Commonly requested for courses that require work experience such as an MBA, a Letter of Recommendation from a Supervisor should be developed by a former boss or team lead, who has experience working with the recommended.
A letter of recommendation (LOR) is one of the more commonly requested documents by top universities in the world. While the requirement for LORs will vary from university to university and course to course, LORs are commonly requested for master's courses abroad. More commonly, if you are applying for professional or technical courses, the universities may require candidates to submit a LOR.
The LOR is a document that a former supervisor or faculty member at the previous place of employment or university, respectively, writes on behalf of the recommended. The document usually highlights the candidature and suitability of an applicant for a particular course or programme at a university.
What is a Professional LOR?
Before we straight away jump onto a professional LOR sample for international students to study abroad, let us first know a little bit about this important document that universities require during the application process (especially for master’s level programmes).
Aspirants seeking to study abroad should be aware of the significance of a letter of reference. The majority of foreign institutions and colleges require prior job experience. A Professional LOR is a vital document, especially for admission to a master's or other PG programme. Such letters might be supplied by your superiors, such as supervisors, managers, heads, and so on, or by your coworkers. Students must understand that the professional LOR must be on the letterhead. It focuses on assessing the candidate's capacity to operate in varied situations and teamwork, as well as their domain exposure.
Ask Experts on How to Make a LOR Effective?
Format of Professional LOR
A LOR is composed of many paragraphs that address the student's qualifications, skills, strengths, and limitations. A normal LOR is divided into five or sometimes more paragraphs. This is a breakdown of the professional LOR format for students, as well as professional LOR samples:
Para 1 - Introduction
The introductory paragraph of a LOR in supervisor format should always highlight the recommender, the recommended and the association between the two. It would also be important to highlight the duration of the association as well as the capacity in which the recommender can assess and comment on the candidature and suitability of the recommended. A comparison between the recommended and their peers or colleagues would paint a clearer picture of their performance while under the supervision of the recommender.
Check out the following snippet to understand how to write the introductory paragraph of a supervisor LOR:
“It gives me immense pleasure in writing this letter in support of <Applicant Name>, who has applied for higher education at your esteemed institution. For the past two years, he has been working as a Subordinate in my team at <Full Name of the Organisation, Location>. I would like to describe him as a crucial part of our team for his protean nature and research prospective professional. What impels me to write this letter in his favour is his quality of putting all his efforts into every assigned task that elevates a mark for all team members, for which the senior management has highly appreciated him on multiple occasions.”
Para 2 - Technical Skillset
In this paragraph, the recommender should highlight the technical skills that the recommended displayed during their time of professional association. The second paragraph should highlight the responsibilities taken up around the office along with any technical skillsets they may have expressed or learned during their time at the office.
Check out the following example of how to write a LOR in the supervisor format for universities abroad:
“Based on my assessment of his work, I can say that < Applicant Name> is a creative and enthusiastic developer with great potential. During his tenure, he worked for <Project Name 1>, where he transcended his duties with expertise in <Name a few Tools/Technology/Software>. His ability to articulate ideas into programming brings innovation to every smaller area, and his erudite and precise coding styles distinguish him from the other developers in our team.”
Para 3 - Technical Skillset 2
In this paragraph, the technical skillsets should be highlighted from the point of view of a specific project taken up by the recommender. Here, their capabilities as a professional along with skillsets pertaining to strategising, innovation, creativity, leadership, etc should be highlighted and discussed.
Here is an excerpt on how to write the third paragraph of a LOR in the supervisor format:
“As the youngest one in our team with no prior technical training and with minimum guidance on domain knowledge, <Applicant Name> rapidly took over many development responsibilities in the project and soon started making value additions to it. Moreover, his initiative on <Project Name 2> made it easier for many teams to troubleshoot complex problems in critical phases.
In the same team, <Applicant Name> has also worked on diversified tasks such as <Task 1>, <Task 2>, <Task 3>, and <Task 4> for over 26 clientele of the company spread worldwide. Due to the in-depth knowledge that he had gained and the level of understanding that he had reached by working closely with the clients, he was appointed as the single point of contact (SPOC) for the team, who also served as the Face of the <Department Name>, which he executed incredibly.”
Para 4 and 5 - Social Skillset
Along with the technical skillset, it is important for a candidate to possess social skillsets such as skills in organisation, leadership, communication, initiative, and much more. Here, the recommender should focus on the extracurricular activities that the recommended took part in as an employee.
Here is a snippet of the paragraphs you should use highlighting the social and technical skills of the candidate in a supervisor LOR format:
“Being a highly organised and passionate about learning individual, <Applicant Name> maintained a perfect balance between his work and studies. I was impressed to see how he managed to study for the <Certificate Name> while still adhering to the official deadlines with remarkable quality. Additionally, he regularly conducted knowledge-transfer sessions for his juniors, while pitching in new ideas for process improvements for the ongoing projects. Another quality that impresses me the most about him is that he easily collaborates with teams and individuals while walking alongside the trend and brings everyone with him.”
