Here are a few tips to keep in mind while drafting a LOR:
- The given information should be accurate and relevant
- Avoid copying from online samples. The Admissions Committee are very strict when it comes to plagiarism. Take inspiration, do not copy!
- The recommender should write positive traits about the individual
- The language and composition of the LOR should be simple and lucid
- During the final brush up of your LOR, take a close look at all the grammatical mistakes and rectify them
- The most important aspect of an impressive LOR is that the sentences are short and on-point. Lengthy sentences tend to break the flow of the LOR and fail to convey the crux of what is stated, to the reader
- LORs should be crisp and written in not more than 500-600 word limit, fitting one page
- The recommender should have known you for at least six months
- It is also important to provide the accurate contact details of the recommender
- Most universities require this letter to be on the official letterhead.
- For an Academic LOR, the university's letterhead is needed.
- One thing important to remember in the latter case is that the letterhead should be of the company the recommender is working in. This usually creates a problem if your recommender has moved on to another organization. Hence, the student must know how to choose the right recommender.
- An important point to be kept in mind is that a LOR is not a repetition of an SOP.
- An ideal LOR is supposed to demonstrate aspects/perspectives of your personality not mentioned in your SOP or resume.
Note: Remember that making generic statements in LOR does not add any value to the document. How you prepare an impressive LOR depends on the level of your competencies displayed by the content of your LOR. Thus, including unique anecdotes indicative of your skills and goals in your recommendation letters creates a positive and long-lasting impression on the Admission Committee.