Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for USA: Guidelines for UG & PG Courses, Writing Tips & Requirements

  • Team MasterPrep
  • minute read
  • Feb 15, 2023 02:03 PM

The blog describes the guidelines for writing a letter of recommendation for USA’s UG and PG courses. It further explains the basic format for writing a letter of recommendation alongside some common mistakes to avoid.The blog describes the guidelines for writing a letter of recommendation for USA’s UG and PG courses. It further explains the basic format for writing a letter of recommendation alongside some common mistakes to avoid.

What is a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) ?

An individual who is familiar with the candidate and who can vouch for their credentials, abilities, and character is asked to write a letter of recommendation (LOR). The letter is often prepared by a professional who has had an important and beneficial interaction with the candidate, such as a teacher, professor, supervisor, mentor, or another professional.

The application process for undergraduate and graduate programs, scholarships, internships, and job applications frequently includes the submission of LORs. Providing additional information about the applicant not found in the application or CV is the goal of a LOR. Its goal is to give the admissions panel or hiring manager a sense of the applicant's assets, skills, and likelihood of succeeding in the course or position.

Someone who can attest to the applicant's credentials and skills in a particular sector or business should write the LOR. This person could be a teacher, lecturer, or supervisor who has worked with the applicant directly in the past or present. If accessible, the letter should be typed, be on company letterhead, and bear the writer's signature.

The letter should provide concrete examples and anecdotes that highlight the applicant's qualifications. Additionally, it must to be truthful and present a whole image of the candidate, including any room for development. It is crucial for the candidate to give the individual writing the LOR the necessary details and directions as well as ample time to finish the letter—at least a month before the deadline.

Guidelines to write strong LORs for UG programs in USA

Listed below are the Essential Guidelines that students can follow for Writing a Strong Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for Undergraduate Programs in United states.

  1. LOR should be written by someone who has taught you in a class or supervised you in a research or work setting.
  2. The writer should be able to speak to your academic abilities, such as your ability to think critically and your work ethic.
  3. The LOR should also include specific examples of your accomplishments and how you stand out from other students.
  4. Some universities may have specific guidelines for LORs, such as a required format or word count. Make sure to check the university's website for these guidelines.

Also read: How to Study abroad after 12th?

Useful Tips to write a USA Letter of Recommendation

Mentioned below are some of the Expert Tips that you can keep in mind while Crafting a Compelling Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for US Admissions. Before you start writing the Letter of Recommendation, you must know the types and what purpose it serves. The types of LOR include:

Academic Letter of Recommendation

A written assessment of a student's academic potential and abilities is contained in an academic letter of recommendation (LOR). Typically, a professor, instructor, or academic advisor who has instructed or supervised the student will write it. An academic LOR is used to give admissions committees more details on a student's academic background, accomplishments, and likelihood of success in their chosen field of study.

Professional Letter of Recommendation 

A professional letter of recommendation (LOR) is a written statement that assesses a person's character, abilities, and work history. It is typically written by a manager, coworker, or supervisor who has worked with the person in the past or present. A professional LOR's main goal is to give potential employers more details about a candidate's work performance, accomplishments, and likelihood of success in their chosen field of employment.

Basic Format for writing a Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

Here is a sample format for a letter of recommendation:

  • Letterhead: Use your professional letterhead or include your name, title, organization, address, phone number, and email.
  • Date: Include the date the letter was written.
  • Recipient's Information: Include the recipient's name, title, organization, address, and email.
  • Salutation: Start with a professional salutation, such as "Dear [Recipient's Name],"
  • Introduction: Start with a brief introduction, including your relationship with the individual and the purpose of the letter.

Also read: Education Abroad Terms | Common Terms Related to Education Abroad

LOR Body

  • Provide context: Explain your relationship with the individual and how long you have known them. Also, explain your role and the context in which you have worked with or observed the individual.
  • Focus on strengths: Highlight the individual's strengths, skills, achievements, and areas of expertise. Use specific examples to illustrate your points.
  • Be honest: Be truthful about the individual's abilities and performance, but also maintain a positive and supportive tone.
  • Conclusion: Sum up the individual's qualifications and state your strong recommendation for their admission or employment.
  • Closing: End with a professional closing, such as "Sincerely “or” Best regards,"
  • Signature: Sign the letter in blue or black ink.
  • Enclosure: If you are sending additional materials with the LOR, such as a resume or transcript, indicate this in the closing with the words "Enclosure" or "Enclosures"

Also read: Statement of Purpose | How to Write | Format

Mistakes to Avoid in a Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

The following are some errors you should steer clear of while writing a letter of recommendation (LOR):

  1. Lack of specificity: Steer clear of making generalizations that could apply to many people. Give specific examples to highlight the person's skills and capabilities.
  2. False information: Ensure that the data you put in the LOR is true and current.
  3. Negativity: Refrain from being critical or negative, even if you are speaking the truth. Pay attention to the person's qualities and favourable traits.
  4. Unorganization: Ensure that the LOR is organised and simple to read. Make it easy for the recipient to follow by using headings and bullet points.
  5. Not adhering to the rules: Make sure you adhere to any instructions given by the recipient, such as the letter's length restrictions or a list of required information.
  6. Typos and grammatical errors: Proofread your LOR carefully to avoid typos and grammatical errors. These mistakes can make the letter appear unprofessional.
  7. Failure to get consent: Verify that the person has given you permission to write a LOR on their behalf.
  8. Leaving out critical information: Be sure to include all pertinent information about the person, such as their credentials, abilities, and accomplishments.
  9. Lack of enthusiasm: Make sure your excitement for the candidate and their credentials comes across in the LOR.

Sample LOR 

Here is a sample format for an updated letter of recommendation:

[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Your Company/Institution]
[City, State ZIP Code]

[Recipient Name]
[Admissions Committee/Department]
[University/Institution Name]
[City, State ZIP Code]

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing this letter to highly recommend [Student Name] for admission to [University/Institution Name]. I have had the pleasure of working with [Student Name] as [his/her] [teacher/mentor/supervisor/colleague] for [duration of time].

During this time, I have been consistently impressed by [Student Name]'s [academic/professional] abilities and [personal/leadership] qualities. [He/She] has demonstrated [evidence of achievements, such as high grades, awards, or successful projects]. [He/She] has also shown [evidence of soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, or problem-solving].

[Student Name] has a strong passion for [field of study or career goal], which is evident in [his/her] commitment to [relevant activities or projects]. [He/She] has consistently sought out opportunities to enhance [his/her] knowledge and skills in this area. [Provide specific examples or anecdotes to support your claims].

I am confident that [Student Name] will make a valuable contribution to [University/Institution Name] community. [He/She] has the drive, determination, and talent to excel in [field of study or career goal]. I highly recommend [him/her] for admission without any hesitation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information.

[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

In conclusion, a well-written, positive letter of recommendation can go a long way toward supporting your application. The guidelines should make it possible for your recommender to write the best LOR.

Also read: Marine Engineering in the USA