Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendations seem easy, right? Wrong! Many applicants make mistakes with this process, which can make or break their application. Below are some of the most important factors to consider when pulling together your letters of recommendations:
- Choose a reputable source for your recommenders. You need a recommendation from a professional - someone you work for currently or have worked for in the past. When choosing recommenders, please consider the following:
- No peers or subordinates - this lacks credibility
- No professors - unless a majority of your career has been under the direct supervision of a professor
- No volunteer organizations - unless a majority of your career has been under the direct supervision of a volunteer chair
- No executives - while you may think that getting a recommendation from a CEO bears weight, it doesn't. It is better to get a direct supervisor, someone that can provide insightful examples regarding your professional abilities.
- Start early and check in often. Make sure your recommenders have ample time to prepare a top notch recommendation. Be clear about deadlines and check in with them often regarding timing, questions, and progress.
- Do not write it for them. Trust us - it is extremely obvious to an admissions committee when someone has written their own recommendation. Even though an "authentic" recommendation may not be perfect - it will bear more weight in the application decision. We do suggest that you provide your recommender a written document highlighting the key aspects that you would like them to discuss. This will allow you to have each of your recommenders focus on different aspects of your candidacy.
- Offer to proofread/edit. If they are not comfortable with having you review the recommendation, offer up a 3rd party (e.g. Inside MBA Admissions) to assist with the review.