I'd want to know whether the third recommendation letter is important. In other words, whether the order of recommendation letters is important in applied maths or all the letters of recommendation are equally important.

  • I can imagine the possibility that they say "give us three names" and they ask only the first two. – GEdgar Feb 23 '18 at 13:29
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    Short answer: No. – gerrit Feb 23 '18 at 15:05
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    If they are considering you seriously for the job, they will read all the letters. – user37208 Feb 23 '18 at 17:42
  • i know of some graduate admissions where they ask you to list up to 5 references/referees/recommenders and then of the 5 list 2 as priority referees/whatchamacallit. so if there's some term 'priority' there, then yes. otherwise, probably not? – BCLC Mar 27 at 6:33

If somebody asks for your letters of reference, they will ask for all of them. So the order in which they’re listed doesn’t really matter—particularly since they might arrive out of order anyway.


Since you're in applied math, you're likely using MathJobs. It's true that the order you list your recommenders is the order they'll show up on the committee's side. But that order doesn't really matter. The one exception is if you have e.g. a fourth letter that only addresses your teaching (not your research); in that case I would list that letter last.

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