Yocket Editorial Team
Updated on 22 August, 2018

How to Draft Letters of Recommendation (LoR)?





What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A Letter of Recommendation (LoR) helps the admissions committee know about your technical, academic and non-academic expertise through your recommender. The content in the recommendation is extremely important. So, choose your recommenders wisely. There are certain areas on which the universities expect you to be rated by your recommender. They are as follows:

  1. Current standing in your high school/undergraduate class
  2. Comparison with the students who have gone for under graduation/graduation in the same university
  3. Communication skills (Oral and written skills)
  4. Creativity
  5. How well she/he understands the subject
  6. Emotional maturity and intellectual capabilities
  7. How strongly they recommend you (Very strongly, strongly, moderately, etc.)
     

Who can give me an LoR?

Usually, the recommenders are from your high school or undergraduate institute (your respective department especially) and work/internship place (if any). So, does designation of the recommender matter? Well, it does. You cannot 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. Similarly, one from the manager or founder of the company/companies you have worked with makes a difference as well. In most applications, following are the recommenders-

  1. Your senior/final year project guide,
  2. Professor who has taught you during your high school/undergraduate course, in whose subject you scored well,
  3. Any project guide/companies you have worked with,
  4. Project managers/corporate officials where you have previously worked/interned.

Recommendations cannot be given by:

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

Note:

It would be great if you can get an LoR from a Math professor if you are applying for a Financial Engineering course.

Make sure that you are on good terms with your recommenders. If not, then try improving them. Now is a good time to start buttering. Do not force your teachers to write good about you. Always remember that they are doing a favour to you.
 

How should a Letter of Recommendation be drafted?

Generally, all universities expect you to give three LoRs. Moreover, a Letter of Recommendation should ideally be drafted by the recommender himself/herself. Although, most recommenders ask the applicant to draft it on their own. This LoR is moderated by the recommender afterwards. An ideal LoR is about 500 words long. Remember to keep the tone positive throughout.

Now, the next question is- what should I write in my LoR? For this, we enumerate the following points:

  • First Para: Write about your recommender’s qualification and the time since she/he knows you and is serving the institution.
  • Second Para: Highlight your academic details under that teacher- how you have performed in her/his subject (example: she/he stands in the top 5% of the class). Mention your scores and, more importantly, write them in percentages.
  • Third Para: This will vary from recommender to recommender. If you're taking one from your project guide, you can describe about the project and your indispensable role in the same and how you have portrayed your skills in different circumstances. Similar is the case with publications, presentations, internships, and work experience.
  • Fourth Para: Flaunt as much as you can in this paragraph. This is the extracurricular section, so write about all your achievements, especially in the last three years (example: Event Head, worked for that committee, Sports Head, etc.)
  • Last Para: Keep it concise (say 2-3 lines). It should conclude all the above points, displaying your readiness for higher education, and ask for the university to grant her/him admission to your desired course, along with some form of financial aid.
  • Bottom Left of Your Draft: Your teacher’s name, signature & stamp, qualification and her/his post in the current institution/company.

NOTE: Do not lie in the letter. Make it seem as real as possible and cover the above mentioned points. It is recommended to split the content in the LoRs so that all three are different from each other.


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Yocket Editorial Team

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