REQUISITES OF A GOOD LETTER:-
A Great Letter is one that fulfills all the purposes; the admissions committee is looking for. It encompasses the applicant’s
- Academic and Work/Professional experiences profoundly with specific qualifications.
- Individual/exclusive attributes of the applicant, which has not been presented anywhere else.
- The applicant’s potential, his skills, and his commitment towards the tasks he performed and also towards the future career he forecasts, keeping in mind the course he is applying.
- In the similar light, viewing the candidate vis-à-vis his colleagues/peers/candidates from similar backgrounds and similar aims. More so, a critical appraisal of the candidate.
- Reiterating with explicit examples on characteristics like leadership, maturity, tenacity, problem solving, innovation and teamwork, which needs that extra “ratification” by a third person.
THE ROLE IT PLAYS – Different Profiles: Different Roles
The Letter helps, or more to say accelerates the chances of getting admission, for broadly two main categories of candidates. The first category is applicants with exceptional grades and scores who have excellent chances of getting into the schools; they are the so called “ideal” candidates which the admissions committee are looking for. The contribution of the LOR here is far-reaching as it has to reinforce the same positive and impressive note about him/her, which the essays and the other parts of his application, including his scores, have created. An unenthusiastic and the lackluster LOR here would have devastating results on the decisions of the admission committee.
There are candidates whose have aggressive grades and scores but cannot be demarcated from the similar pool, who have good scores. In this pool, the candidates have to make an effort to differentiate themselves by their own unique, compelling stories, whether it is about their exclusive traits, or it is about their community service or it is about the contribution they want to make towards the society at large. The LOR’s role here is to substantiate and document these, by the credibility of a third person penning it. Therefore, when the admissions committee is confused between similar applicants, the inherent nature of the Letters of Recommendation (in terms of how they can arrest the reader’s attention/interest and how far can it be memorable) would ultimately decide the fate of the application.
The recommendation letters have no role to play in applicants who have low grades and scores, as though they can explain on the whys of getting a low score, but they cannot fetch a candidate the “cut-offs” which schools usually set.
Incidentally, the Letters of Recommendation, is one critical area, which needs a careful planning, initiative and proper execution, so that it yields the best results, for which it is meant, as no other section of the entire application is written by a person other than you. This uniquely justifies the unbiased nature of it.