Final Para - Conclusion
As the name suggests, the final paragraph of the LOR should highlight the recommender’s faith in the recommended and their capability of finding success in the selected field. Moreover, additional information pertaining to what the recommended can offer to the institution and society in general. After the concluding paragraph, it is important for the recommender to sign the document, as detailed in the example below.
Check out the following example of what the final paragraph should include in the final paragraph of a LOR in the supervisor format:
“I personally believe in <Applicant Name> and his abilities and I am sure that he will bring both, great cultural values and technological innovation, to your institution. Therefore, he has my highest recommendations without any reservations that he will excel in his career. I wish him the best in his graduate studies at your renowned institution.
Full Name of the Recommendation
Name of the Department
Full Name of the Organisation, Location
Contact No.: +91-XXXXXXXXXX
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Professional LOR Sample from Supervisor
Here are two chosen comprehensive samples of LOR from the supervisor for your better understanding.
Professional LOR Sample 1
123 Business Road
To Whom it May Concern:
I highly recommend Jane as a candidate for employment. Jane was employed by Acme Retail as an Administrative Assistant from 2017 to 2022. Jane was responsible for office support, including word processing, scheduling appointments, and creating brochures, newsletters, and other office literature.
Jane has excellent communication skills. In addition, she is extremely organized, reliable, and computer literate. Jane can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. She is flexible and willing to work on any project that is assigned to her. Jane was quick to volunteer to assist in other areas of company operations, as well.
Jane would be a tremendous asset to your company and has my highest recommendation. If you have any further questions regarding her background or qualifications, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Professional LOR Sample 2
RE: Reference Letter for <Employee Name>
Mr./Mrs. <Recipient Name>
I have had the privilege of working with <Employee Name> as the <Job Title> at <Company Name>. <Employee First Name> reported to me directly and was a top contributing employee in our department. <Employee First Name> worked for us from <Duration of Employment in months/years> and grew steadily in <his/her> role during that time.
Her key responsibilities included <add responsibilities here>
In the last <months or years> <Employee First Name> earned our “Employee of The Month” award 4 times and was a “Standout Sales Performer” 6 times.
I can say with absolute certainty that <Employee First Name> is very capable of Project and Team leadership. I was often impressed by her ability to step in and rally the team during challenging periods within our company. She has a friendly and outgoing disposition as well as a professional work ethic. Her skills in sales are among the best I have seen in my 40-year career.
I look forward to seeing <Employee First Name> continue to excel in her career. I can be reached at <your email> if there is any additional information you require.
How to Ask for a Professional LOR from an Employer?
Now that we have discussed and seen the various professional LOR samples for aspiring students to study abroad, let us know how can you ask for a professional LOR from your employer. Here are the 5 tips you must be knowing:
Choose the Right Employer
You want to make sure that the professional LOR will highlight your best abilities about the possible opportunity. Choose a past employer that has seen you grow your talents and can offer concrete instances of times you exceeded expectations or succeeded in overcoming a difficulty when asking for a reference letter.
These employers can better illustrate your potential for advancement inside a new firm or the ways in which you can contribute positively to a school or programme. They can create a more personalised letter of reference to assist job managers or college admissions committees in learning more about your greatest skills.
Depending on your association, you may wish to ask your employer for a professional LOR in person, over the phone, or by email. If you want to talk with your employer in person or over the phone, contact them ahead of time to set up a meeting. Explain why you choose them for the request when requesting the letter. Explain any specific details that convinced you that they were the appropriate person to compose the letter.
If your employer declines, express your appreciation for their time and indicate that you would like to continue in touch. Maintaining a solid relationship will help you succeed in future possibilities. If an employer agrees to your request, thank them for their assistance. Whether you inquired in person or over the phone, follow up with a letter or email to formalise your request.
Offer Specific Details
Inform your company about the possible post and the qualifications you wish to highlight in the professional LOR. By providing particular information, your business will be able to draught a customised letter that will impress a hiring manager or college admissions panel. You can submit extra materials that can help as a guide, including:
The job description or college or programme information
Your most recent resume
A list of your specific accomplishments
Information on the potential employer or university
These precise insights might be useful in outlining your professional relationship, your qualifications for writing the letter, the capabilities or qualities you have that are relevant to the position, and one or two specific examples that demonstrate your accomplishments.
Give a Submission Guideline
For sending a letter of recommendation, most employers and colleges have certain standards. Your company may require that the letter be sent through certified mail, email, or an online form. Clarify with your former employer that they understand how and when to deliver the recommendation letter so that it arrives on time and in a proper format.
Do Follow Up!
Following up with your employer during and after the application process is both kind and beneficial. It expresses appreciation for the time they committed and raises the possibility that they will assist you again in the future. Once they have sent a professional LOR that acknowledges their efforts, you may write them a thank-you message. After the hiring manager or admissions committee has made a decision, you can notify your employer of your outcome.
If you are applying to professional programmes, especially at the graduate level, universities abroad may ask you to submit LORs written by supervisors at your previous place of employment. This may commonly be asked for MBA or graduate management programmes across different universities and colleges.
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