While researching to apply to universities abroad, you may have probably heard of something called a letter of recommendation. The quality of your letter of recommendation can make an immense disparity between receiving an offer of admission regardless of which university, program, or country you are applying to.
Your application can be more competitive if you provide a well-crafted professional LOR from someone who knows you well and can articulate your persona, morality, and professional performance. The purpose of this is to help the Admission Officers gain an insight into your profile, recent behaviours, and etiquette and decide whether or not you would be a good fit at their university/workplace.
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What is a Professional Letter of Recommendation?
LORs are important documents, especially for admission to a master's program or any other post-graduate program, as well as when applying for jobs and demonstrating the person's work ethic and skills. Specifically, it evaluates the candidate's ability to work in diverse environments and references their domain knowledge.
A supervisor or manager writes an official recommendation letter when recommending a student, employee, or colleague to advance their career. This is an excellent tool for highlighting the strengths and most significant characteristics of an applicant from the standpoint of their supervisor, guide, mentor, or professor.
As opposed to an academic recommendation letter, a professional one is primarily concerned with your leadership skills and professional accomplishments. Additionally, they must be issued only on the organization's letterhead, duly signed and stamped.
Why is a Professional Letter of Recommendation Important?
A LOR is one of the most important requirements and is even considered to be an influential document for candidates applying to MBA programs and/or research-based courses abroad. Generally, professional letters of recommendation are required for admission to professional programs like MBA, MS, BBA, etc. The LORs submitted by MBA candidates often receive a weighting of almost 8% by the top-most MBA universities abroad. In the case of volunteers, social workers, or professionals who took a break from their studies to work, a letter of recommendation from a supervisor will both help vouch for their skills and provide verification of the reasons for taking a break.
Note: Professional LORs provide a picture of your leadership abilities, and more importantly, how well you can work in teams and collaborate with other teams. Therefore, only your immediate manager/supervisor should compose the letter of recommendation because they fully understand the importance of it and will therefore include accurate or faultless information.
Important Attributes to Mention in a Professional LOR
Fabricate a recommendation letter that portrays your skills, both managerial as well as techniques which integrate your unique abilities. Use the following attributes to provide a brief explanation (in a concise manner):
Instances of strengths in the workplace.
Territories of expertise.
How to Write a Professional Letter of Recommendation?
The letter of recommendation should begin with the following:
Always start by saying: To Whomsoever It May Concern
An introductory paragraph should describe the recommender's credentials, such as the recommender's name, company name, title, their relationship with the candidate, and how long they have known each other.
The purpose of this paragraph is to highlight the qualities of the applicant, such as research aptitude, academic proficiency, leadership, communication skills, teamwork, innovative ability, initiative, responsibility, work ethics, and maturity.
In the third paragraph, the admission committee is told about the other qualities the candidate possesses. Remember, the third paragraph should not repeat the second paragraph. The gist should help the admissions committee to get a better sense of the candidate, which will help make the decision-making process more efficient.
At this point, the recommender should discuss the extracurricular activities and achievements of the candidate. By emphasizing important characteristics such as passion, devotion, enthusiasm, etc., it helps in highlighting important traits.
As the conclusion of the letter, it should summarize the letter's key points.
No grades or scores of competitive tests should be mentioned in a recommendation letter unless they are necessary for interpreting some academic details.
Unless considered absolutely necessary, private and sensitive information about you should only be included if it is relevant.
The Length, Format, and Font of LOR
A reference letter's style is just as important as its content. Below you'll find tips for how long your letter should be and how to format it.
Length: Avoid writing more than one page of the letter, and keep the letter succinct and to the point. A standard length of three or four paragraphs is perfect to explain how you know the person and why you are recommending them. (Do not write a letter that's too short as it may indicate you don't know the person well or you aren't fully supporting them.)
Format: You should single-space your letter of recommendation and separate each paragraph with a space. The top, bottom, left, and right margins of the page should be about 1" wide, and the text should be aligned to the left (the normal position for most documents).
Font: Choose traditional fonts such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. It's best to use a font between 10 and 12 points so that it's easy to read. Keeping your letter to one page is easy by adjusting the font size.
Make sure your letter is proofread before you send it.
The letter can be edited by another person but the candidate's name must be omitted to protect the candidate's privacy.
How to Write Professional LOR: Sample 1
TO WHO SO IT MAY CONCERN!
Greetings, Mr/Ms (Last Name)
This letter is to recommend Mr Vijay Sharma. I have known Sharma since he was working in my office/lab under my supervision. I first met him when he interned with us for the summer two years ago. He posed extremely thoughtful questions that demonstrated his ability. He worked on the project we were working on at the time on his own, and his motivation and independence were nothing short of astounding.
During his time with us, he displayed the ability to work autonomously with originality and zeal. He worked long hours and tried extremely hard to fulfil deadlines. He also got along well with the other interns on the team, and everyone seemed to like him a lot.
Vijay frequently offered to assist other members with their projects, and we were all impressed by his highly creative intellect and work ethic. Every week, our team met, and Vijay delivered papers and information that were fresh to everyone. He also demonstrated exceptional problem-solving abilities.
To recap, Vijay is the best intern I have had the pleasure of working with for the last ten years. While I hope he will stay with us, I believe he will be of great benefit to your organisation. He has my best recommendation.
If you have any questions, please contact me by email (email@example.com) or phone (xxx-xxx-xxxx).
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
How to Write Professional LOR: Sample 2 for Internship
TO WHO SO IT MAY CONCERN!
Greetings, Mr/Ms (Last Name)
I am writing to warmly recommend Mr Vijay Sharma's application for the summer internship at ABC Law Firm. Vijay was my undergraduate prelaw student at Southern Law and Arts College. I considered him to be a creative and hardworking student with a natural talent for both legal study and writing, and he received the top grades of any student in this course.
I realise that summer interns are expected to conduct research on new areas with little supervision or assistance. Students in my course were constantly confronted with confronting new and exotic legal themes, depending on legal databases and collaborating with classmates to grasp difficult material. Vijay demonstrated expert-level LexisNexis skills as well as group work abilities that are uncommon among students.
While I have taught hundreds of students over the course of my two-decade career, many of whom have gone on to law school, few have been as talented as Vijay. I have no doubt that he will excel in your summer internship programme and provide my unequivocal support.
Please do not hesitate to contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (xxx-xxx-xxxx) if you require any additional information.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Things to Remember while Writing Professional LOR
A professional letter of recommendation should be no more than 700 words long and divided into 4-5 paragraphs. Some of the most crucial points to include in a professional letter of recommendation are as follows:
In a concise and well-written introduction, describe your relationship with the LOR writer.
A synopsis of the applicant's qualifications, characteristics, and experiences.
A timeline of the applicant's employment at the company.
In the closing paragraph, the writer must propose the candidate to the university.
The writer's signature and name, as well as the designation, name of the organisation, and contact information, are all given.
Create a letter of recommendation that highlights the candidate's accomplishments, traits, talents, and educational background.
Always make it a point to avoid common mistakes while drafting a professional LOR.
Professional letters of recommendation are crucial documents that can make the difference between getting into a top university and not. Obtaining a letter of recommendation for higher studies from an employer can prove to be a credible and influential document during decision-making. Do not make the same mistake, contact the right people when you are asking for a letter of recommendation.
Do you have a hard time crafting your letter of recommendation? You may reach us at email@example.com and consult our experts.
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