Expert Tips To Write A Perfect Letter Of Recommendation For Study Abroad
Making a good first impression is an integral part of letting people know how well you want to carry yourself and how much you care about getting what you want. It shows the amount of effort you put into understanding the importance of what you are after.
It could be a job, a college application, or even a first date! The impression you make as a person for the first time lasts for quite a while so you might as well put some thought into how you're going to make an impression that's going to last a lifetime.
The same must be done with the utmost care when it comes to applying to universities to study abroad as an international student. You are going to present yourself to international institutions and your application has to stand out at any cost.
And this is exactly when a letter of recommendation comes into the picture. You may ask what is that? Well, this article is going to tell you everything about it and why it holds so much importance.
What is a Letter of Recommendation and why do you need it?
True to the title, a 'Letter of Recommendation' (LOR) is a document that you get written by one of your teachers, mentors, or a reliable person whom you have worked with at your previous educational institution.
In this letter, they write about your accomplishments, expertise, and how you stand out in your chosen field. Most universities worldwide ask for this letter of recommendation to be included as one of the documents along with your application.
Why is this important to you?
A document from one of your professors or teachers stating that you are exceptional in your field of study is something that will come as a brownie point when you're applying for overseas education. It plays an important role in influencing the university of your choice to select your application for further steps. In other words, this is a document that can make or break your study abroad application.
How to structure your Letter of Recommendation?
Any official document that you are submitting must have a specific format in which it should be written. Likewise, here is the structure to be followed for your letter of recommendation:
- The first paragraph should be an explanation of the relationship between the person who is writing the letter and you.
- The next paragraph should be an overview of how well your referee knows about your ability to perform well in your selected field of study. This portion should explain why the referee thinks you're the best person for pursuing the course that you are applying for.
- The next section should quote an example where the referee has witnessed your quality of work. It can be an instance of you both working together on a project where they got to understand your depth of knowledge. It can also have a few lines talking about how well they know you outside the classroom. It can talk about extracurricular activities and your interests. This will add more credibility to your application.
The six major sections of a letter of recommendation are:
- Name, address, and date
- Relationship to the applicant
- Details about your quality of work, skills, and capabilities
- Your individual characteristics apart from academic performance
- Summary of the letter
- A concluding note
Tips for writing a perfect Letter of Recommendation
Now that you now know the importance of this document, you might want to invest quite some time into getting a compelling letter of recommendation for yourself. While in the process, you might want to keep these things in mind.
1. Choose the right person to write your Letter of Recommendation
The person whom you are going to ask to write the letter for you is the hero here. They should be someone whom you've known for a long time both academically and personally. They should not be thinking twice about doing this for you. Only a person who you trust the most will be the right fit for this.
2. Concentrate On the Details
Once you've chosen your course of study, your university, and the person who you're going to approach for your letter of recommendation, make sure to sit with them and explain to them about the university, the field of study, and why you want to get into that specific university. This will help them understand the importance of this letter.
3. Do Not Mention Numbers
As part of your college application process, you must have already submitted all the necessary academic documents, which is why you need not mention any grade scores or ranks on your letter of recommendation again.
A crisp and precise piece of content is a win over anything else. Do not write elaborate sentences in your letter of recommendation. Make sure it's written on point and does not give out any information that is unnecessary; mainly, avoid sensitive information about you.
5. Answer all the Whys
In the letter, your referee should mention why they believe in your qualifications and why they think that you're the best of the lot. It's also important that they have a few examples to prove their points.
7. Your Letter of Recommendation Must Stand Out
The selection panel must have read hundreds of applications by now. What you will be presenting to them should be unique and eye-catching, such that even after the selection process they do not forget your application. Make sure that the person writing the letter for you takes a good amount of effort into crafting a compelling letter of recommendation that speaks for itself.
8. Show Confidence
Whoever is writing the letter of recommendation for you must sound confident and clear about you and your abilities because what they say is what the universities will get to know about you.
Things to Avoid When Writing a Letter of Recommendation
- Choosing the right person to write for you is the very first step in arriving at a perfect letter of recommendation. Choose someone who knows you really well irrespective of their teaching hierarchy, and not just someone who is in a higher position or your superior.
- It should not be a replication of your SOP or your resume. This has to be purely a word from one of your reliable resources about you and what your contribution will be to the university.
- Give your referee enough time to come up with a letter of recommendation. A hasty letter cannot be completely genuine and the last thing you want is for your letter to look unprofessional.
- Not validating your experiences with valid examples of your work might not look good for your candidature since there should be solid evidence that you're a well-deserving candidate for the course.
How Do You Send Your Letter of Recommendation?
After the letter of recommendation has been written, you will have to send it to the university. Some of the universities have their own online portal where you can upload the document, while some of them might ask you to send it through email. Understand the requirement of the university you're applying to and make sure that you get your letter written beforehand.
The process of studying abroad has quite a lot of layers to it; starting from choosing the right university to choosing the right course to do the paperwork and mentally preparing yourself to embark on an all-new journey. Submitting the documents that are crucial for your application process is something that you have to prioritise, and your letter of recommendation is a key factor that demands your attention.
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