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Statement of Purpose (SOP)
Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
- Case Studies
What is LOR?
A letter of recommendation is a written document that attests to a person’s job, abilities, or academic achievement. The aim of a recommendation letter is to affirm your skills and qualities while also providing constructive information about your achievements or behaviours. A true recommendation letter gives the recipient a personal account of your experiences with the individual who is recommending you.
WHOM SHOULD A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION COME FROM?
A letter of recommendation should ideally come from a previous manager, coworker, mentor, advisor, or employer. They may also be someone with whom you’ve had positive working relationships and who can thoughtfully describe your strengths and abilities. These people should be pioneers or front runners in their own fields and credible enough to help your LOR make an impact on the admission committee.
ELEMENTS OF A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
The LOR is one of the most important documents and accrues a lot of weightage in the admission process. A perfect LOR can make your application stand out and gives you an edge over your competitors. The content of the LOR must be precise and accurate and must include some of the key moments of your academic/ professional journey.
These are the five elements that should be included in your letter of recommendation, in all cases:
- A brief introduction that states who you are, your relationship to the person giving the recommendation – This should be the opening paragraph of the letter of recommendation. It must include the number of years for which the recommender has known you for, and at what capacity. The first impression of the recommender can also be added briefly to this opening paragraph.
- An overview of your strengths, qualities and skills – The LOR should bring out all your strengths and weaknesses and how you have worked to sharpen your skills and your actions to overcome your weaknesses and setbacks.
- A personal story that elaborates on one to two traits that you possess – A personal story is a must for your LOR. It must be short and crisp and should encapsulate situations like working on a research thesis or a professional project. It must bring out the values you ingrained out of this experience.
- A closing statement that summarizes why you would be a good fit for the opportunity – The closing statement of the LOR must bring out your existing qualities, your achievements and why you would make a good fit for the program at this university.
- A signature and contact information – The LOR must have key contact information of the recommender like phone number, Email ID, etc. The LOR must also provide the designation of the recommender and this full name.
The letter of recommendation should be positive and should focus on strongest skill sets and best qualities.
Thus, the LOR is one of the most important documents in the application process. The LOR should ideally contain all the five elements that were pointed out in this article, to make it stand out of the crowd. Stay Tuned!