Recommendation letters for study abroad- Mansie Dewan
Updated on May 1, 2015 - 10:21 a.m. IST by Bedasree Das

Letters of Recommendation are an important aspect of the application process of universities abroad. So, what are the tricks of getting the perfect recomendation letter for yourself? Whom do you approach for it?  what are the points that should be mentioned in a good recommendation letter?


Here we have Admissions Coach, Mansie Dewan, who settles all your confusion regarding recommendation letters.   


For almost all recommenders, writing letters of recommendations can sometimes be a daunting and time consuming task, even if they have plenty of good things to say about the applicant. They are used to assess your aptitude to smoothly sail through the rigorous programme and play a critically important role because they are a third party perspective on your qualifications and aptitude.


Admissions officers want a synergy between the way you portray yourself in your essays and what your recommender thinks of you. A detailed and enthusiastic letter can synergize with the applicant’s personal statement, achievements and potential. It lends an unmatched solidarity to the profile.


Letters of Recommendations should be taken from someone who has worked with you in some capacity, supervised you or taught you (in case of MS applicants) and have anecdotes to demonstrate your capabilities. It is possible to also get a letter from someone you have known in a non-professional setting, like voluntary work, community work or extra-curricular interests.  A different Letter of Recommendation from an outside work activity immediately raises the interest of the admissions committee member, because there are only a handful of these.


How to get started

Identify your recommenders and then proactively motivate them to help you with this aspect of your applications.  If they want to write it for you, well awesome! Use your discretion and let them do it if you have full faith they will do it with your best interests in mind.


If they do not want to write Letters of Recommendations, but are willing to sit with you to talk about the aspects of the letter, take their personal views on your strengths, weaknesses, team skills etc. Help them by discussing your achievements, failures, qualities, and team handling skills and the broad spectrum of notable experiences. Then ask them which ones they would be most comfortable highlighting. Make notes. Then give it to a professional application consultant for writing it for you.  Do not make the mistake of writing your recommendations yourself.  The admissions officers go through thousands of applications and are very adept at identifying your writing style and similarity of language flow after they read your essays or personal statement.


As an applicant, removing yourself or at least distancing yourself from this part of the application will work to your advantage as you navigate through the process and maximize your chances of admission.


Also Read:

How to write best SOP?

SOP sample for UK Universities

Download E-Book on Letter of Recommendation tips

Tips to write a good reference letter

Guide: How to stylise your resume?


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