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Everything You Need to Know About Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a document signed by a recommender who knows you academically or professionally. The recommended can be professors, teachers, administrators, counselors, colleagues, employers, or clients. It is usually sent to a committee willing to hire you to enroll in a course.

What is LOR? Why is it so important for a student visa?

LOR refers to a letter of recommendation. It is a written document that highlights an individual's academic or professional performance. This document describes an individual's qualifications, qualities, skills, experience, strengths, weaknesses, achievements to provide a clear picture of your capabilities to the people reviewing your profile. It helps to enhance your profile by listing various reasons why you are the right fit for the provided program.

A letter of recommendation is one of the most valuable parts of your application that can have a great impact on your admission process. It represents your positive traits and true personality to the reviewer in the best way possible. It increases your chances to grab admission to your desired university/college by validating your profile.


Broadly classifying, there are two major categories of letters of recommendation.

1. Academic letter of recommendation

An academic LOR is used by students willing to do their bachelor's or master's degree abroad. It is usually written by professors, counselors, and teachers from your previous educational institute. In most cases, you are asked to provide a minimum of two to three letters of recommendation by International universities. Along with educational background, it focuses on your academic performance and capabilities to learn difficult concepts.

2. Professional letter of recommendation

Professional LOR is one of the major requirements if you want to enroll in courses like MBA, Medicine, Education, and more. This is required because the above-mentioned programs look for certain work experience from every student.

A professional letter of recommendation is quite different from an academic letter of reference because it provides insight into students' professional capabilities, teamwork, leadership qualities, adjusting according to different working conditions, professional behavior, and various other aspects like field-based experience. It is provided by supervisors, managers, or clients. Usually, around 2 professional LOR are sufficient when applying to any university abroad.

How to write an ideal LOR?

When writing a letter of recommendation, you need to keep a few things in mind. The most crucial thing to focus on is the length, content, and format. Make sure the recommendation letter is limited to 500-600 words that shed light on your capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses depending on the type of LOR. Most people confuse a LOR with an SOP, therefore, they often tend to ignore the significance of a recommendation letter and concentrate more on the letter. It is advised to understand the difference between a recommendation letter, and a statement of purpose and pay attention to both.

There is no particular format that you need to follow; however, it should still have a clear introduction and conclusion. Even though you are open to choose the number of body paragraphs, it is recommended to restrict them to a maximum of 3. It should clearly define the professional or academic connection between the recommender and the student. Further, it should emphasize skills, achievements, qualities, and contain realistic facts. Another major factor that is very important is to select the right recommender. You should not get a LOR written from a person who has moved from the institute, or the company you work for.

Can LOR be copied?

Obviously, you cannot copy a letter of recommendation. Universities deal with thousands of recommendation letters on a regular basis, therefore they can easily make out whether you have copied LOR or not. It is advised to write a unique recommendation letter, otherwise, universities can eliminate the candidate's profile based on falsification.

Tips to write an effective recommendation letter

● Choose the right recommender whom you know well and can highlight your positives really well.

● Don't only highlight your positives and strengths, rather incorporate constructive criticism.

● Do not make it extremely lengthy or too short.

● Use the appropriate vocabulary and keep the tone professional.

● Inform the recommenders in advance so that they can take out time from their hectic schedules.

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