Letter of Recommendation

When planning to study abroad, there are certain documents that are essential to your application and are instrumental in your selection to your targeted colleges. The LOR which refers to a Letter of Recommendation is one such document.

A Letter of Recommendation is a signed statement from a person who knows you well professionally or has taught in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to.Simply an LOR is a document written by the recommenders who can assess your skills, qualities, and capabilities as a part of your university admission application, or it gives the institution or employee an insight of the individual’s personality and achievements. A well written LOR can help your application stand out from the rest, since it is essentially a document from your employer or professor stating your achievements and contribution to an organization, thus adding credibility to your application.

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Types of Letter of Recommendation

  • Academic LOR (Used by students)
  • Professional LOR (Used by employees)

Academic LOR

An academic LOR is a recommendation letter provided by the faculty member of your previous academic institution. This could be a teacher, school counselor or principal from your school if you’re applying for an undergraduate program or a professor, project guide or a dean from your college if you’re going for a masters’ degree in a university abroad.

The Professors write about all the skills and achievements of that particular student which then can be used by the student as a reference in the university’s admission process. If you are applying for your Bachelor’s, you must get a Letter of Recommendation from your teachers at school. If you are applying for your Master’s, you must get an LOR from your professors at college. Apart from your strengths and achievements, the recommendation letter also provides validation about your background, all of which can play a major role in the admission process. So, choose your recommenders accordingly and ensure that you have a strong LOR.

Professional LOR

Most of the universities and colleges abroad offering MBA programs have pre-defined work experience requirements. While applying for an academic degree abroad, universities ask candidates to attach a professional LOR along with an updated CV or a resume. The professional LOR comes from an immediate supervisor, team leader or a manager and the content varies from an academic LOR in terms of more specific information about the candidate’s work within the team, knowledge about the sector, his/her behavior and leadership abilities. In such cases, an Academic reference letter alone will not create a strong impact on your profile, which is why you must ensure you get a Professional Letter of Recommendation from the companies you worked in.

This recommendation letter will speak about your work and other projects you worked on while you were at the company. Apart from work-experience, universities judge every student on several other factors too such as:

  • His/ Her Communication Skills
  • Total Work Experience
  • His/ Her Field-based Experience
  • Analytical Skills
  • Leadership Qualities
  • Knowledge Base

You must ensure that most of these points are covered in your Letter of Recommendation as these factors play a huge role in impressing the universities.

Why is a Letter of Recommendation important?

It happens at times most of the students give more importance to the statement of purpose and less to the letter of recommendation. Almost every university asks for the letter of recommendation prior to the statement of purpose. LOR is given more importance because it is a letter written about you by your professor/manager.

The universities refer your letter of recommendation as the validation of your achievements and academic/professional skills that you pursue which will convince them that you can excel in your academics.Particularly letter of recommendation from the well-known figures who have done their Ph.D. will be given more weightage and can make stand out.