For admission to universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries, students submit letters of recommendation to the university. Suggestions often play an essential role in the admissions process because they describe a student and tell you their strengths.
What is a Recommendation Letter?
A letter of recommendation is a letter from a faculty member or other individual describing a student’s academic potential and personal qualities.
In most cases, a recommendation letter is part of the applicants’ overall application package, along with diplomas, transcripts, language examination certificates, etc.
Who Can Write Letters of Recommendation?
When a student needs to submit recommendations to the university, they need to decide who will write the letters of recommendation. It is worth taking great care in making this choice.
Two things make a recommendation letter valuable: first, how well the person writing it knows you as a student and as a person. Secondly, how responsive they are to your request.
Universities usually ask for 2 to 3 recommendations. The first is a recommendation from a faculty member. Some universities also require letters from employers, colleagues, or people with whom you have worked on a project together (if any). It is especially true for applicants to MBA programs.
A student should ask for a letter of recommendation from professors who know them well and have taught them for a long time. A personal approach should distinguish the request. It should be written by someone who can objectively assess your attitude to study, knowledge, and abilities.
If we are talking about school teachers, it is better to choose those who taught you for several years, was the class teacher or the head teacher of the school. In the case of university teachers, it is best to ask for a recommendation from the head of your term or diploma thesis. Remember that the recommendation title is not as important as the personal touch. In other words, a request from a mere teacher may be more helpful than a school principal.
What Should I Write about in the Recommendation Letter?
A recommendation letter is, first and foremost, a description of the student. It should be positive, describing your academic achievements, strengths and achievements, and the qualities that help you in your studies.
Nevertheless, experts advise against providing recommendations written in general terms, which can be said about almost any student. The best impression on the admissions committee will be a recommendation written in the original language, telling (in addition to facts and dry numbers) about any incidents in the student’s life that characterize him, about the student’s plans for the future, his dreams, and goals.
In addition, the recommendation of the admissions committee should clarify why this particular student deserves to study at the chosen university and the selected program.
How are Letters of Recommendation Collected?
First, you must submit a package of documents to the university, including several letters of recommendation. Next, you should leave contact information for those who recommend you on the university website, including their phone number and email address.
Typically, university representatives will send a request to the recommender’s email address, which may include additional questions: “How long have you known the student?”, “In what capacity do you know the student?”, “Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 the student’s academic skills, leadership qualities, communication abilities,” etc.
However, not all universities arrange to collect recommendations online. Some request wrote recommendations on university or department letterhead that are signed and sealed. Most universities require that letters of recommendation be written in English. Recommendations written in another language must be translated before you can apply.
How Do I Write my Recommendation Letter?
University admissions officers at foreign universities recommend that applicants take as much time as possible to write their recommendations.
However, the reality is that not everyone you apply to will want to write recommendations themselves. Rather, they will be willing to sign what you prepare yourself. Even so, don’t despair!
Whether you write the letters yourself or have your referees write them, follow a few simple rules:
- Don’t submit identical letters of recommendation to multiple institutions. Each letter should be addressed to a specific institution. Your request should explain why you would be a good fit for the school and the program.
- It is a good idea to prepare “endorsements” for your recommenders that include your accomplishments, your strengths, and any other information you feel is important to note. This way, you will get the recommendations you expect and make it easier for your recommenders.
- Try to make personal contact with those who will write your recommendations. For instance, invite them to tea or coffee, tell them about your plans for the future and why you need to study at a particular university, and ask for their advice. By getting to know you better, recommenders are more likely to want to write good recommendations for you. It will also be easier for them to write something about your personality.