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How to Draft an Impressive LOR: A Comprehensive Guide

While applying for various universities abroad, you must have heard a lot about LOR, but what does it state? A Recommendation Letter is a record assigned by your college professor, project guide, or manager. It recommends a student, employee, or co-worker to the university’s admission committee. It helps them to understand more about the applicant. Hence, it should be drafted in such a way that it can help your application stand apart from other applicants. Know LOR meaning here!

What is an LOR?

A Letter of Recommendation is a document that must be written by the applicant's acquaintances who know them professionally or academically. Moreover, the letter should highlight the candidate's academic abilities, skills, achievements, personal traits and ambitions.
Lastly, the person who is writing a letter for the student must be a senior figure who can recommend a student that they're a good fit for the course as well as the university.

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Learn about the How to Create a Winning LOR, its Format, and Tips to Draft a Perfect One for Your Desired Course; Gradding.com. Connect With Our Experts!

Types of Letter of Recommendation

A LOR can be classified into 2 broad categories based on the profile of an applicant:

1. Academic Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

An Academic Recommendation Letter for student must be provided by a faculty member or professor of your current or previous institution. Usually, foreign universities ask for 2-3 academic LORs from your previous education provider. This could be your subject and lab teachers or principal from your college. Hence, the format must be good and catchy while drafting a LOR and it should highlight the student's accomplishments throughout their academic journey.

Essential Points to Mention in Your Academic LOR:

  • Overall Academic Performance in Previous Course
  • Demonstrate Any Project and Research Work
  • Extra-curricular Activities and Achievements
  • Any Incident Showcasing Your Expertise in a Particular Domain.

Also Read: Top 10 Professional Courses After Graduation to Study Abroad

2. Professional Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

The writer's primary focus when writing a professional LOR must be towards highlighting the applicant's skills, work experience, ability to work within a team, exposure to the applied domain, leadership qualities, etc. Hence, it is suitable for those applying for a master's course, such as an MBA or MS degree to pursue in a foreign country.

Essential Attributes to Mention in Your Professional LOR:

  • Leadership Qualities
  • Soft Skills, e.g., Effective Communication, Teamwork, etc.
  • Hard Skills Related to Your Coursework
  • Specific Work Incidents Emphasizing Your Strengths

Next, let's proceed to how to write a stellar letter to make a good impact on your university application. Scroll down and go through the next section!

How to Write a LOR?

What is a LOR full form? This question must be cleared to you by now. So, it's a 400-500 word essay that includes a candidate's strengths and weaknesses. It also encloses how a candidate is eligible for a specific course. So, let's move forward and check the points of writing a professional Recommendation Letter that reflects a student's achievements and skills.

Draft a Catchy LOR With Gradding.com Support.

  • Most foreign universities require this letter to be drafted on the official letterhead. Hence, an Academic Recommendation Letter for student should be written on the university's letterhead. However, in the case of professional LORs, it should be written on the company's letterhead.
  • Further, whoever is recommending a candidate to study the specific course in a foreign university must be a senior or a member of the same project in the company.
  • Also, make sure to choose the right recommender to write a LOR for you. Since it is not always possible for them to work in the same company. Hence, the students must know the right recommender for them.
  • Remember, a LOR for university application is a unique document, distinct from your SOP. It should provide a different perspective on your qualifications and potential.
  • An ideal letter must contain your achievements, work experience, etc., which were not included in your SOP earlier. Thus, it's mandatory to choose an ideal recommender who can highlight all your positive aspects, who knows you well, how you worked previously, and what have you learnt to date.
  • A generic LOR is a strict no when applying for a master's program since it doesn't add much value to your candidature.

Hence, a student must always remember that the Admission Committee go through thousands of applications throughout the academic year during each intake, and yours is one of them. So, it's a clever step to ask for an expert help in drafting a Recommendation Letter.

Do’s & Don’ts While Drafting a LOR

Drafting a LOR for students is not easy, especially when maintaining a specified word limit. However, to ease this theory, an applicant must ask a recommender for help since they are the only ones who know you academically or professionally. But remember, there are still some do's and don'ts while writing a Recommendation Letter. Hence, we've mentioned some within this section!

 Do's and Don'ts of Writing a LOR

Do's While Writing a LOR

1. Request Information About the Candidate:

Recommenders should ask for information about the applicant rather than adding vague and incorrect details in the letter. Hence, learn about their academic or professional journey to emphasize in the Letter of Recommendation. Moreover, the recommenders can even customize their content to capture the attention of the reader in the admission committee.

2. Mention All the Positive Experiences With the Candidate

Dedicate all the achievements and skills earned by the candidate in the letter. Mention why the applicant is suitable for the applied program and the university. Hence, providing insights into the professional's background and performance can make the reader clear about the candidate's objective behind choosing the course.

