LOR Samples - Writing Tips, Types, Format, and Common Mistakes

By Cyril Zachariah Updated On - Aug 02, 2022 04:35 PM

Want help creating a LOR for your studies abroad? Read this article outlining the LOR samples you can use to create the appropriate recommendation letter to study abroad. Check out the sample LORs, templates and formats for various courses and the different formats for the different types of LORs as well.

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Included in the list of documents that need to be submitted during the admission process abroad, especially for master's and MBA courses abroad, applicants most likely will be required to submit a couple of letters of recommendation, from previous employers or professors/teachers.

Nevertheless, some universities may even ask candidates to submit a letter of recommendation even if they are applying for an undergraduate programme. Regardless of the level of programme, most letters of recommendation would follow a common format and structure, commonly used by students applying to top tier universities across the world. One of the best ways to understand how to write a recommendation letter is to refer to LOR samples that have been created by professionals.

In this article, we will specifically talk about LOR samples that you can use for your admissions to bachelor's, master's, and MBA courses abroad. You can also find links to sample LORs for bachelor's, master's and MBA programmes, thus helping you design your LOR perfectly for your desired courses abroad.

Types of LORs

As mentioned above, there are two major types of LORs (Letters of Recommendation) that are usually submitted by applicants across the globe. The two types of LORs submitted are:

  • Academic LORs: These are letters of recommendation created by faculty members like teachers or professors highlighting a candidate’s academic prowess and achievements.

  • Professional LORs: As can be conferred by the name, professional letters of recommendation are created by an immediate supervisor or manager highlighting the professional experience and prowess of the applicant and focuses primarily on their leadership skills, expertise and other important skills and qualities.

Note: Depending on the course that has been selected, you can be asked to present either of the two types of LORs or can be asked to present a combination of the two if you possess valid professional experience in the relevant field. Click and refer to the links for the LOR samples that we have created for you in this article.

LOR Samples, Template and Format to Study Abroad

When writing a letter of recommendation, students must offer the recommender the proper LOR samples, templates and formats to increase their chances of being selected by their desired university or college abroad. These LOR samples, templates and formats for admissions to universities abroad will differ depending on the type of LOR that is required by the university of your choice. Let us discuss the popularly accepted format for the different types of LORs, that you can ask your immediate supervisor or professor/teacher to follow.

Here is the general template for letters of recommendation that should be followed:

  • Letterhead - All letters of recommendation should be written on a paper with the official letterhead of either the university (in case of the academic LOR) or the company (in case of the professional LOR) where the recommender is currently employed.

  • Salutation - As is the case with any letter, the writer needs to address the reader, in this case, the admission committee of a university. However, as it is possible to not know the name of the person reading, a common practice adopted for such situations is to use “To Whom This May Concern”.

  • Para 1: Introduction - The first paragraph should always be an introduction of the writer, (in this case, the recommender), their profession, job role and their professional relationship with the applicant. An additional point that can be added to the introduction is the reasons for which the recommender has chosen to write a LOR for the applicant.

  • Para 2-3: Merits and Achievements of the Applicant - The second and the third paragraphs of the LOR should mention everything from the applicant’s skills and qualities displayed during their time working with the recommender to the applicant’s academic and professional qualifications and achievements. Here, candidates are advised to provide the recommender with the necessary information.

  • Para 4: Applicant’s Potential - Here, the recommender should provide their understanding of the candidate’s potential and how the selected course will benefit the applicant in enhancing their overall skills and knowledge, thus, being able to contribute significantly to society.

  • Para 5: Conclusion - The recommender should conclude the LOR by summarising all the points that have been raised, specifically highlighting the key points about the applicant.

Note: Adding test scores or academic reports to the LORs will not be beneficial for the applicant, therefore, it is crucial to ensure that all the information that has been provided in the LOR is, not only different from those found in the applicant’s SOP and application form but also reveals a positive side of the applicant that can only be highlighted by a supervisor or faculty who has worked with the applicant.

LOR Samples, Template and Format: Supervisor Format

The supervisor format for LOR usually means that a previous supervisor or manager will be writing you a letter of recommendation. In this case, your immediate supervisor/manager will highlight your proficiency in the field from a professional perspective, further highlighting your skills and qualities that they may have witnessed first-hand while working with you.

