A letter of recommendation is a formal letter that is written to recommend someone for a job, scholarship, or other opportunities. The purpose of a letter of recommendation is to provide the recipient with information that will help them make a decision about whether or not to offer the person that particular opportunity. This blog post presents to you what to include and what not to for a LOR along with some LOR samples for MS programs.
When writing a letter of recommendation, it is important to be as specific as possible and to highlight the person’s strengths and accomplishments. It can be helpful to include examples of times when the person has excelled. The writer should also be sure to mention any relevant qualifications that they have.
For example, if you’re recommending a person for a job, your letter should highlight their skills. These skills and experience should be beneficial for that particular position.
Additionally, there are certain things that you should not include in your letter of recommendation. It can be anything ranging from favouritism and too much of bragging.
If you’re writing on someone’s behalf, it is important to be objective. The person you are recommending should not have asked you to write the letter or suggested that they want to use your letter for a specific purpose. It is also helpful to ask them if they would like suggestions on what to include in their letter, as well as any specific examples that they would like you to include.
What do you need to mention in your Letter of Recommendation?
The first thing that you need to mention would be the candidate’s academic performance. This is the most important part of your letter, so you need to be very specific when it comes to describing their achievements in detail. For example, if you are writing on behalf of someone who has applied for an MS program in engineering, you would need to highlight their excellence in this field. You could mention that the person scored a cumulative average of 87% for their bachelor’s degree and was on the Dean’s list during one semester.
If you have proof, you can even explain what efforts the person made while studying at your institution that allowed them to excel in their academic career. If you are not sure about writing it at one go, write some samples of a LOR, be it for a MS program or any other program.
If the candidate has completed any research projects, you can mention your findings. You may even want to explain that their abilities are actually what led you to start this project in the first place. You can also mention any awards or recognition that they received.
For example, if you are writing on behalf of someone who has applied for an MS program in computer science, you could explain what the applicant accomplished during their studies at your institution. You could mention that their research paper won first place in a recent competition and how this placed them at the top of their class. You could then explain that these results were due to the candidate’s hard work and exceptional abilities.
To help strengthen your letter, you can mention specific examples of the candidate’s soft skills. Some examples of soft skills would be communication, collaboration, creativity, and leadership. You can include details like how these skills were demonstrated, the context in which they used these skills (e.g. during a team project), and how your organization benefited from these skills.
If you are writing on behalf of someone who has applied for an MS program in computer science, you could mention that the candidate is able to think critically and identify complex problems. You may even want to highlight how this allows them to find innovative solutions when faced with challenges.
Another thing that you can mention is the candidate’s involvement in co-curricular activities. This could include student government, sports teams, or any other extracurricular activities. Even if they did not participate heavily, mentioning their involvement (e.g. “served as an assistant”) will emphasize their leadership abilities and help make them stand out.
While writing the LOR, you could mention that they were involved with the student software development club. This demonstrates their dedication to increasing their knowledge and passion for technology. Otherwise, suppose the candidate has significant work or internship experience, you could mention their achievements in the workplace.
You can also include a section on the candidate’s work experience. If they have been working, this shows that they are responsible and dedicated to their career. This could be related to their field of study or something completely different. In addition, if the candidate has been involved with organizing conferences, serving as a mentor for other students, or sharing their knowledge at seminars, it would make sense to include this information.
For example, if you are writing on behalf of someone who has applied for an MS program in computer science, you could mention that the candidate is currently employed as a software developer. You could describe their duties and how they have worked hard to increase their responsibilities. If you’re not sure about what specific details to include, it’s safe to say that any relevant information about the candidate’s work experience will strengthen your letter.
To get some of the best LOR samples for MS programs, you can click here.
What is not allowed in a Letter of Recommendation?
It is important to remember that the person writing the letter of recommendation should be acting with complete objectivity. You need to ensure that your recommendation is free from any form of bias by eliminating all aspects of favoritism within it. Additionally, don’t confuse it for a college application letter.
Here are the five things that you should avoid mentioning in the Letter of Recommendation.
The language should not be very generic. You should avoid overused phrases such as “individual is an excellent candidate,” or “candidate has a strong knowledge of this field.” This will provide little information and won’t help your reader know what your specific recommendations are. To be honest, that is up to the experts to guess whether the candidate is an expert or not. You should not mention it as it can be a bit of flattery.
Too much sugar-coating
Be honest when writing the letter. It’s not helpful to gloss over weaknesses in order to make the candidate seem like an ideal candidate. Assess their abilities based on what is required for the position, and mention this accordingly. For example, if you are writing a Letter of Recommendation for an MS program in computer science, you should ensure that you mention the candidate’s technical skills as discussed in their resume.
Tone of voice
Be conscious of your tone of voice when writing a letter of recommendation. It should be professional and formal, but not stiff or overly formal. You don’t want it to feel like a contract agreement!
If possible, try to think of a time when you’ve written a letter of recommendation for someone you know. The tone and language typically used in those letters would be a good guideline as you write your own.
You should avoid using informal or incorrect grammar in the letter. Make sure that your sentence structure is clear and that you are using the correct tenses. If you are not confident in your writing abilities, ask an English teacher or a friend to look over what you have written.
You should avoid mentioning any gender-based stereotypes in the letter of recommendation. For example, if you were writing the letter for a woman, you should avoid mentioning that she’s “careful and methodical” or that she “enjoys doing things with precision.”
It is important to remember that the person writing the letter of recommendation should be acting with complete objectivity. You need to ensure that your recommendation is free from any form of bias by eliminating all aspects of favoritism within it.
LOR Samples for MS program
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing this letter to recommend Jane for admission to your MS program in computer science. We have worked together on a number of different projects since Jane started with my company in January 2014, and I feel that my observations can help you make an informed decision about their potential as a graduate student.
I was impressed with Jane’s technical skills from the moment she was hired. Since then, Jane has demonstrated an impressive work ethic and strong ability to adapt to new situations. During her time with us, Jane has increased her responsibilities, showing that he’s eager for more challenging projects.
I realized her true talent when she came up with the idea to use our company’s resources to make life easier for our customers. For example, Jane developed an innovative way of processing credit cards that saved both time and money for all involved.
I believe that Jane would be a great fit for your MS program in computer science because she possesses all the qualities required of a successful graduate student. I have no doubt that Jane will continue to grow and learn throughout her studies, and will contribute meaningfully to the graduate community once admitted.
Name and Designation
Note: This is a fictitious piece of information that you are going to find among the numerous LOR samples for MS that is present on the website. The information present here should not be taken in a serious manner. A LOR should be written based on what the university demands.
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