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Monday, November 03, 2008

TweetThis! Tips on Writing a Letter of Recommendation

Once in a while I have been asked by friends and relatives to suggest the contents of an appealing recommendation letter. The last time I was in need of one for job application fulfilments, the person that was going to write it, required that I furnish some information on what was needed to make the letter convincine. The following tips were taken from the USA Embassy. They should be an ideal to guide anybody writting or asking for a letter of recommendation.

  • Write in a way that makes you feel comfortable, relate what you know, and give your opinions. Interpret the data you have received about the student, and let Admissions know how you feel and what you think, but support your conclusions with facts and anecdotes wherever possible.

  • Describe the context of your relationship with the applicant if that is relevant, and especially if it is unusual.

  • What motivates this person? What excites him/her?

  • Can you include examples or anecdotes that relate how you feel about the person? A story or incident that conveys the character or judgments of the individual is often more helpful than a mere statement that 'Mary is mature."

  • Don't be afraid to include negative comments if you feel they are appropriate.

  • Explain any problems or unusual circumstances that might not appear elsewhere in the application. (The October SAT was low because ... Dad was in the hospital, thus ... )

  • DO NOT comment on student's financial situation unless it has had an impact on his/her activities, development, outlook, etc. in an unusual way.

  • DO NOT put much emphasis on appearances.

  • DO NOT just write a three sentence summary.

  • DO NOT write a report which only describes the student's grade and academic performance. The transcript and exams will show academic standing; we need to know about the other side of the person.

  • DO NOT send an evaluation filled only with slowing adjectives. Be sure to back up your impressions.

  • Finally, always try to summarize your feelings in the concluding paragraph. Remember that your first sentences will usually create an image for the reader, and your concluding paragraph will linger in his/her memory. Special attention should be paid to the opening and closing of your evaluation.
For more information please contact Educational Advisor at tel. (255-22) 2668001 Ext. 4192

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