3. Stick to the Suggested Word Limit

While drafting a LOR, it's mandatory to stick to a specific word limit, as mentioned by the university. Make sure to adhere to 400-500 words for the Recommendation Letter. However, students should check out their institute website for any specific information. Moreover, one can check out the sample letters according to their course to better understand the content formatting and structure.

4. Follow a Proper Text Style and Format

Lastly, the writer must draft the letter in a suggested format and text style. For instance, it should have an introductory structure, beginning with the date and recipient details, address with a greeting, then come to the introductory part, add details about the applicant or what makes the candidate a good fit. Lastly, with closing, mention why you'd recommend the person. Add your contact information, such as email address and phone number, with your signature at the bottom of the letter.

Don’ts While Writing a LOR

Following are a few attributes that give the writer a suggestion on what to avoid to come up with an incredible LOR:

Mistake 1: Choosing the Wrong Referee for Your Letter
Your referee must know every minor detail about your academic or professional background. If he/she is your college professor, then choose someone who took your university lectures and is properly qualified to compose your Letter of Recommendation.

Mistake 2: Repeating SOP or Resume Points in LOR
The purpose of LOR is to depict your complete personality in front of the university admission officer. So, repeating the facts of the resume or SOP would make the admission committee think that you and your recommender didn't share a healthy relationship, and it might also affect your enrollment in the university.

Also Read: How to Write an Impressive SOP? Format & Writing Tips

Mistake 3: Lack of Appropriate Information
Make sure you build proper communication with your recommender. Supply enough information about yourself at least a month before you submit your application. Since a rush job is not good at all, right? Hence, preparing everything in advance helps your referee draft a winning LOR for you.

Mistake 4: Spelling Mistakes
Spelling mistakes are a big no and will not be ignored by the admission officer at any cost. Also, they may raise doubts about the knacks of the person who is recommending your application. Hence, be sure to check your letter multiple times for spelling and grammatical errors and correct them as soon as possible.

Next, let's learn how you should approach a recommender to draft a Recommendation Letter before the deadline.

How to Approach and Ask Recommender to Write You an LOR?

When requesting to write a Letter of Recommendation for yourself, there are a few steps you can take to reach out to a suitable recommender.

 Gradding.com Will Help You Know the Steps to Ask Recommender for an LOR

1. Create a List of 5-10 Individuals

Initially, consider who can write a winning letter for you within your network. For instance, if you need a Recommendation Letter for a Master's course, you need to list your previous company manager or colleagues. Or, if the LOR is for academic purposes, you may need to contact your professors, who can speak about your scholarly abilities

2. Call or Email Each Person on Your List

Next, reach out to each individual over call, mail or personally to ask if they are willing to draft you a Recommendation Letter. Having this discussion can provide them with more information on any recent accomplishments you've earned. Hence, make it clear what points you want them to add and when you need the letter finished.

3. Disclose Your Objective of Writing The LOR

After confirming your referee, you should reveal the motive for writing the letter. Hence, you can mail or email each one a personalized, formal recommendation request along with your reason for drafting the LOR. Moreover, in your mail, you should include the following points so that they can prepare your letter without much trouble:

  • An Updated Resume or CV
  • Study Program You're Applying
  • Why You're Qualified for the Course
  • Your Previous Job Role or What You're Doing Now
  • Relevant Work Routines, Skills, or Academic Successes

4. Take Follow-Up from the Referee

Once you've done sharing all the mandatory details with your referee, follow up regularly or 2-3 days before the requested date to know the status. If it's done before the requested date, make sure to check all the mentioned details and correct all the errors from your referee directly. Thus, don't delay much!

5. Express Your Gratitude for the Recommendation

Lastly, after receiving your LOR, send a thank you note to each individual who drafted a letter for you. Yes, sending this appreciation is a standard courtesy that depicts you are thankful for their kind gesture of delivering the letter before the deadline. This step will make your referee believe that you appreciate their work and they will be ready to work for you in the future as well.
Now, you must be aware of how to ask for a recommender's help to draft an LOR. Do you know it has to be in a proper format and structure? Hence, we've curated the next section, which states what a whining LOR structure looks like!

Letter of Recommendation Length and Format

A perfect Letter of Recommendation for Indian students must be in the range of 300-400 words. Hence, it must be in a concise form! It should be a document that is comprised of 4-5 paragraphs, including the Referee's information, Receiver's Details, Date, Salutation, Body, Summary, Conclusion, and Closing & Signature at the end of the letter. Also, while formatting your letter, use an A4-Size page with properly aligned content. Thus, for an ideal LOR format, the flow of content must be logical. Here's a brief overview of what you ought to include in each section of a Recommendation Letter:

Content Structure for Your Recommendation Letter:

First Paragraph
Introduce your concrete relationship with the applicant, such as how long you have known the student. Further, mention your designation and area of expertise in the Recommendation Letter.