Some of the important points that should be included in a professional letter of recommendation, i.e. LOR in Supervisor Format, are as follows:

  • Areas of Expertise

  • Areas displaying the strength of the candidate in the workplace

  • Leadership skills and abilities

  • Soft skills

Note: Your supervisor or manager should be someone who has worked with you and has witnessed your professional performance. This will help them easily formulate the LOR and better highlight the suitability of your candidature for admissions to a course. It should be noted that the supervisor format for LORs will most likely be used for admissions to masters and MBA programmes abroad. You can also check out the links for sample LORs that you can refer to when creating the necessary recommendation letter.

LOR Samples, Template and Format: Faculty Format

The LOR faculty format or academic letter of recommendation is commonly written by a previous professor or teacher who has seen you display academic excellence and potential in the relevant field. Some of the relevant attributes that should be mentioned in an academic LOR are outlined as follows:

  • Candidate’s academic achievements in the relevant field;

  • Candidate’s involvement in research and other academic projects;

  • Situations where the candidate displayed work ethic and/or expertise in a field;

  • Candidate’s initiatives and achievements in extracurricular activities.

Note: While the recommender has the right to structure the letter as per their discretion, the recommended/applicant must provide the general guidelines and structure that they think should be mentioned in the academic LOR. For those looking for sample LORs, click on one of the links that have been provided in this article.

How to Write a LOR for Different Courses?

A key to writing a LOR specifically designed for a particular subject or course is understanding what the course has to offer the applicant and the skills and knowledge that the candidate already possesses. However, it should be noted that most LORs will be similar in format but will be different contextually, as the admission committee will look for different skillsets and qualities in students depending on the course they wish to pursue. One of the best ways to understand how to write a recommendation letter is to refer to sample LORs that we have designed specifically for you.

LOR Samples, Template and Format: Bachelor Courses Abroad

While most universities abroad may not require one for undergraduate admissions, a LOR for bachelor courses can also be created and required by some universities abroad. In most cases wherein applicants will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation for bachelor courses, the aforementioned LOR will most likely be written by teachers or professors from the previous academic institution who have experienced your research or work. Some of the points that should be considered when writing a LOR for bachelor courses abroad are:

  • Highlight the academic prowess and achievements of the candidate.

  • Include any academic awards or recognitions that the applicant has received during their studies at the previous institution.

  • Mentioning the candidate’s ability to work in a team, present leadership skills, as well as demonstrate good research abilities will curry favour towards the candidate from the admissions committee.

Note: A letter of recommendation created by a teacher or professor for candidates applying for bachelor's courses abroad should focus primarily on the academic rigour and achievements of the candidates and their relevance to the course the applicant may have selected. However, to better understand how to write an academic letter of recommendation or a LOR for bachelor courses, check out the links provided in the article leading to sample LORs for bachelor courses abroad.

LOR Samples, Template and Format: Master Courses Abroad

As stated above, when writing a LOR, recommenders should focus on the skills, qualities and knowledge the applicant brings to the table, specifically keeping the course that they have selected. For master's courses abroad, depending on the subject/course they wish to pursue, recommenders should provide relevant expertise, knowledge and experiences that they witnessed from the applicant, providing the admission committee with further insight into the true potential of an applicant. Some of the key tips and tricks to remember when writing a LOR for masters courses abroad:

  • Choose the appropriate Recommender: If you choose someone who does not share any professional experience working with you, then they will not be able to highlight any of your skills and knowledge relevant to the course. Moreover, they will not be able to provide the admission committee with any solid reasons as to why you would make a suitable candidate for admissions.

  • Relevant Information: A key element to writing an influential LOR is providing the recommender with the relevant information and appropriate documents that they can refer to. This will further help them highlight your skills and qualifications that make you an ideal candidate for the selected course.

  • Backed by Instances: When recommending you as a suitable candidate, you should remind them that they need to support their claims by providing substantial evidence in the form of instances or examples where you displayed relevant skills, knowledge application or experience.

  • Focus on Technical Expertise: Depending on the type of LOR chosen, in the case of LORs for MS/Masters courses abroad, recommenders should focus on the technical skills, expertise and knowledge that the applicant may have displayed previously.

Note: A letter of recommendation for master's courses abroad should highlight their professional and academic expertise in the field. Additionally, recommenders should try and connect the different elements of the course with the skills and experience possessed by the applicant to create a more relevant and influential document. Those who need clarification on the topic can check out the sample LOR links that have been listed in this article.

LOR Samples, Templates and Format: MBA Abroad

More relevant to MBA courses and other similar graduate management courses, letters of recommendation hold a significant influence on a student’s chances of pursuing such courses in top universities abroad. An influential LOR can substantially change an admission committee’s decision to enrol a prospective student. Here are some of the key points that should be kept in mind when creating a LOR for MBA courses abroad:

  • Highlight the candidate’s analytical, leadership and critical thinking skills, backing them up with relevant examples.

