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How to write a great Letter of Recommendation: Key Tips With 3 Samples

Letter of Recommendation can make or break your application. Make sure your LOR doesn't become your letter of rejection.

Anyone applying for a new job in a foreign country knows how important recommendation letters can be to getting hired. A reference letter provides employers with a third-party account of a candidate’s attributes and character traits.

SOP, LORs, and Resume are part of your application documents that will be sent to all the universities along with your application form. Strong Letters of Recommendation showcases what makes you a diverse and notable applicant.  

Get effective recommendation letters to enhance your admission or job application today. Here's a guide to help you navigate through treacherous LOR writing. 

What is a LOR?


A Letter of Recommendation is a pre-arranged document by your Professor, Project Guide, or Reporting Manager attached with your application. A Letter of Recommendation is written by somebody reliable, with whom you have worked before. It supports your knowledge, abilities, expertise, and accomplishments.

If you are applying to an overseas university or job, take enough time to consider who to ask for Letters of Recommendation. Recommendations play an important role in deciding whether you get admission to graduate and the professional program of your choice. On many occasions, it helps in decisions vis-à-vis who is hired for a great job

A good recommendation should be honest, accurate, and complete. And hence to some degree, those providing recommendations are placed in a dilemma. The stress of writing one is candid!

It is a sign of respect and privilege if a person asks you for a Letter of Recommendation. When writing a LOR, you get to know a person better, mainly if you only know them from one class or project.

Letter of Recommendation: 8 points to remember!

The institutions & organizations that request the letter typically expect specific information about the applicant.

The general format of the one-to-two-page letter is the following:

  1. Official college/institute/committee letterhead.
  2. Title & Address of where the letter is being submitted.
  3. The student/employee's full name is in bold.
  4. Some context about referee's position as well as how well they know the applicant
  5. Some context about your relationship.
  6. Specific accomplishments of the student/employee that are directly relevant to the position/course being applied to.
  7. An evaluation of the student/employee directly responding to precise requests from the potential employer/school/board.
  8. A conclusive statement about the referee's level of support and enthusiasm, as well as an invitation to contact them for additional information


Types of Letters of Recommendation:

A Letter of Recommendation is an on-paper document for a study abroad program containing information about an individual's personality, work ethic, community, accomplishments, etc.  

Letter of Recommendation is mainly of two types:

  • Academic Recommendation Letter: Academic Recommendation Letter is mainly used by the students during the admission procedure. Students may request recommendations from former teachers, principals, deans, trainers, and other education professionals familiar with the student's academic experience or extracurricular achievements.

Most schools or colleges expect at least two or three reference letters during the admissions procedure. Teachers and counsellors help the student through this step.

  • Employment Recommendation Letter: Employment Recommendations work as an effective tool for individuals seeking a job. Generally, employment recommendation letters include employment history, work performance, work ethic, and individual accomplishments.

The letters are typically written by former or current employers or direct supervisors. Co-workers are also acceptable but not as desirable as employers or supervisors. Recommendations can be in many forms. They can be uploaded on a website, attached with a resume, supplied with the application, etc. 

Types-of-Letters-of-Recommendation (1)

Basic Six Sections to A Letter of Recommendation:

Each letter must also contain the following six primary sections: 


Top Formats of Letter of Recommendation: 


Here are some sample letters of recommendation to help you get some clarity on various types, formats and some dos and don'ts. Find the best formats to help you write a LOR that boosts your application.

Sample 1: LOR for Engineering Student

Sample LOR- Engineering Student1

Tip: This LOR is a good example, but it could have emphasized the student's technical achievements and practical projects, as it is a submission for an engineering student. The LOR should write about the probable strengths & qualities of the candidate that align more with the upcoming course.

Sample 2: LOR for Jobseeker 


Tip: This LOR is a good example. It highlights the key characteristics and demonstrates those traits through specific anecdotes and observations.

Sample 3: LOR for from Employer for Higher Studies

Sample LOR for MBA1

Tip: This is an excellent example of a LOR. This sample speaks in-depth about the employee, shows a genuine connection between the writer and the employee. It describes how the applicant's capabilities make her a perfect candidate for the course she is about to enrol in. 

What Makes a Good Letter of Recommendation?


  1. Robust Letters of Recommendation communicate what makes you a well-defined and memorable applicant. It highpoint you from other candidates, where a considerable number of applicants are highly qualified
  2. The best endorsements highlight your key characteristics and demonstrate those traits through specific anecdotes and observations. Those reading the letters should sense that the recommender was excited to write about you and raved about helping you on your path to university or job. 
  3. Your recommender should mention why they admire you while having the stories & examples to back up their praise.  They should shine a light on what makes you tick and what skills and experiences have shaped who you are today
  4. Reference letters should not only discuss your academic skills and potential but should shed light on your character and disposition. Admissions officials see LOR as a big picture of what type of person will be coming to their campus and how they would contribute inside and outside the classroom.
  5. A recommendation can speak in your favour, especially if it gives you a high score compared to other students. They show that your manager/employee has taken the time and thought to develop a powerful statement of support.
  6. A letter should be eloquent and well crafted. They add something unique and exciting to your application and grab the attention of admissions officers, many of whom have read hundreds if not thousands of applications.

Tips for Indian students

An important thing to remember as an applicant is that the Admission Committee runs over a large number of letters and countless records. Here are some guidelines to remember while drafting a LOR for someone:

  • They can undeniably notice if the LOR was copied or composed from the web. So, make sure to write a draft yourself, even if it is stressful.
  • If you compose the LORs yourself, make sure the characteristics and examples are tangible and vary for each LOR. Remember, every person writing for you will have various encounters and relations with you.
  • The subjects mentioned ought to contrast just like the style of writing

Mistakes to Avoid while Writing a LOR:

There are many normal slip-ups which both recommenders or the students requesting a suggestion should keep away from.  Here is a list of the most common and repeated LOR blunders.

  • Not writing an individualized LOR
  • Repeating your SOP & Resume
  • Lack of relevant information
  • Not Validating Your Candidature

Conclusion: A Letter of Recommendation holds extreme importance for a candidate who has applied for a course or a job profile. LOR needs to be comprehensive and precisely elucidated. It should be candid with insights about the applicant and their personality. Once you know what to highlight, how to make the request, and what to provide, you'll be on your way to receiving an excellent recommendation letter and higher chances of success in your application.


1. Who can write a LOR?

Ans: A professor or former employer mainly writes LOR.

2. Why is the LOR Required?

Ans: The LOR is required for academic purposes, which tells about students' qualifications, qualities and abilities.

3. What should be written in a LOR?

Ans: A letter of recommendation should comprise information on who you are, your relation with the person you are recommending, why he/she is qualified, and the specific skills they have. Whenever possible, it's helpful to provide specific anecdotes and examples that illustrate your suppor.

4. How do you start a letter of recommendation?

Ans: Open with a welcoming and professional salutation, such as "Dear Dean of" “Respected in charge” If you don't know the person's name, use department name & their title. Build excitement for your strong recommendation from the first sentence.

5. How do I write a good recommendation letter?

Ans: Your letter should define how you know the person and explain why you recommend them. Once you know what to highlight, catch the eyes of admissions officers, it will strengthen the application

6. Can family members write a letter of recommendation?

Ans: Under no situation should you submit a letter of recommendation from a member of your family. Most people will not look at the letter favourably, and it will not strengthen your application.

Topics: Migrate, study-visa