Guide To Writing Letter Of Recommendations for Bangladeshi Students
A Letter Of Recommendation (LOR) boosts the chances of a student getting considered for admission to a university or college. It can be written by your professors or employers and are formal. It explains why you will be a good fit for the seat/position. It can include all the critical information about yourself and highlight your positive qualities. Several people write letters of recommendation for their students/employees, which is not rare.
What Is A Letter Of Recommendation?
A letter of recommendation is usually written by someone who has the authority to recommend someone else to a job or a university/college. Habitually, it will address hiring managers or admissions officers. It concentrates on the qualifications and skills of the person. Your professors, clients, employers, teachers, and colleagues can write it. A LOR is different from a standard reference letter. While the former is more formal, the latter has a casual conversational tone and will be done via email or phone.
Importance Of LOR
The importance of a letter of recommendation lies in the fact that it adds value to your profile over the others. The LOR differs depending on the course you have chosen. It is necessary to develop a good LOR to fulfil what it is meant to. The reasons why a letter of recommendation is essential are
- Highlight your skills & capabilities: It is essential to list what you are good at. At the same time, it should never seem like praise. Although a LOR is not necessary to be attached to your application, a few universities insist on it. For instance, most universities ask for a Profession Letter of Recommendation when you apply for an MBA. It even puts a weightage of 8% on your application.
- Shows your areas of weakness: Most LORs are in a questionnaire or form-based format. As such, the questions include questions regarding your shortcomings and weaknesses as well. It is also advised to have these details so it won't look biased.
- Get a third-person opinion about yourself: You need to furnish an Academic LOR which helps you understand more about yourself. It includes your qualities like discipline, dedication etc., so your new university can know how you will be in your class.
Types Of LOR
A Letter of Recommendation can be classified into two kinds based on the recommender. They are as follows.
- Letter of Recommendation for Students: An Academic LOR is usually provided by your existing or previous school/college. They can be written by your teachers if you are applying for an Undergraduate course or professors if you are applying for a Postgraduate course. More often than not, a LOR is more vital if you are applying for a Master's program.
- Letter of Recommendation for Employee: A Professional LOR is applicable if you are applying for an MBA. That is because most universities ask for professional experience when applying for an MBA. It may focus mainly on your ability to work in a team, your leadership skills etc.
- Character Recommendation Letters: These letters are used to describe someone's personality and will usually be written by someone who knows them well. This can be written by coworkers, employers, close friends etc.
Guidelines For Writing A Good LOR
A Letter of Recommendation is not too difficult to write, but you must take care of a few things before writing it. The following tips will help you write a good LOR.
- Put together a list of qualities.
- Estimate your strengths.
- Use active voice.
- Follow the proper format and length.
Letter Of Recommendation Format
A letter of recommendation follows a format and needs to be written in that manner. As it is professional in nature, the form should strictly be followed. It should include the following sections.
- Salutation: If you know the person you are addressing in person, you can write "Mr./Ms./Dr." etc. On the other hand, if you are addressing someone holding a position, you can write the name of the position.
- Introduction: The introduction usually starts with your standard recommendation statement, "It is my pleasure to recommend…."
- Overview: This can include the student's skills, strengths etc.
- Personal Story: The student's skills and qualifications are explained with the help of a personal experience.
- Closing Statement: It includes a paragraph where the reasons to admit the student are listed and boosted. It can also include the contact information of the recommender.
- Signature: The recommender's name, designation, and contact information are repeated.
How To Write A Good LOR?
A good letter of recommendation states its intent and, at the same time, does not end up as a letter which praises you. You can keep the following tips in mind to help get a good letter of recommendation that makes a good impression of yourself in front of the academic heads.
- Begin with an introduction to the student.
- Explain how the student is a good fit.
- Provide examples and instances to prove this.
- Give a professional closing.
- Check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Sample Of Recommendation Letter
Having said all these, it will be a good thing if you get an actual sample of a letter of recommendation. You can better understand the format and style of writing, among other things. A sample recommendation letter for university admission is given below.
Dear Admission Committee
I am writing this letter of recommendation for XYZ, who has proven to be a great student and individual.
I have been her professor for the past three years and know her well enough to tell you that she is a promising student. I am not wrong when I say she is one of the most talented poets I have seen teaching life spanning 15 years. She is good at writing short stories and poems, and I am sure she will be an asset to your English Literature class.
I remember how enthusiastically she participated in competitions and programs. She has always been on the list of students who tutor others who need help. She has the knack for making others understand things and is also patient at it. Several students have informed me they could understand the topic better with her help. I am sure this will help her better in landing a good position.
English Language and Literature
English and Foreign Language University (EFLU)
How To Ask Someone For A LOR?
It is not a great task to write a Letter of Recommendation. If you have a good rapport with your professors, you can easily get one written. You should follow the below steps while asking for a LOR:
- Choose a recommender: You should first decide who will recommend you. This should be a wise decision as they should be someone who gives an unbiased opinion of you.
- Request in person: It is better to inform the concerned recommender before you send them a formal email.
- Offer your resume: It is better to provide your resume to your recommender so that they can have a detailed insight into you, which can even help them write the LOR.
- Send a formal request: Even though you know your recommender in person, it is better to send a formal request.
- Do the necessary follow-ups: It is always better to remind your recommender about the letter a week before the deadline.
- Write a note of thanks: When your recommender writes you the letter, it is expected from you to write a note of thanks to them.
Common Mistakes To Avoid While Writing A LOR
A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is not too easy to draft. It requires a format to be followed, and it is also necessary to follow it strictly. Needless to say, it should be error-free. A few common mistakes that you can redundantly see and should avoid in your LOR are
- Not writing a personalised LOR.
- Repeating the content of CV.
- Addressing the wrong person.
- Not maintaining the protocol.
- Not including the relevant information.
- Usage of politically incorrect words.
- Spelling and grammatical errors.
- Short letter.
A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a necessary document, the importance of which should never be disregarded. It has to follow the required format and should include everything it ought to speak about. You should do your research before proceeding with it. Always remember that it can even decide your future.
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