Yocket Editorial Team
Updated on 14 February, 2019

How to draft Letter Of Recommendation (LOR)

What is a Letter of Recommendation (LOR)?

A Letter of recommendation is a letter issued by the professor/academician or manager that you have worked along with in the past. It's generally one of the mandatory documents that universities require for BS, MS, PhD or MBA programs abroad. Letter of Recommendation (LoR) is very important as its helps the admissions committee know about your technical, academic and non-academic expertise through your recommender. It shows your discipline and dedication towards your studies and the way you respond in class or workplace. The content in the recommendation is extremely important. So, choose your recommenders wisely.

Factors on which the universities expect you to be rated by your recommender are as follows:

  1. Current / Final standing in your undergraduate class
  2. Comparison with the students who have gone for graduation in the same university
  3. Communication skills (Oral and written skills)
  4. Creativity
  5. How well you understand the subject
  6. Teaching Potential
  7. Emotional Maturity
  8. Recommendation with Financial aid or not
  9. How strongly they recommend you (Very strongly, strongly, moderately, etc.)


Types of LOR Letter of Recommendations:

Letter of Recommendation can be broadly classified into 2 types based on the Nature of the Recommender and various courses.

1. Academic LOR
A letter of recommendation provided by your professor of college or school. Usually universities ask students to provide two or three letters of recommendation from your previous institute. This could be from teachers at your school in case of undergraduate or bachelors (BS) courses and from professors at your college if you are planning to pursue a masters (MS) or PhD program.

Few attributes that you can mention in Academic LOR:

  • Academic performance in the subject
  • Passion for the subject
  • Project work or academic initiatives related to the subject
  • Highlight awards and recognitions related to the subject

2. Professional LOR
Majority of the MBA colleges abroad have preset work experience requirements and hence they might request for a Professional Letter of Recommendation from a last supervisor you worked with. The Professional Letter of Recommendation format differs from the Academic LOR as in focuses more on your ability to work with a team and leadership qualities and all other necessary prerequisites for MBA course applied.  

Few attributes that you can mention in Professional LOR:

  • Leadership ability
  • Team-work skills
  • Time-management and multitasking
  • Creative and new ideas


Choosing the Right Recommender for LOR

There might be many recommenders from whom you can get a Recommendation Letter. But choosing the best recommender is very important. Usually, the recommenders are from your undergraduate institute (your respective department especially) and work/internship place (if any). So, does designation of the recommender matter for LoR? Honestly, it does. You can’t take a recommendation from a teacher who has just joined the institution and has an experience of a year or two. An LoR from your institution’s dean or principal holds a lot of weightage. An LoR from the company’s manager makes a difference. In most applications, following are the recommenders -

  1. Your final year project guide
  2. Professor who has taught you during your undergrad course and you have scored well in that subject
  3. Any project guide/companies you have worked
  4. Project Managers/Corporate Officials where you've worked/interned.

Recommendations cannot be given by:

  1. Peers/Friends/Relatives
  2. Any random personality you met in a conference
  3. Parents


  1. It would be great if you can get an LoR from a professor of a subject relevant to your masters. For example, Math Professor if you are applying for a Financial Engineering course.
  2. Make sure that you are on good terms with your recommenders. If not, then try improving them. Learn Buttering. Don’t force your teachers to write good about you (if you succeed, lucky you). Always remember, they are doing a favour to you.


Format and Writing Tips for LOR Letter of Recommendation

We cannot emphasize enough about the importance of LOR in regards to the applications that the students make to study abroad. No matter which university you apply for, they ask for at least two Letters of Recommendation or a maximum of 3. Moreover, a letter of recommendation should ideally be drafted by the recommender himself/herself. Unfortunately, every recommender is so lazy and less interested that the applicant is forced to draft on own and will finally be moderated by the recommender.

Students are often confused on what to write in a Letter of Recommendation. Below we have provided a sample format of LORs and some writing tips:

  1. First Para: About your recommender’s qualification and the time since s/he knows you and is serving the institution.
  2. Second Para: Highlights of your academic details under that teacher, how you have performed in his/her subject. Marks should be mentioned and more importantly a relative percentage (Example: s/he stands in the top 5% of the class)
  3. Third Para: This will vary from recommender to recommender. If you're taking one from the project guide, s/he can describe about the project and your incredible role in the same. Similar is the case with publications, presentations, internships and work experience.
  4. Fourth Para: About extracurriculars: should cover all your achievements in the last three years (Event Head, worked for this and that committee, Sports, etc.). Please flaunt as much as you can in this paragraph.
  5. Last Para: Small para (say 2-3 lines) and it should conclude the above points and tell the university to grant him admission along with Financial aid.
  6. Bottom Left of Your Draft: Your recommender's name, signature & stamp, qualification and his/her post in the current institution/company.

Warning: LoR shouldn't be so exceptional that you are the best student in India. Make it quite real and cover the above mentioned points.

NOTE: Split the content in the LoRs so that all three are different from each other.

lor   masters   mba   phd   undergraduate  

Login to recommend
53 recommended



Akshat Tewary: It would be counted as Professional LOR

on 25 Sep, 2018 at 7:03 PM

Yocket Editorial Team

Yocket is the largest regional online community for students with a desire to pursue higher education abroad.


How Did USC Viterbi School of Engineering Become the Best?
1 day, 2 hours ago

How to Pursue Medicine in US?
2 days, 3 hours ago

GMAT vs CAT - 9 differences between GMAT and CAT
2 days, 4 hours ago


How to Draft Letters of Recommendation (LoR)?
Yocket Editorial Team

A comprehensive set of FAQs - Part 2: SOP, LOR, Acads,...
Vignesh Manohar

Whom to take recommendation from?
Collegepond Counsellors (Jimeet Sanghavi)