What is Letter of Recommendation ?
Letters of Recommendation (LOR) are typically required whenever someone is pursuing an academic qualification or applying for a position at a prestigious organization in order to help the assessment committee determine whether they are a good fit for the course or work profile. Typically, a LOR is written by a former employer or a professor who knows the candidate well enough to serve as a referee and recommends that the organisation shortlist the candidate. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the key components of a letter of recommendation, LOR formats, and the most important factors to consider when writing one.
Types of LOR
There are two types of Letters of Recommendation, which the majority of us may be unaware of. The distinction between them is based on the nature of the provider or recommender. Let's review and comprehend the two LOR types.
Academic LOR refers to a letter of recommendation from a faculty member of an academic institution where you previously studied. Universities abroad require at least one academic recommendation. In such situations, you can refer to your previous academic institution for assistance. This type of LOR opening emphasizes the student's aptitude for the course, as demonstrated by their previous achievements.
The majority of universities abroad require prior work experience, particularly for admission to master's programmes. Professional LORs can be provided by a superior or colleague from your previous organization. Students must be aware that the professional LOR must be included on the letterhead. The professional LOR focuses on determining the candidate's ability to work in a variety of environments and teams, as well as their domain experience.
Who Needs LOR and Why?
All those who intend to pursue higher education will be required to submit letters of recommendation, especially those who intend to study abroad. Regardless of study level, course, or field of study, students are typically required to submit two academic and professional LORs. Students enrolling in UG-level courses frequently lack prior work experience; therefore, they can request letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, counselors, etc. Those who are expected to pursue a master's degree abroad can obtain letters of recommendation from former employers, internship supervisors, college professors, etc.
Typically, letters of recommendation consist of three to four paragraphs that provide a detailed evaluation of the candidate's potential for future endeavours. Typically, each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect of the individual and provides pertinent information about them. These formats assist letter writers in comprehending the fundamental structure of a recommendation letter.
In the introductory paragraph of the LOR, the relationship between the student and the referee must be explained. In addition, it should contain information about the duration and nature of their acquaintance. This paragraph should also describe the referee's profession and/or area of expertise. It is appropriate for the referee to indicate how long they have known the student.
The referee may discuss their assessment of the student/candidate. In addition, they should include a brief explanation of why they believe the student is the ideal candidate for the course. In these two paragraphs, the referee may also discuss the candidate's accomplishments (academic and otherwise). If the candidate's skills and expertise are mentioned, supporting evidence must be provided. Other qualifications, volunteer activities, etc., may also be added.
The concluding paragraph should be a summary of the reasons for recommending the candidate for the university programme. In conclusion, you can reiterate your recommendation.
In addition, you should use a formal font with black as the font colour. It should be properly formatted with correct alignment, adequate line spacing, and paragraph breaks.
A strong LOR can distinguish your university application from the rest.
Good Vocabulary for LOR Writing
|Recommended Phases||Recommended Adjectives|
|I’m pleased to recommend||Intelligent|
|It has been a pleasure working with||Organised|
|She is a creative problem-solver||Logical|
|He conveys his ideas clearly||Committed|
|Has demonstrated specific strengths in||Determined|
|Timely completion of tasks||Optimistic|
|Meets the deadline before/on time||Efficient|
|Remains calm under pressure||Responsible|
|Willing to put in extra effort||Patient|
|Will meet your expectations||Team-Oriented|
Qualities to Mention in LOR
| As we've discussed the format of a LOR, you may have noticed that we've placed a lot of emphasis on mentioning the right qualities and skills. However, what are the qualities that one should highlight in their LOR? To aid you in this endeavor, we have outlined below the qualities that must be included in a letter of recommendation.
Qualities for Professional LOR
Qualities for Academic LOR
Essential tips for writing a Good LOR
The writer of the letter of recommendation must be completely familiar with the student. He should also know where the student intends to submit this letter of recommendation. The writer of a letter of recommendation (LOR) must keep in mind certain guidelines in order to create an effective letter. Among the advice are:
Provide specific info about the student
First, the professor or teacher writing the letter should be familiar with the LOR format. He should have knowledge of the student. The individual can use the examples to illustrate a student's unique skills and abilities. He should mention the student's specific academic skills and qualities. This increases the student's chances of being chosen.
Keep the tone positive
The LOR's tone reveals everything about the student. Check whether the tone of the letter of recommendation is positive or negative. The confident tone confirms that the applicant is a strong candidate for the course or position. A negative tone raises questions about the student's abilities. The author of a letter of recommendation may compare the student to others to demonstrate that he is the best competitor.
Short and formal
Many teachers and professors compose lengthy letters of recommendation that fail to engage the reader. Always compose a letter of recommendation that is brief and formal. The LOR should consist of two pages. It should fulfill the recipient's needs. Additionally, it should provide concisely important information about the student.
Follow the submission guidelines
Checking the LOR submission deadline is essential. The student must submit the letter of recommendation along with the other required materials on time. This facilitates the university application approval process for students. In addition, it allows them to make a positive impression, which increases their chances of being chosen.
