Recommendation Letters: Tips For A Letter Of Recommendation

While GPAs and good test scores are very important for your college application, recommendation letters also form a very important of the application process. When you apply to a university for admission, whether it be at the graduate or undergraduate level, they will expect to see at least one or two letters of recommendation. At the undergraduate level, these letters are usually written by high school teachers, recommending the student to the college. At the graduate level, recommendation letters may be written by college professors or even employers.

Purpose Of A Recommendation Note

As is obvious from the name, the purpose of a recommendation letter is to “recommend”. The writer of the letter of recommendation, recommends the college applicant to the prospective school or university. The letter usually includes further information about the student, such as achievements, personal details and even character references that would otherwise not appear on a college application.

In short, a letter of recommendation is a personal reference letter written by your chosen referee, telling your prospective school why they should give you a place at their university and how you will prove to be an asset to their school. Therefore, a good recommendation letter holds tremendous importance because a bad character reference could potentially deny you admission from your college.

Needless to say, recommendation letters are written in strictest confidence so you cannot possibly control what goes into it. However, you should advise your referee about what they should or should not include in a letter of recommendation. Here are some tips to help you secure the best possible recommendation letter for yourself.

Tips For A Recommendation Reference Letter

  • Always choose someone who knows you well enough. Someone who barely knows you cannot possibly write a good letter of recommendation. College administrators are not impressed by fancy titles so you need not worry about picking someone important. It is more important that they know you well.
  • Your teachers, professors, employers, school administration staff are all qualified to provide you with a recommendation reference letter.
  • Tell your referee (the recommendation writer) why you need the letter and what you will be using it for so they know how to frame the letter and what to include in it.
  • If you would like any specific details mentioned in the letter, mention it to your referee.
  • Pick someone who has relatively good communication skills and can present you well in writing.
  • It is wise to have more than one recommendation letter from different referees so you can showcase in your college application, that you are worth recommending and are thought of positively by more than just one person.
  • Lying and forgery is absolutely unacceptable. Any false claims or recommendations can severely jeopardize your chances of being accepted into a college.

Remember to keep copies of the letter as you might need it again in the future and instead of running around trying to secure another letter of recommendation, you could use the same letter again.

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