What comprises an ideal LoR?

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A letter of recommendation helps the admissions committee know about your technical, academic and non-academic expertise through your recommender. Recommendation is an important part of an application where the institute gets to know more about the applicants and their achievements. The content of an LoR should be exemplary. One must choose the recommenders with careful consideration. One must always remember that the Admission Committee scurries through thousands of applications and yours is one of them. Now, in order to project yourself distinguished, make your qualities and accomplishments tag-along with real life instances. Another important point here is to endeavour to make all your LORs stand out and that can be achieved only if you include unique instances in all the LORs.

TYPES OF LoR:

1. Academic LOR

A letter of recommendation provided by a faculty member of your previous institute is an academic LoR. Usually, universities ask you to provide two or three LORs from your previous institute (this could be your teachers from your schools in case of undergraduate courses and professors from your college in case you are applying for masters' programs). The Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Format from Faculty often varies in the content and requires the professor to highlight the applicant's accomplishments as a student of the course. Often, these are more relevant to MS Colleges Abroad or Bachelor Courses abroad.

2. Professional LOR

If the business school has pre-defined work experience requirements then accordingly, they request for a Professional Letter of Recommendation from an immediate supervisor. The Professional Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Format from a Supervisor differs from an Academic LOR in terms of some specific content that focuses on the applicant’s team spirit and co-operation abilities, the exposure to the domain as well as his/her leadership abilities - all necessary the business course applied for.

Basic Principles on which an LoR in Built:

  • Most of the universities require this letter to be on the official letterhead. The letterhead should be of the company the recommender is working in. Hence, the student must know how to choose the right recommender
  • It’s highly important to get the LoR from a quality recommender. An ideal recommender is the one who knows you well, has personally witnessed the quality of work delivered by you and readily agreed to provide specific instances of your valued contribution and excellence
  • A mention about your standing in your high school/undergraduate class and current comparison with the students who have gone for under graduation/graduation in the same university should be made.
  • An important point to be kept in mind is that a LOR is not a repetition of an SOP. The ideal LOR is supposed to demonstrate aspects/perspectives of your personality not mentioned in your SOP or resume
  • Details about communication skills (Oral and written skills), level of subject comprehension emotional maturity and intellectual capabilities make an essential part of an LoR.
  • A generic LOR is a strict no-no, as it does not offer much value to your candidature for the program you are applying.

How to Choose Recommender?

The recommender’s designation highly matters when it comes to an LoR. Usually, the recommenders are from your high school or undergraduate institute (your respective department especially) and work/internship place (if any). You cannot take a recommendation from a teacher who has just joined the institution and has an experience of a year or two. LOR from teachers who have personally known you through High School and know your performance in the class holds a lot of weightage. Likewise, one from the manager or founder of the company/companies you have worked with makes a difference as well.

People who can be good recommenders

  • Your senior/final year project guide.
  • Any project guide/companies you have worked with,
  • Professor who has taught you during your high school/undergraduate course, in whose subject you scored well,
  • Project managers/corporate officials where you have previously worked/interned

People who can’t be recommenders

  • Parents.
  • Friends/relatives/peers.
  • Project managers/corporate officials where you have previously worked/interned.

How should an LoR be drafted?

  • First Para: Write about your recommender’s qualification and the time since she/he knows you and is serving the institution.
  • Second Para: Highlight your academic details under that teacher- how you have performed in her/his subject (example: she/he stands in the top 5% of the class). Mention your scores and, more importantly, write them in percentages.
  • Third Para: This will vary from recommender to recommender. If you're taking one from your project guide, you can describe about the project and your indispensable role in the same and how you have portrayed your skills in different circumstances. Similar is the case with publications, presentations, internships, and work experience.
  • Fourth Para: Flaunt as much as you can in this paragraph. This is the extracurricular section, so write about all your achievements, especially in the last three years (example: Event Head, worked for that committee, Sports Head, etc.)
  • Last Para: Keep it concise (say 2-3 lines). It should conclude all the above points, displaying your readiness for higher education, and ask for the university to grant her/him admission to your desired course, along with some form of financial aid.
  • Bottom Left of Your Draft: Your teacher’s name, signature & stamp, qualification and her/his post in the current institution/company.

Note: An LoR should be as realistic as possible. Never should a lie be written in an LoR.