LOR for Top Programs
Although the general requirements for academic and professional recommendation letters for students are identical, course-specific prerequisites and prompts vary. Specific elite courses have the following prerequisites and organisational structure:
|Program||No. of LORs||Type of LORs||Theme|
|LOR for MS||Three||At least 2 Academic LORs||Place a premium on academic accomplishments, talents, hobbies, and professional goals.|
|LOR for MBA||Two to three||At least 1 Professional LOR||Highlight problem-solving skills, leadership qualities, strengths, and opportunities for advancement.|
|LOR for PhD.||Two to three||Academic LORs||Discuss your understanding of the topic, your prior research and publications, and your academic success.|
|LOR for UG||One or two||Academic LOR||Academic achievements and peer relations should be highlighted.|
Tips for Writing a Good LOR
By following these tips, you can write an effective LOR that will help the student or candidate achieve their goals.
Mistakes to Avoid in a LOR
A recommendation letter can make or break a student's opportunity to study abroad. If you have been asked to write such a document, you are responsible for doing so with the utmost care and candour.
Please avoid the following commonly made mistakes:
Plagiarism and copying and pasting a single LOR for multiple institutions or candidates are the most common pitfalls.
It is important to be sensitive to sensitive topics and avoid topics that may provoke negative reactions.
You must keep in mind that the letter is completely formal. Even though you are required to discuss personal relationships and anecdotes with the candidate, it is strongly recommended to maintain proper language and structure.
Ensures that you provide your recommender with sufficient information about yourself. Send them your statement of purpose, curriculum vitae, and any additional credentials to aid them in writing a successful letter of recommendation. Ensure that your referee has a minimum of one month to complete the letter. Ultimately, rushed work is subpar labour.
LOR formats or Letter of Recommendation Template
To Whom This May Concern,
This is a Referral to support [Student Name], a graduate student of the batch [Duration], “[Stream]”, in, “[College Name]”. I have known her/him for all the years of her/him engineering and hence I have often had the opportunity to observe her unusual abilities, creativity, amazing mathematics skills and the ability to take responsibility. I have taught her the Course of, “[Course Name]”, for three consecutive years and thus had the opportunity to get to know her well and assess her capabilities. The subject, “[Course Name]”, is taught as a part of the Undergraduate curriculum of Bachelors of Engineering course.
As a first-year student, she/he attended my lectures regularly and attentively. While she/her was studying my course, | was surprised by her/him remarkable abilities of problem solving and grasping the essence of new and complex concepts. Upon completing each course of lectures students are given assignments which consists of completing complex homework and later on submitting final assignments. She/He submitted those assignments well on time and her/him reports were made meticulously. She/he showed good perception of the subject.
While we proceeded to the second and third year, what drew my attention was that she/he not only managed to perform well in studies but took effectively part in the extra-curricular activities of the college. I being the Head in-charge of the Activity group of our college; came to know more about hers/hims inter-personal and leadership skills when she/he successfully conducted many programs during the Annual Meets and actively volunteered for the rest. She/He has impressive organizational and planning skills and is able to strategize well. Besides, she/he is a team player and leads from the front. This is evident from the fact that she/he has won several titles during the sports meet. Being a sports person, she/he has always showed the Sportsmanship spirit of being assertive, flexible and the most important of being a good team player.
Moreover, her/him ability to communicate well with the teachers and peers had made her liked by all. She/He has a strong command over spoken as well as written English as seen during several presentations given by he/him in college.
She/He, as I know has evolved into a dependable, intelligent, erudite, emotionally stable person who is able to generate new ideas and is always full of energy. It would not be an exaggeration, if I describe her/him quite mature and sophisticated.
From our discussions concerning her/him plan for further studies, I could conclude that She/ He is a person with high intellectual potential. She/ He is devoted to her career and possesses all the qualities to be successful in graduate studies. Owing to her/him keen desire to know more and gain in-depth knowledge of the subject at hand, pragmatic and meticulous way of working, I am sure she/he will perform well in Aerospace engineering as during our of late discussions I could realize that she/he is absolutely focused to build a career in Aerospace research. I strongly recommend her/him for graduate studies at your university and for any merit based financial assistance.
Signature ______________________ Date _________________
To Whom This May Concern,
It is a pleasure to write to you in recommendation for [Student Name] for his graduate studies at your university. As the Director(Projects) of XXXX Pvt. Ltd, I have known [Student Name] since 28° October’ 14. His job duties include Execution of Civil work of 6.7MLD Sewage treatment Plant. Recently, his responsibilities have been increased to , Billing and technical documentation work for IOOMLD Water Treatment Plant at Salaulim, 20,000m 3 Master balancing reservoir at Sirvoi, 6.7 MLD STP at Margao, 5.6MLD STP at Baga and 5.4 MLD stp at Mapusa. He is a dynamic, responsible, and committed employee who has made commendable contributions to the success of our company. He is a cut above the rest, and has great future potential.
Over the time that I have known [Student Name], he has consistently performed his duties with competence and often goes the extra mile, doing more than expected. For instance, while working on the billing of work done in month of February and March of the Project “Expansion of 100MLD Water Treatment Plant at Salaulim dam”, time taken to make the copy of measurements of work and its abstract was less than expected. With might and main he finished the targeted.
He has also performed well as a team member. He is easily approachable and is highly respected by his co-workers for his willingness to assist them whenever they need him.
I do recommend [Student Name] to your university and I am quite confident in his potential and hope that he would have opportunities to study and contribute to the development and reputation of your school. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions regarding [Student Name] application. My contact information is as follows.
Signature ______________________ Date _________________
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