission deadline to review the letters and follow-up with anyone who had not responded.
  4. Ask for more letters of recommendation than you think you will need. Some people don’t respond (too busy, didn’t work with them daily, etc).

Recommendations for the Nominator’s cover letter:

  1. There should be a personal aspect to the cover letter emphasizing how the nominee has impacted the nominator’s work life.
  2. Be very specific by mentioning real examples demonstrating the nominee’s impact on the campus and his/her department. Generalities are great, but are hard for the reviewers to discuss and evaluate. Specifics get attention.
  3. The cover letter must conform to the guidelines of the award. Review them on the website before turning in the nomination package.
  4. Use the cover letter to prepare the reviewers for the strengths of the nominee. Take notable comments from some of the recommendation letters and use them as quotes in a section of the nomination/cover letter. This will help reviewers identify what makes the nominee truly stand out among the other applicants.