3

I'm applying for masters. Will those reading my applications actually bother looking up the people that wrote my references?

I'm considering whether I should ask prestigious academics (who don't know me well) write my references vs not-so-prestigious ones (who know me). Obviously if they wont google the names, I should go with the latter.

  • 5
    Two false assumptions here: (1) the only way for the readers to know the prestige of the readers is by Googling them (2) the readers care about how prestigious your writers are. – Nate Eldredge Dec 10 '17 at 4:14
  • 2
    A lukewarm reference from a famous name can actually be rather damaging. – aparente001 Dec 10 '17 at 6:05
  • @aparente001 why do you say that? My impression is that since that person has taken time to write a letter that should indicate the candidate it's a good prospect. – Herman Toothrot Dec 10 '17 at 11:00
  • @user4050 Imagine you received the following reference letter from a famous person: "To whom it may concern: I met applicant X at university Y. She is a student. This is my recommendation letter for program Z. Salutations, Superstar W" Would you have a good impression of applicant X? – user9646 Dec 10 '17 at 11:03
  • @NajibIdrissi frankly I don't know who could write such letter if they know at least a bit the applicant. In that case you described it's clear the professor didn't know anything about the candidate. – Herman Toothrot Dec 10 '17 at 18:00