Submitting a Great Recommendation Letter (Quick Reads)

Writing a Great Recommendation Letter (Quick Reads)

Are you wondering what makes a great recommendation letter? Santa Clara University guides candidates on important points to consider before submitting their recommendation letters to MBA and Masters programs.

Helpful for: MBA and Masters Applicants

Read Time: 9 minutes

Quick Facts:

  • Just as when applying for a new job and assuring the employer of your experience, the reference letter shows your professional strengths and skills that will be relevant to graduate program you are applying to.
  • You should advertise your skills to the utmost. The recommendation letter not only evaluates your chances of succeeding in the program, but also in your career once you graduate.
  • Universities always consider whether you would be bring added value to their alumni network, or be able to mentor future students. Make sure your recommendation letter includes the many ways you demonstrate leadership.
  • Before deciding who your recommender should be, review the application deadlines of the programs you are applying to and devise a timeline for yourself and your recommender that you will stick to.
  • If you’re unable to get a reference from management level, think of a colleague who knows you well and can communicate your professional capabilities and personality. You can also consider asking a professor who has taught you in the past, as they can comment on your ability to complete the graduate program successfully. Still, make sure you check your program’s specific requirements as they might prefer a letter from a specific person.
  • When asking for a reference letter, don’t blindside the person or act on a whim. Santa Clara University adds:

Selected Quote:

When it comes down to it, don’t assume they think as highly of you as you do of them, or that they have the availability to do so at the moment. So, as you determine who will write your recommendations, be certain to reach out to each individual first. A simple yet formal email—with proper salutations and signature—is all you need. Explain that you’re applying to grad school and need references that attest to your skills or abilities in the areas most relevant to your degree program, work ethic, or the value you can bring to the university and program overall.

Useful Information:

  • There are many ways reference letters are required to be submitted, so be aware of each university’s guidelines. Some letters may need to be sent directly from the writer, hard copies may need to be mailed by post, or your reference might be done online by answering some short-answer questions.

Who have you decided to ask to write your reference letter? Share in our forum!

Source: Santa Clara University

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