What you should keep in mind while getting your LOR
Even if I try, I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of Letter of recommendation(LOR) while applying for admissions to universities abroad. Irrespective of which foreign university you are applying for, universities often ask for at least 2-3 LOR. This brief document helps the third-person to get the requisite perspective of your abilities, skills, and academic prowess.
These LOR are considered to be a vital part of your application and are usually written by a former employer or professor. Through LOR they testify your character and establishes that you are indeed an asset to that university. So, basically, LOR is going to endorse you and are supposed to paint a glowing picture of your characteristics.
However, due to a lack of such recommendation statements in India, our employers, professors, and even students are confused about what all is to be written in an LOR. Hence, we have listed down all the ‘musts’ of an LOR and these tips are surely going to help your LOR win the game.
If you are a working professional
It’s advisable to pick an employer as a recommender only if you have graduated from your college a long time ago. Otherwise, it is better to get the LOR from your Ex-professor only as he will definitely have a better idea of your academic excellence.
Moreover, try and get your immediate supervisor as your referee because they are the ones who have worked with you at a personal level, thus, knows you the best. Also, keep in mind to select only that person as a referee who has worked with you for a long time and on important projects as it will make a convincing recommendation because he can always vouch for your punctuality, perseverance, hard-work, and sociability.
If you are a student
Your LOR will be of double the value of it’s written by a senior person. So, select your HOD, or some professors who have taught you for a long time or have guided your research projects or assignments. Also, don’t forget to specify your association with that professor on your LOR.
Moreover, if not absolutely necessary, avoid choosing temporary professors as your referee, instead go for permanent professors who have been associated with you for a long time. Apart from choosing your referee wisely, here are some more things that you must take care of,
- Make sure that your LOR is written on the official letterhead of your college. Though it’s not mandatory it adds a lot of authenticity to your LOR.
- Tell your referee to be always prepared to receive a call from the admissions office. When this happens and your referee is no more associated with that college, it could severely affect the credibility of your letter. So, make sure that your referee isn’t planning to leave that organization at least till you get through the admission formalities.
- It is highly unlikely that an ad-hoc professor would know you as well as your permanent professor. So try and get your regular faculty to paint your character statement instead of someone who hasn’t been associated with you for a long amount of time.
- Last but not the least, don’t select a referee who doesn’t know you well or doesn’t have a good rapport with. Rather select someone who is sure to write star-studded words for you.
Apart from keeping a tight check on these things, make sure that your LOR cover,
- The very beginning of your LOR should specify applicant’s relationship with the recommender. For example, “ I am a professor of XYZ department in ABC college of which he is a student”.
- Another thing that needs to be highlighted in your LOR is a list of your achievements. Make sure your professor also specify grades that you achieved on certain test papers or assignments.
- Apart from your academic excellence, even your extra-curricular plays an important role. These universities always seek for all-rounder candidates and these dance, sports, music, drama etc points can definitely give you an edge over other candidates.
- How are you as a person? Yes, it is very important for universities to know if you are hard-working, determined, perseverant, friendly and adjusting by nature. They are definitely going to choose candidates who have an excellent track record and are known to be a fruitful part of the group.
- An LOR should be forward-looking too, thus, a statement of your goals and future plans might impress the university.
- While ending the LOR, mention referee’s contact details and email Id. So that it becomes easy for the admission office to call them.