How To Write A Letter Of Recommendation For Grad School

We don’t really need to emphasize the importance of a recommendation letter for grad school. Yes, it’s very flattering when you are asked to write it for someone, but it’s a huge responsibility too. Your words can have a significant impact on someone’s future. Therefore, it’s vital to do the job properly. So, how to write a letter of recommendation for grad school?

The letter of recommendation for grad school should include complete details about your relationship with the person. You also have to mention why you think they should be selected for the program and the qualities they possess that should make the school consider them.

Of course, it’s easier said than done. The thing is, writing a recommendation letter can be tricky. Although you want to convince the grad school admin to take your selected candidate, you also have to ensure that you don’t oversell it. Striking a balance is essential, and this is what we will elaborate on.

Writing A Letter Of Recommendation: How To Proceed?

Always remember that the letter of recommendation needs to have a little personal touch. The person reading it should get the idea that you actually know the candidate well enough to put up a compelling case in his favor.

Begin by sharing how you know the candidate and how long you have been in touch with him. Don’t forget to mention that you have actually seen his work and share your opinion about the same.

Move on to explain why you think the candidate will be a good match for the program. Don’t make a sweeping statement. Instead, use specific anecdotes to back your claims.

Finally, describe the qualities you have noticed in the candidate which make him worthy of being considered for the program. Sharing your encounters with him as an example will be an excellent way to make the letter personalized.

You can end the recommendation letter by sharing why you selected this particular candidate to recommend to the program. What makes him stand out?

Keep these pointers in mind while writing your recommendation letter, and before you know it, you will have drafted an impactful letter that will get the job done. Of course, there are some things that you will have to ensure.

Also Read: How to Write A Letter of Recommendation

You Can’t Write A Recommendation Letter For Everyone

Let’s be clear about one thing. You should know the person you are recommending well enough to make a case in his favor. You have to present his qualities such that they appear relevant to the program.

You have to write the letter from the perspective of someone who has worked with him before. A letter of recommendation by merely a friend seldom proves to be effective.

Keep It Relevant

Perhaps you know the candidate pretty well and are aware of all his qualities. But you can’t include everything in the letter. The letter needs to be written in context to the program.

It’s a good idea to keep the applicant in the loop while you are trying to write the letter. Find out his reasons for applying to the program. Ask him to share his skills and experiences with you that he thinks will impress the admissions committee. Inquire about his accomplishments.

Remember that the admissions committees will have received thousands of applications. So, you have to ensure that your letter elaborates on the characteristics that set the applicant apart from the rest.

Pinpoint those characteristics that aren’t too common to find in everyone. Perhaps, he has a way to work around obstacles, or maybe she is an excellent leader. Ensure that you have examples to back the claims you are making.

Be Mindful Of Your Tone

The letter shouldn’t seem too ambiguous or sugary. Put in as many details about the applicant as you can with examples and leave it up to the admission committee to make their mind. Keep the tone of the letter neutral and avoid using vague terms.

Always Reread Your Work

Keep in mind that this is someone’s future at stake. There’s no room for mistakes. Ensure that you double-check your letter to remove any grammatical errors and similar other issues.

Additionally, confirm with the applicant that you have the correct deadline in mind while working on the letter. Don’t forget to adhere to the submission guidelines.

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