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:
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:
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:
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 -
Recommendations cannot be given by:
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:
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.
Akshat Tewary: It would be counted as Professional LOR
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