While the Admission Committee is all pooled up with thousands of application request coming their way, a letter of recommendation can be considered as a token that holds a lot of importance and gives you an edge over other applicants. Along with this strong component in a student’s application, there also is another major role player – a Statement of Purpose!

A recommendation letter is a Professional Testament that allows an Admission Officer to get an insight of how you are from a Professor’s and or an Employers perspective. Not only that, this letter is capable enough to demonstrate a students’ technical, academic, co curricular as well as extra curricular achievements and background.

Selecting a recommender is as critical as a MS. Dhoni hitting a six in the World Cup!

A recommender should have following:

  • Must be qualified for recommending you
  • Must have taught you a subject that is relevant to your Masters
  • Should be eligible to attest and warrant your credibility
  • Should have sufficient time to invest in submitting your letter to the University

Following factors should be kept in mind while approaching your Professors:

#1 How well the Professor knows you?

How well has the Professor noticed you? What if you did not belong to top rankers in the class? Regardless of everything else, while you think of selecting a Professor, it is extremely important for you to consider whether or not the Professor knows you. Has the Professor noticed you during the tenure of the semester?

Also, keep well in mind that these Professors might have to put in a bit extra efforts will upload a letter of recommendation for you.

#2 Is the Professor qualified to grant a recommendation?

Suppose you have a very good rapport with the Professor but he/she has not taught you any subject or you have not even worked under his/her guidance during college events or projects. In that case, the Professor might not be eligible to recommend you.

Considering the eligibility of the Professor to recommend you for a program at any University is of utmost importance.

#3 Is it recommended to get a letter from an Employer?

It is not a mandatory requirement to get a recommendation from President or a top notch managerial positioned employee. You can also take a letter from your Reporting Manager, Supervisor, Team Leader or Project Manager.

Having said that, a student can get a Letter of Recommendation under following categories:

Academic Recommendation

It is a recommendation letter which is granted by the Professor of your present or past colleges.  Most of the Universities have a requirement of 3 Letter of Recommendations. In such cases, you can opt for 2 out of 3 letters from a college professor (for working Professionals).

In case if you belong to a non working Professional group, you can take all the 3 letters from your College Professors.

The content of each letter varies and is distinct depending on the experience the Professor has with you.

Professional Recommendation

Professional Recommendation is one that you get from your past or present employer. In case, if you are currently working, it is suggested that you should get atleast 1 out of 3 letters from your employer.

Also, consider taking a letter of recommendation from an employer only if you have worked alteast for a period of 3 months with the organization.


Generically, an ideal letter of recommendation should contain a word count of 300 to 400. An ideal letter should highlight your weakness, strength, achievements, experience of the faculty and or an employer and also basic conduct that you possess. Importantly, a letter should unforgettably mention the type of association that the recommender has and the tenure of your association.

Keeping that in mind, a Letter of Recommendation is different from a Statement of Purpose. It should not merely be a copy of a Statement of Purpose but should showcase the kind of personality you posses, should also focus on the progress that you have made, academic achievements, projects undertaken and so on.

Quick pointers that one should keep in mind while drafting a Recommendation are as follows:              

  1. Tenure & Nature of association with the student
  2. Subjects taught by the recommender
  3. Academic highlights
  4. Co curricular & extra curricular involvement
  5. Interpersonal skills
  6. Projects undertaken
  7. Factors that makes a student potential enough for getting an admit in the University

Remember, these letters play a very vital role in making your applications noticeable. Making a smart and wise choice would surely help your application process a smooth journey!

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