Letter of Recommendation


When students seek to study abroad, they must submit several documents with their application, one of which is a Letter of Recommendation. The Letter of Recommendation aids the admissions committee in gaining insight into the candidate, allowing them to determine whether or not the individual is qualified for a spot in their university for that particular course. The letter of recommendation’s major goal is to provide a clear image of your previous experiences, abilities, accomplishments, community involvement, and so on. There are different types of LOR like Academic LOR and Professional LOR.


Academic LOR

An Academic LOR is a letter of recommendation from your academic institution’s professors. If you’re applying for an undergraduate course, this recommendation letter can come from teachers, school counsellors, or principals; if you’re going for a master’s degree, it can come from professors, deans, or counsellors.


Professional LOR

When applying for Post-Graduation courses, most universities around the world now require candidates to have some prior work experience. Universities ask candidates to submit a Letter of Recommendation from a superior, team leader, or manager along with their resume. The professional LOR differs from the academic LOR in that it incorporates information about the candidate’s talents, abilities, knowledge, and so on.


Tips For Writing A LOR

Letters of reference are extremely crucial and play a significant role in determining whether or not an applicant is selected. Here are a few pointers to remember while drafting a Letter of Recommendation.

  1. Introduction about the recommender and how they know the applicant.
  2. Academic and Professional achievements of the candidate relevant to the course.
  3. Applicant’s experience and example of the way he/she handled pressure in difficult situations.
  4. Details of any volunteer work done by the candidate.
  5. A good LOR should demonstrate other points of view and facets of your personality that aren’t mentioned in your CV or SOP as SOP is a very different document than LOR. As a result, the LOR comes from someone who knows you better, has seen the quality of your work, and is pleased with your efforts and achievements.
  6. The LOR should be on an official letterhead of the institution or the company.
  7. One must make sure that the recommender is still employed by the same company when issuing a professional LOR.


LOR Format

The Letter of Recommendation should start with

To Whomsoever It May Concern

First Paragraph
The first paragraph should be the introductory paragraph about the recommender’s credentials such as name, title, company name, their relationship with the candidate and how long they have known each other, etc.

Second Paragraph
This paragraph should tell about the candidate’s skills and abilities and addresses one of the student’s most important characteristics, such as research aptitude, academic proficiency, leadership, teamwork, organisational abilities, the capacity to think outside the box, initiative, work ethic, and maturity.

Third Paragraph
This paragraph tells the admission committee about the other qualities that the candidate possesses. These qualities should be different from the qualities mentioned in the second paragraph. It helps the admission committee get a gist about the candidate which makes the decision making process a lot easier.

Fourth Paragraph
In this paragraph, the recommender should talk about the extra curricular activities of the candidate and their achievements in it. It helps in highlighting important qualities like teamwork, passion, enthusiasm, etc.

Fifth Paragraph
This is the conclusion part of the letter and should highlight the essential details written in the letter.



LOR Guidelines for Some of the Top Universities 

University Requirements
Boston University, USA 2-3 LORs to be submitted online
UC Berkeley Global, USA Optional submission of 2 LORs
University of Arizona, USA 3 academic or professional LORs
University of Winnipeg, Canada 2 academic LORs to be submitted online or via mail
Thompson Rivers University, Canada 1 optional academic or professional LOR
Royal Roads University, Canada 1 personal reference; 1 work-related reference
Lancaster University, UK 2 references are required out of which at least one should be an academic reference letter
University of Surrey, UK 2 academic or professional LORs 
Oxford Brookes University, UK 1-2 academic recommendation letters


LOR Samples

To Whom It May Concern

It is my pleasure to strongly recommend [Applicant Name] for [Company Position or Institution Acceptance].

I’m [Your Name], and I work at [Your Institution or Company] as a [Your Position]. I’ve worked in [Your Industry or Academic Focus] for [Number] years and have watched numerous young professionals arrive and go. [Applicant Name] is one of the people I’ve worked with who stands out.

[Applicant Name] demonstrated exceptional abilities in [Skill, Trait, Experience, Class, etc.] during our time together. I was very impressed by [Applicant’s Name] when we first met. Her understanding of [Key Topic] grew significantly more than that of her colleagues over the period they worked together.

[Insert a personal story that elucidates key skills, traits, or experiences].

But it’s not simply her technical abilities that impress me. Because of her incredibly optimistic attitude and [Positive Trait], [Applicant Name] was a joy to work with. Her [Positive Trait] and [Positive Trait] were also important and cherished not just by myself, but also by her peers, who relied on her to complete tasks.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at [Contact Information] if you require further information or particular examples. I’d be pleased to go into greater detail about my professional experience.


[Name and title]

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Can the letter of recommendation be handwritten?

No, the letter of recommendation should not be handwritten.

How long should a Letter of Recommendation be?

The Letter of Recommendation should be between 500-600 words. 

How many types of LOR are there?

There are 2 types of LOR:

  • Academic Letter Of Recommendation
  • Professional Letter Of Recommendation

How many LORs are asked by the University?

Generally, the universities ask for 2-3 LORs.

How much time should one take to write a perfect LOR?

Around 2-3 weeks time is enough for writing an error free Letter of Recommendation.

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