Structure of an LoR

Structure:1 Structure:2 Structure:3
Academic +personal history Academic +personal history One/set of personal values
Professional history Professional history summary How it/they guided you in your academic career
Co-curricular summary Academic +personal history How it/they guided you in your professional career
Need for an MiM Co-curricular summary How it/they guided you in your co-curricular activities
Why that school and that program Need for an MiM How it/they guided you in your inspired you to pick that school program
Future aspirations Why that school and that program How it/they inspired your career goals
Strong ending Strong ending (mentioning professional history is given greater importance by placing it before the other two summaries) Strong concluding paragraph (Technique of philosophical or moral aspect to introduce yourself and present beliefs is used.)

Importance OF LoR

Almost every application necessitates demands submission of 2-3 recommendation letters, you must have your recommenders identified and agreed to prepare your letter on priority. The significance of a LOR should be well realized as it is almost as important as your admission essays, statements of purpose, resume or any other document for that matter. A Letter of Recommendation is the document that provides credibility to your whole profile as it strong support of your profile from experienced and learned professors and persons.

Sample LoR for potential applicant in MiM:

Sample1:

To whom it may concern,

In my capacity as professor XYZ, head of department of finance and economics, it gives me immense honour to cater this letter of recommendation for ABC. She worked under me on her graduate project on, “Digitalization of Indian banks” and has always given her tireless efforts. My constant interaction with her has made me well acquainted with the fact of her resourcefulness and spontaneity. Along with her commitment to complete her assignments on time, her record of excellence is highly applaudable.

Her sense of discipline coupled with intricate knowledge of concepts is far-sighted and beneficial in almost every project she’s part of. After completing her Bachelor’s in Business Administration, she is highly intrigued in pursuing Masters in Management. Her internship at the XYZ bank revealed to me her keen eye for detail and analytical capability. She actively participated in social co-curricular activities. Every time she’s subsumed in a project, she instantly adapts herself to the prerequisites of the project and leads her fellow students. I have found her to be very innovative in her approach to deciding the future course of action. She has often aided the university in organizing different workshops on business and finance with renowned guest speakers from management sectors.

She is a talented individual who takes great deal of effort to provide the required inputs for decision making for every scenario. I consider her a highly motivated individual with a steady academic background and exceptional personal abilities.

In sum and substance, I strongly recommend her for Masters in Management program at XYZ business school as a talented mind like hers will be a credit to any university. I think she would be a good fit for your program and would be able to contribute in innumerable ways.

Professor XXXX

Head of Department of Financial Market, 

XXXX University

Tel.: +XXXX

E-mail: XXXXX@mail.com

Sample2:

To whom it may concern,

With utmost enthusiasm, I’m writing this letter of recommendation to endorse XYZ’s application for your program. I have known XYZ in my capacity as his Professor for over three years and I hope that my year’s worth of perspective in mentoring numerous business students will enable you to evaluate this exceptional candidate.

In terms of aptitude, motivation and hard work XYZ has always been a fine student. His performance can be interpreted through his clear concepts and strong fundamentals, which have always enabled him to grasp new ideas and topics with relative ease. He is an independent thinker and is always seeking to learn new ideas and concepts; he worked under me for his graduation project on “ABC”. He has shown great dedication by venturing beyond the scope of the subject ideas.

In all my classes, XYZ has been an active participant in classroom discussions. He has always submitted his assignments and project reports well before deadlines and he is well focused with a keen interest in the practical application of the subject. He has successfully been part of the student council as the cultural secretary of the college and has held the college in high prestige and organized events and festivals exceptionally well. What struck me instantly was his commitment to his work and his desire to achieve excellence in whatever he undertakes.

He has constantly been working hard on building his interpersonal skills, honing his leadership ability, and gaining hands-on experience in operations management. I have seen him demonstrate strong critical thinking skills and the leadership capabilities necessary for success in the management field. I sincerely believe XYZ will bring his unique energy, optimism, passion, and tireless creativity to your class and University as a whole. So, he has my highest wishes for admission in Masters in Management as a candidate with sharp skill set as his will prove to be an asset to any business school.


Professor XXXX,

Head of Department of Financial Market,

XXXX University

Tel.: +XXXX

E-mail: XXXXX@mail.com

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