In terms of a layman, a letter of recommendation is a document written in the form of a letter that makes the candidature of a student applying for an admission strong. Generally, the person who is addressing the institution or employer to consider the candidature of the applicant is having a professional or academic relationship with the applicant.
A LOR should be written in such a way to present an honest evaluation of the professional worth of the applicant. It must not be based on airy facts and moonshine ratter it shall contain evidence to prove the assertion made that will help the selection committee to make an informed decision.
The purpose for which it is written must be mentioned. It should discuss in brief the academic milestone reached and moral and ethical values of the applicant. The nature of the content can vary depending upon the aim of the LOR. Before finalising anything, a sample of letter of recommendation must be written first.
Types of LOR
Generally, a LOR may be differentiated into the following:-
- Recommendation letter for scholarship recommendation letter for admission
- Recommendation letter for job
- Recommendation letter for internship
Format and Structure of LOR
Following queries are asked by the people writing a letter of recommendation for anyone else:-
- How to write a letter of recommendation?
- How to write a recommendation letter and find a sample?
- What do you write in a letter of recommendation?
- How long should a recommendation letter be?
- How do you write a professional letter of recommendation?
All these questions are addressed in the following points:-
- The LOR must be one page long and divided into three parts i.e. opening, body, and closing.
- The LOR should be typed and presented formally. A handwritten LOR lessens the effect of the candidacy of the applicant as it lowers down the veracity of the assertion made.
- Beware of silly typos and grammatical error. The addressee may think that the person is bluffing or the intention of the author of LOR is not emphatic.
- A good LOR contains the contact number, email, and address of the author and a declaration or an affidavit, if needed, regarding the accuracy and authenticity of the contents of the LOR. Therefore, a good letter of recommendation example must be perused thoroughly before writing it.
- A student may promptly provide you with a form in which the particulars are to be filled to complete the LOR, if applicable. You can ask for a sample recommendation letter for a student too. He may provide an envelope that is already stamped and addressed written for you to mail the LOR directly to the addressee where he wants to get inducted as a student or employer.
How to submit letters of recommendation for medical school?
The procedure of submitting a LOR is given by the university or college where the applicant wants to study. The general format provided above may be followed for making a LOR. Similarly, NYU letters of recommendation for undergraduate program and SGU letters of recommendation can be written based on these guidelines.
How many letters of recommendations are needed for taking admission to Boston University’s undergraduate program?
Two LORs are required by the Boston University for graduate school while some of the faculties there can also ask for three. Harvard follows a uniform policy of two letters of recommendation.
When to ask for letters of recommendation?
A student may ask for a letter of recommendation when he has been involved with you professionally and you are in a position to vouch for his academic and professional excellence. But, the question is what you must do after the applicant asks for it?
Do letters of recommendation help?
Yes. LOR can make the candidature of an applicant strong manifold as compared to one’s that do not have one. Some independent person endorsing the skills of the applicant benefits in myriad ways.
What do you need to write in Letters of Recommendation?
After arranging a meeting with the student or applicant, ask him to bring along the following documents:
- Resume or CV (curriculum vitae)
- Verified copy or original degrees and documents of the courses completed
- Copy of a research paper or a published article
- A description of the goals and vision of the applicant
- Explanation regarding the statement of purpose for taking admission in a particular institution or his career goals for the job
- A list of achievements of the student or applicant
- Any suggestion that the student might you to highlight or include
- The instructions, form, and deadline of the LOR as provided by the employer or the university
- Copy of the essay or statement of purpose for admission written by the student
- Any verified source through which explains the nature of job or program where the student is applying
- Specific templates, questionnaires, form, etc. to be completed by the writer as required by the institution or employer
What Recommendation letter format must not contain: Common challenges
- It is written in a style that is relevant for a specific institution or employer that cannot be submitted to different audiences.
- Incorrect spelling or any other inadvertent error. Multiple spelling of a proper noun is also not encouraged.
- Mention of different names in between indicative of the LOR being copy-pasted from somewhere else rather than written bona fide.
- Use of nickname or alias name without intimating about the legal name of the applicant.
- A LOR losses its emphasis if it is written on a plain sheet of paper rather than on official letterhead of the person.
- The LOR does not mention the contact details of the addressee
- It doesn’t have the signature of the person writing the LOR
- The student failed to provide the necessary documents and eventually, the LOR is silent about the academic or professional evaluation.
- The latter is based on moonshine or favouritism without any merit
- It makes general or too good to be true endorsements instead of practical and reliable assertions
There is no fixed format of writing a letter of recommendation. It varies from institution to institution. But, the author must keep the general guidelines in mind as his letter can make or break someone’s future!