Updated Date: 3rd September 2022
Pursuing master's from a top-notch institute abroad is a dream for most of ambitious students. LOR is an important aspect of this admission process. It is essentially a major requirement for admission of postgraduate courses because it is the official document assessing your personality as a whole.
Format of Letter of Recommendation
The format might vary according to the university. Many universities provide a specific template also. Nonetheless, there are mainly three heads of a LOR best suited for Master’s program in any topmost university: the opening part, the content and the closing part.
The opening part must contain the basic details of the students applying for the program and the relationship he shares with the recommender. The tenure of the relationship must be mentioned.
The body must contain the specific traits and attributes of the student focusing on the real-life examples. This helps to stand out amidst thousands of applications. The innovation indeed speaks value. The special traits or abilities must also be mentioned in this part. Also the projects, training, researchers and dissertations the student has done so far must be depicted in an objective and qualitative manner.
The ending part must consist of an opinion stating a specific reason to recommend the particular student from that particular course in that institute with the details of the recommender.
Types of Letter of Recommendation
LOR can be of two types depending upon the requirement and the nature of the recommender.
This is applicable to the Bachelor's or Master's courses abroad. Every institution demands at least two or three LOR issued by the previous institutes. In case you are applying for the Bachelor's course, it needs to be issued by your high school teacher. For applying for Masters's Courses, the professors in your grad school are eligible to issue it.
This is specifically applicable for MBA colleges where there is a criterion for work experience needs. And thus the need to submit a LOR from an immediate supervisor is essential.
Whom to choose:
Since mostly LOR is the deciding factor for the final admission for Master’s programs, you need to be extremely cautious while choosing the recommender. Since you are eligible to choose your professors from your graduation school, choose wisely. Don’t approach anyone with whom you have not been able to build that essence of a mutual student-teacher relationship.
Also, do remember that you need to start preparing for this entire LOR thing quite well in advance of the time of the proposed admission date. The main reason is that you must give your professors enough time to write this most crucial part and help you in the rightest way possible. In case you are submitting more than one LOR as demanded by your desired university, make sure that your professors are writing different aspects. Like if one of them writes about your accomplishments like projects, internships, and training, the other must focus on your abilities and strengths.
Some basic criteria to look up to while writing a LOR
- The language should be formal but simple so that it conveys the exact message without any complexity.
- Usually, these must be written on the official letterhead.
- It must contain your personality, achievements, experiences, performance, potentials, abilities, strengths and highlight those in a very specific and unique manner
- These should not be repetitive and should not ditto the entire description is given in your resume
- Flattering remarks and vague sentences must be voided to create a negative impact on the student.
- Opinions must be stated in a clear manner.
Want to know the secrets to an impressive recommendation letter?
You are on this page, this shows how enthusiastically you want your admission to the international university. Yes, with the best LOR your admission chances increase. Here are the secrets for an impressive Letter of recommendation.
1. Ask your recommenders to mention diverse achievements
If you are asked to provide 2 or more recommendation letters, try to get people to write about two different aspects of your personality, achievements, and academic potential. For example, one letter could focus on your classroom performance, while the other could focus on research abilities.
2. Help your recommenders with relevant info
Even if the recommender knows you very well, still there are chances that they do not keep a record of all your academic tests scores or achievements. That’s why you should help them with the required information to make it easy for them to write for you. You can provide information such as:
- your CV
- a list of your academic scores and achievements
- a list of your extracurricular/ volunteer activities
- your projects scores
3. The LOR should always include examples
The person who recommends you for university admission should not simply list your skills, but also give examples of how and when you used them. Ask them to bring out some examples from your studies or job performance. It does not give the sense to say that you have good research skills without any examples.
4. The LOR should show how you improved over time
As the admission officers are well-versed and have seen many applications, a letter that only praises you will sound unreasonable to them. So, it is very important that your recommender also talks about how you improved over time. For example Perhaps when you started your Bachelor’s you were shy and not very active in class, but that changed over the years and now you are a great debater with a positive attitude.
5. Use of positive and supporting language
Of Course, a recommendation letter is a formal document. But you should not confuse formality with dryness. Admission commissions appreciate when recommendations are formal but personalized. That’s why a strong letter should speak of your good qualities grown over time.
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