If you are planning to study abroad, some documents are required for your application and are important for selection into your target colleges. One such document is the LOR, which refers to a letter of recommendation. A well-written LOR can help your application stand out from the rest, as it is essentially a document from your employer or professor that shows your achievements and contributions to the organization, adding credibility to your application. And having a better understanding of the LOR format is a must to have! Don’t worry, you are on the right page…
A letter of recommendation is a letter written on behalf of the applicant by a person who can vouch for that person’s educational or professional performance. This letter is usually sent to an admissions officer or hiring manager who is considering a candidate for admission, employment, or a scholarship.
Letters of recommendation help build the application. They do this by offering insight into the applicant’s personal qualities, such as integrity, intellectual curiosity, or leadership potential. Writing a strong letter of recommendation as a mentor, advisor, supervisor, or colleague can help an applicant gain an edge over the competition.
What all is covered in this post?
If you are an aspiring candidate who wants to know everything about the LOR format, this blog will help you by providing a better understanding of the following aspects:
Introduction to LOR & its format
A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a document issued by your professor, project supervisor, or reporting manager that you have worked with in the past. A letter of recommendation is written by someone you trust who attests to your experience, skills, knowledge, and accomplishments.
A well-written LOR from a good recommender can help your application stand out from other applicants as it provides a holistic picture of your personality, and academic and professional performance. This helps the admissions officer get a better idea of your profile and decide whether you would be a good fit at the institution.
How to format LOR?
LOR format typically includes the following elements:
- Letterhead: The letterhead should include the writer’s professional information, such as name, title, company, address, and contact details.
- Date: The date the letter was written.
- Recipient Information: The name and address of the recipient, including the name of the person, the company, and the address.
- Introduction: A brief introduction that states the purpose of the letter and the writer’s relationship with the applicant.
- Body: The main part of the letter, which provides a detailed assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, skills, and personal attributes.
- Conclusion: A conclusion that summarizes the key points of the letter and provides a final endorsement of the applicant.
- Signature: The letter should be signed by the writer, and their professional title should be included.
Benefits of using a LOR format
Following are some of the benefits of using a LOR format:
- Provides Additional Insight: A LOR provides additional information about the applicant’s qualifications and personal attributes that may not be reflected in their resume or application form.
- Increases Credibility: A well-written LOR from a reputable individual increases the credibility of the applicant, demonstrating their abilities and qualities to the reader.
- Enhances the Chances of Success: A strong LOR can significantly enhance the chances of the applicant’s success in their academic or job application, making it a valuable document.
- Supports the Application: A LOR provides a written endorsement of the applicant, demonstrating to the reader that they have support from others in their field.
Types of LOR
Here are 3 different types of LOR:
The academic LOR is written by a teacher, professor, or supervisor who has worked closely with the applicant. It emphasizes the applicant’s academic performance, knowledge, and potential in the field in which he wishes to pursue his studies.
Purpose of Academic LOR
The primary purpose of an academic LOR is to provide an assessment of a student’s academic performance, knowledge, and potential in their field of study. It is used by colleges and universities as part of their admission process to determine the applicant’s suitability for their desired program. An academic LOR helps the admission committee to gain a better understanding of the applicant’s academic background and how they would contribute to the program.
A professional LOR is written by a current or former supervisor, colleague, or client who can vouch for the applicant’s work experience and professional skills. It provides detailed information about the candidate’s contribution to the organization and his ability to work in a team.
Purpose of Professional LOR
The purpose of a professional LOR is to provide a detailed account of the candidate’s work experience and professional skills, demonstrating their ability to perform in a professional setting. It gives the recipient a glimpse into the candidate’s contributions to the organization, their ability to work in a team, and the skills they have developed in their profession. A professional LOR can significantly enhance the candidate’s chances of getting hired or landing a new job.
A personal LOR is written by a friend, family member, or personal acquaintance who knows the applicant well. It provides a more personal view of a candidate’s character, personality, and accomplishments that may not be reflected in other types of LORs.
Purpose of Personal LOR:
The purpose of a Personal Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is to provide a more personal perspective on the candidate’s character, personality, and achievements. A personal LOR is written by someone who knows the applicant well, such as a friend, family member, or personal acquaintance, and provides the recipient with a deeper understanding of the applicant beyond their academic or professional achievements.
