Letter of Recommendation

The LOR is a document that provides the admission officers with a comprehensive insight into your suitable candidature, for admission into the concerned University. The full form of LOR is a Letter of Recommendation. This letter aims at enabling the Admission officers to gain a clearer and favourable picture of your experience, achievements, contributions, and skills communicated by the recommender through the recommendation letter.

Types of LOR (Letter of Recommendation)

Letter of Recommendations broadly can be classified into two broad categories based on the Nature of the Recommender:

1. Academic LOR

A letter of recommendation provided by a faculty member of your previous institute. Usually, universities ask you to provide two or three LORs from your previous institute (this could be your teachers from your schools in case of undergraduate courses and professors from your college in case you are applying for masters’ programs). The Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Format from Faculty often varies in the content and requires the professor to highlight the applicant’s accomplishments as a student of the course. Often, these are more relevant to MS Colleges Abroad or Bachelor Courses abroad.

2. Professional LOR

Most of the MBA Colleges Abroad have pre-defined work experience requirements. Accordingly, they request for a Professional Letter of Recommendation from an immediate supervisor. The Professional Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Format from a Supervisor varies from an Academic LOR in terms of some specific content that focusses on the applicant’s ability to work within a team, the exposure to the domain as well as his/her leadership abilities – all necessary to the MBA course applied for.

Who needs LOR? Why do they need them?

Any student going to study abroad requires an academic letter of recommendation. Irrespective of course (UG, MS, MBA, or PhD) and country, every student requires at least three letters of recommendation from either their college or professional background. For UG, students, LORs can be taken from teachers, professors, school counsellors or principal. For MS students, college professors, internships supervisor, or team lead/ manager from the company they have worked in can issue recommendation letters. For MBA students, LORs should be purely professional, especially, if they have an experience of three years or more. For MBA and PhD aspirants who have recently graduated from college, they can ask for recommendation letters from their college professors or projects guides.

How to write a Recommendation Letter (LOR)?

Unless and otherwise specified, a letter of recommendation is a 400-500 word essay that talks about the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. There are some things you must include in a recommendation letter like the nature of association as well as the tenure of association. Apart from that, some basic formats must also be kept in mind.

  • Most of the universities require this letter to be on the official letterhead.
  • For an Academic LOR – the university’s letterhead is required and for a Professional LOR – the letterhead of the company.
  • One thing important to remember in the latter case is that the letterhead should be of the company the recommender is working in. This usually creates a problem if your recommender has moved on to another organization. Hence, the student must know how to choose the right recommender.
  • An important point to be kept in mind is that a LOR is not a repetition of an SOP.

First Paragraph 1: Introduction

The Introduction part consists of a brief description of the recommender’s credentials such as the name, title, college/company name, city and his relationship with the student. Also, include details of how long and in what capacity the recommender has he has known the student. Highlight the student’s stand. In this case, the recommender can compare the client’s status as against any other persons (in the student’s batch) whom he has supervised or taught. The recommender should identify responsibilities including a number of people supervised/ class strength. End this paragraph with the client’s outstanding qualities that motivate the recommender to recommend the client. This line should give an overview of the qualities and attributes that the recommender is going discuss in the following paragraphs.

Second Paragraph: Discuss one Quality

Start the paragraph stating one of the qualities of the student such as academic prowess, research aptitude, ability in thinking out of the box, leadership, organizational, teamwork skills, taking initiatives, work ethics and/or maturity. Choose any one or any other that relates to the student and provide a substantial and impressive example or instance where the recommender observed this particular quality in the student. This is the important aspect of the LOR as it showcases that the student is indeed filled that quality. Thus, in a LOR you have to show through instances rather than just tell and state the qualities of a student.

Third Paragraph: Discuss the Second Quality

This should be different than the one mentioned above. Ideally, there should be three different qualities in each LOR. Here also, state with an instance to support the quality you have mentioned of the student. With the help of such instances, the ADCOM gets to know the potential of the student and also that the recommender is not faking anything.

Include a third quality of the student and explain with the help of an example where the recommender was able to witness this. This is should be different than the two of the qualities that you have already mentioned.

Fourth Paragraph: The Conclusion

As evident, this is the closing paragraph of the LOR. In the end, summarise the student’s strengths and state a ringing and enthusiastic endorsement of his/her candidacy.

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