Now that you have a complete understanding of the importance and components of LOR, let us look at some dos and don’ts to help you obtain powerful LORs. Universities give great importance to LORs provided by third parties. Hence, be sure to make the best use of this opportunity and increase your chances of gaining admission to your dream university. Without further delay, let’s quickly move on to the dos and don’ts.
1. Choose an Appropriate Recommender: The LOR is an important piece of paper that can actually determine your chances of getting a seat and help you obtain a scholarship. Hence, select your recommender wisely. Choose someone who knows you well and has a thorough understanding of your skills and strengths. Some examples of a good recommender are your professor, your supervisor and academic advisor. Avoid approaching family members for an LOR as it would be biased and would not be a powerful representation of your skills.
2. Provide Supplementary Information and Essays: While approaching your recommender, make sure that you provide whatever information is available including essays, list of strengths and weaknesses and accomplishments. This will help him/her prepare a strong LOR that perfectly portrays your unique qualities.
3. Keep in Mind the Specific Program you’re Applying for: If you’re applying for a physics program, it would be a good idea to approach your physics professors as they would be able to cite examples relevant to the subject.
4. Give the Recommender Plenty of Time: This is really important. Professors and other academicians are usually busy and have plenty of work on their hands. Hence, make sure to approach them several weeks in advance along with details about the date and mode of submission. This will help them to plan their activities and provide a powerful LOR with the required components. .
1. Don’t Pressurize People: While approaching people for LORs, be extremely patient and polite. Don’t force a person into writing the LOR. First, ask the given person if he/she is comfortable writing a recommendation letter. If that individual is not really sure, it would be better to move to another person who knows you better and who will be able to talk about your strengths and achievements.
2. Don’t Select Your Favorite People: Although it is tempting to approach someone whom you adore, don’t do so. Instead, select people who will talk about your unique personality and share experiences to support their statements.
3. Don’t Ask only A Handful of People to Write Recommendations: Usually, universities request for 2 LORs. However, approach at least 4-5 individuals to be on the safe side as you never know when an emergency would arise. Sometimes, a heavy workload and surprise assignments might prevent the recommender from submitting the LOR on time. Hence, it is always good to be prepared for such emergencies.