Admission committee gets an exhaustive pool of applications, and hence letter of recommendation carry considerable weightage. While a well written Statement of purpose gives an opportunity to the student to showcase himself/herself to the admission committee, a nicely drafted letter of recommendation is a chance for the professors/bosses to help the applicant put their best foot forward. A gleaming letter of recommendation can help the admission committee in making admission constructive decision regarding a candidate, for that reason you must be extremely careful while selecting your recommenders.
Please take the below-mentioned factors into consideration before you finally zero-in on your recommender:
- Interaction with the professor:
You must preferably get your recommendation from a professor who has spent sufficient amount of time with you to be able to appraise you thoroughly for the program applied for. Someone who has taught you subjects which are in alignment with your future courseware will be an ideal referee to evaluate your potential. When it comes to professional recommendation, you can get it from your immediate supervisor who can give an inclusive picture of your skills and capabilities.
Spineless recommendation can do more harm than good to student’s future. Your recommendation must be able to project you in the best light hence you must not settle for anything less than an outstanding recommendation, which you can only get from professor / Supervisor you share a great rapport with. A quality LOR is anytime better than two lousy ones. Please speak to your professors / boss and discuss your higher studies plan with them at length to help them in understanding you requirements. A copy of your SOP, resume and other relevant information pertaining projects /assignments done under their supervision will add aid them in putting across your undertakings and accomplishments in the best possible manner.
- Availability and commitments:
While the recommender may have best intention to help you but if their commitments are not allowing them to devote required time for recommendation, you can land up in a tight spot. The last thing that you want to hear is that your professor forgot to upload your LORs before the deadline and this becoming a reason for your rejection. Please check their engagements and obligations before you finalize your recommenders. Someone who not only enthusiastically support your application but is also ready walking extra miles for you, if the need be. Remember to send a gentle reminder to your professors at least fifteen days before the deadline and regularly follow up till the time your recommendation is finally uploaded.
2. Ace subject professor:
The prospect of getting best evaluation is something you must not miss out on. It is a good idea to get your recommendation from a professor who has taught you subjects you were best at and can substantiate their positive opinion about you with concrete examples. If they consider you as the cream of the crop in your class, they will end giving you genuinely appreciable comments.
3. Paint a holistic picture:
Try getting at least one recommendation from someone who has known you outside the classroom setting and can speak convincingly about good things pertaining to your extracurricular activities and key strengths, that make you sound like cut above the rest. Admission committees not just interesting you academic achievements but are looking or well-rounded individuals who can add value to the university through their versatility.
More important than whom your recommenders are, is the endorsement they are going to write for you. An outstanding recommendation from your Core subject professor is anyway better than a lacklustre recommendation from a Fulbright professor.