Second Paragraph
Next, mention the student's strengths, skills, and any academic or professional qualities you want to convey to the university admission officer.

Third Paragraph
Prepare this paragraph highlighting the technical skills, including any project or research work of the student. Here, you can even mention any soft skills or extra-curricular activities if they are relevant.

Fourth Paragraph
At last, summarize your letter with all the points discussed in the letter. Further, provide the student with an endorsement for acceptance to the applied study program and affirm good luck for the future.

Further, a recommender must know what vocabulary words they need to use in their Recommendation Letter. Hence, the following section covers the recommended phrases which should be included in a letter.

Vocabulary for Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Here are the phrases that must be added while drafting a Letter of Recommendation for abroad studies:

LOR RECOMMENDED PHRASES WHEN DRAFTING INTRODUCTIONS
  • Am Honoured to Support Him/Her as a Candidate
  • Am Delighted to be Called Upon
  • Am Happy to Recommend Him/Her
  • First Came to My Attention When
  • Has Been a Pleasure to Supervise
  • His / Her Qualifications and Performance
  • It is a Pleasure to Recommend
  • Was a Student in One of My Classes
  • I am Elated to be Called Upon as a Reference for
  • Have No Hesitation in Recommending
  • I am Happy to Write Recommendation for
LOR RECOMMENDED PHRASES WHEN DRAFTING ACADEMIC BACKGROUNDS
  • Always Cheerful and Dependable
  • Gets Along Well With OthersHandles Responsibility Well
  • A Creative Problem Solver
  • Is Personable and Easy to Work With
  • Is a Quick and Competent Learner
  • Outstanding Leadership Abilities
  • Was an Asset to the College
  • Has an Amazing Capacity for Taking Challenges
  • Completely Loyal and Trustworthy
  • Always Behaves Professionally
LOR RECOMMENDED PHRASES WHEN DRAFTING CONCLUSION
  • I Highly Recommend Her / Him Without any Reservations
  • Would be a Valuable Addition to
  • Will Measure up to Your High Standards
  • Request Your Favourable Consideration of
  • Should be Given Serious Consideration
  • Has My Highest Recommendation
  • If You Need Additional Information
  • Hope this Information Proves Helpful
  • I Willingly Recommend.... as a Favourable Candidate for Your ... Program
  • Seldom Have I Been Able to Recommend Someone With Such Confidence.

Scroll down and check what a properly formatted LOR looks like!

Letter of Recommendation Sample

Hopefully, the above sections might have clarified how to write a good recommendation letter for student. Further, let's learn how to write a Recommendation Letter to pursue a master's course abroad!

Check out the Format of a LOR for Your Study Abroad Journey with Gradding.com

Moreover, you can refer to Gradding experts for more tips on how to write a Recommendation Letter for a successful enrolment in your dream university. Learn the LOR format and what phrasing you should include while drafting a letter. Refer to the section below for more details on constructing your letter.

Quick Tips by Gradding Experts for Writing a LOR 

Writing a Recommendation Letter for the first time can be a bit confusing, especially when you're unsure of its format and structure. So, here are some tips and recommendations for you to construct a strong letter for admission to your desired study program.

Here are the Quick Tips by Gradding.com for Writing a LOR

  • Be Specific: To check if you're composing in the correct format and to guide your writing, feel free to use a template or check from various LOR samples. Use examples and specific incidents that depict why the person is a suitable candidate for the course.
  • Keep it Concise and Formal: Draft your letter on your organization's letterhead (if possible) so that it looks more professional. Write in a business letter format with a 12-point font size in Arial or Times New Roman font style.
  • Know About the Candidate Completely: Find out exactly what the applicant is applying for. Ask your candidate to provide you with the following details:
  • Their Resume / CV
  • Copy of the offer letter or course requirements
  • Any particular achievements or skills they want to highlight in their LOR.

In conclusion, the LOR that you will submit during your application process will play a vital role in securing your seat at your dream university. Hence, it's necessary to create a powerful Recommendation Letter that will ensure your admission chances. However, if you wish to seek expert guidance about the LOR writing process, its format, etc., get in touch with our experienced counselors today.  

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View all comments
Tanya Bajaj

Excited to put these tips into practice and elevate my recommendation letters.

Yashvi Sharma

What strategies can I use to make my LOR stand out among others?

gradding

To make your LOR stand out, focus on specific, detailed examples that illustrate the candidate's strengths and unique qualities

Aditya Jain

Feeling inspired to draft more compelling LORs after reading this blog.

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