How to Write a Letter of Recommendation
Strong and well-developed letters can highlight your potential for top
schools. What makes a strong recommendation? The writer should know you
well, be able to give specifics about your potential, and have firsthand
contact with your professional work. In this regards, your direct
supervisor or previous employer is a perfect choice. It's fine to go to
the higher level as long as the writer is still someone who knows you
well. Letters from peers are generally discouraged. Satisfied clients who
you have worked with are often excellent choices to write recommendations.
After you select the right recommenders, try your best to "coach" your
writer on what constitutes a strong recommendation. Here are several tips
that will help you:
In most cases, your letters of recommendation will require considerable
time and care. They should be requested at least six weeks before your
target posting date, and you should take care to gently monitor your
writers' progress so that deadlines aren't missed.
Finally, if your recommenders have little experience in recommendation,
remind them of the following five Do's and five
Review a copy of the applicant's personal
statement and resume so that the letter of recommendation comply with
the rest of your application.
Discuss how well he or she know you.
Choose two to three qualities that best
describes you and support his or her statements of your qualities with