Key Elements to Include in Academic & Professional LOR
In this section, we have tabulated some of the key elements that are necessary while writing Academic & Professional LOR:
|Particulars||Academic LOR||Professional LOR|
|Introduction||Start the letter by introducing yourself and your relationship with the applicant. Mention your position and the length of time you have known the student.||Start by introducing yourself, your relationship with the candidate, and the length of time you have known them.|
|Background Overview||Provide a detailed account of the student’s academic performance, including their grades, test scores, and class participation. Highlight any academic awards, honors, or recognitions received by the student.||Mention the candidate’s job title and provide a brief overview of their responsibilities in the organization.|
|Knowledge/Skills||Discuss the student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, including their mastery of key concepts and theories. Provide specific examples that demonstrate the student’s intellectual curiosity and ability to think critically.||Highlight the candidate’s professional skills and how they have demonstrated them in the workplace. Provide specific examples to support your claims.|
|Ethic||Describe the student’s work ethic, study habits, and approach to learning. Highlight any positive attributes such as self-motivation, time management, and dedication to their studies.||Discuss the candidate’s work ethic, their dedication to the job, and how they have gone above and beyond their responsibilities.|
|Potential||Discuss the student’s future potential and how they would contribute to the program they are applying for. Provide examples of the student’s aspirations and long-term goals.||Provide a detailed account of the candidate’s achievements in the organization, emphasizing their impact on the company’s success.|
|Conclusion||Summarize the key points of the letter and provide a final endorsement of the student’s academic abilities and potential. State that you fully endorse the student’s admission to the program.||Sum up the letter by endorsing the candidate and reiterating your recommendation. Provide your contact information, should the recipient require further information.|
Note: The above table is just an example and doesn’t include all the elements. So, it is advised to discuss this with your counselor.
Academic LOR Template
Here is the template for an academic letter of recommendation:
[City, State ZIP Code]
[City, State ZIP Code]
Dear [Addressee’s Name],
I am writing to recommend [Name of Student], who has been a student in my [Name of Course/Department] class for the past [Duration]. It is with great pleasure that I provide this letter of recommendation on their behalf.
During the time I have known [Name of Student], I have been impressed by their dedication, hard work, and strong academic abilities. They have consistently demonstrated a high level of intelligence and a passion for learning that sets them apart from their peers.
In my class, [Name of Student] consistently produced high-quality work and displayed a thorough understanding of the course material. They actively participated in class discussions, often contributing insightful and thought-provoking ideas. Their ability to apply what they have learned to real-world situations was particularly impressive and demonstrated their strong problem-solving skills.
I am confident that [Name of Student] has the necessary skills and qualities to excel in their future academic endeavors. They are a highly motivated and dedicated individual, who is always eager to take on new challenges. Their strong work ethic and positive attitude will be an asset to any academic program they choose to pursue.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information or clarification. I am confident that [Name of Student] will make a valuable contribution to your program and I wholeheartedly recommend them for admission.
Thank you for considering [Name of Student]’s application.
[Your Typed Name]
Note: If you are looking for a sample LOR, refer to this “Sample LOR” written by one of our Study Abroad Coach for a student.
A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is an essential document in the application process for various opportunities. It provides an insight into the candidate’s strengths, achievements, and character, which cannot be reflected in the application form or resume. A well-written LOR can significantly enhance the chances of an applicant’s success, making it crucial to write a strong and compelling letter. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can write a powerful LOR that will help the applicant achieve their goals.
iDreamCareer is on a mission to reach every state and every child to ensure that talent is appropriately delivered to the industry. Talk to our study abroad experts with over 20 years of experience to find out for yourself! We have helped several brilliant but confused minds to choose the most suitable career. Hear the success story of Aayush who got an offer from three top universities and is currently studying at the University of Ottawa in Canada after receiving career guidance from our industry experts.
One of the main differences between a statement of purpose and a letter of recommendation is that while the former is written by the applicants themselves, the latter is written by someone else.
Depending on the type of recommendation/reference needed, the LOR may be written by a supervisor, professor, employer, or consultant. In some cases, students may have to ask their peers/colleagues to write a letter of recommendation for them.
Although there is no strict word limit for the recommendation letter format, the ideal word count is 500-600 words. Unless otherwise noted, recommenders should complete a letter of recommendation on one side of one page of A-4 format.
Of all the documents submitted in the admissions process, it is the LOR that provides an external view of the applicant’s personality traits, achievements, and academic aspirations.
The best way to contact a recommender is by email or phone. Ask them politely and provide all necessary details like submission guidelines, requirements, etc. Also, when requesting a LOR, be sure to mention any specific skills and accomplishments you want them to highlight.
Anushree has 4+ years of experience in the career counseling industry as a Senior Content Writer. She has also worked as a Social Media Marketing Expert for a startup and Content Quality Analyst for Publishing and E-learning Industry. She has done her Master’s in Commerce and PGDM in Finance & Trade and Marketing & HR, but she is currently following her passion for writing.