  • To include the most relevant information in the LOR for MBA courses abroad, the recommender and the recommended should talk and raise the points that need to be highlighted for any specific course.

  • Know what the university’s course output goals are, which will help you align the current skills, qualifications and knowledge of the applicant with the skills, qualifications and knowledge that the university aims to enhance.

  • Keep all the relevant academic credentials and achievements at hand in order to present them in the LORs in a fashion that will be beneficial to the applicant.

  • Like with LORs for master's courses abroad, MBA LORs should be designed keeping in mind the professional expertise and experiences gained by the applicant, specifically highlighting the leadership and decision-making skills and qualities demonstrated by the applicant.

Note: Specifically for letters of recommendation for MBA courses abroad, recommenders should keep in mind that the admissions committee for MBA courses are looking for candidates possessing significant leadership and decision-making skills. Therefore, it is crucial to design the MBA LOR accordingly. Check out the LOR samples for MBA courses on this page to get a better understanding of the topic.

 

LOR Samples to Study Abroad

If your desired university abroad requires you to present a valid letter of recommendation along with the application form, then given below are some of the samples for LORs used to apply to universities abroad.

Sample LOR by Faculty - Academic LOR Sample

For those looking for an academic LOR sample, click on the following link, where you will be able to find relevant information about how to write an academic LOR.

Sample Letter of Recommendation from Faculty - Academic LOR Sample

Sample LOR by Supervisor - Professional LOR Sample

If your desired course and university abroad is requiring you to submit a professional LOR, then click on the following link to find a professional LOR sample, which highlights how you should write a LOR from your previous employer.

Sample Letter of Recommendation from Supervisor - Professional LOR Sample

What is a LOR?

A letter of recommendation, i.e. LOR, is a document submitted by a prospective applicant looking to enrol in an organisation or higher education institution. There are two types of LORs that can be submitted by prospective students, aspiring to pursue their dream programme abroad. The Letter of Recommendation is a document used by universities and admission committees to gain a deeper understanding of an applicant, helping them to classify prospective students as a suitable candidate to study at their university. If you are looking to better understand what a letter of recommendation is, check out the links provided in the article that will lead you to sample LORs for admissions to bachelor's, masters and MBA courses abroad.

Why is LOR Important?

From the information given above, it can be concluded that letters of recommendation act as verifiable proof of eligibility and potential, authorised by a person in a senior position who has witnessed you work and present your true potential.

In most cases, universities would require applicants to present authentic LORs, especially when applying for master's or MBA courses abroad. At the undergraduate level, LORs for bachelor courses should be written by teachers, school counsellors or the principal, along with the heads of organisations where the applicant may have volunteered, participated or interned.

Meanwhile, for master’s and MBA LORs, applicants must present documents written by their previous college professors, supervisors at different internships or managers from their previous places of employment.

However, to answer the question “Why is LOR important?”, these documents are extremely useful in the prospective student selection process at any university. Much like the Statement of Purpose, a letter of recommendation provides a deeper insight into a candidate, offering them verifiable proof of potential that would otherwise remain undetected. If you are interested in creating the perfect recommendation letter, check out the links provided in this article that will lead you to sample LORs that will further help you create the same properly.

Register and connect with highly experienced study abroad counsellors who can help you build the perfect LOR template for your studies abroad.

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FAQs

What to include in your LOR?

A LOR should usually include the merits and achievements of the applicant along with their potential to contribute significantly to society upon the completion of the course. However, a professional LOR should include the candidate’s decision-making skills, leadership qualities, teamwork and technical skills, while an academic LOR should focus on academic prowess and achievements, research skills and aforementioned skills as well.

What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid in a LOR?

Some of the common mistakes to avoid in a LOR that applicants can make include making grammatical errors, choosing the wrong recommender, including irrelevant information, and making the LOR too positive. However, some of the major mistakes commonly made in LORs include not providing examples, mentioning the same information as the resume or SOP, and using politically incorrect language.

What is the ideal word count of a LOR?

The ideal word count for a LOR may range anywhere between 500-1000, but it is recommended to keep the recommendation letter between 700-800 words. However, it should be noted that some universities will define the word limit and even a format. Therefore, check the admission requirements of each individual institution before submitting any documents.

How is LOR for bachelor’s different from a LOR for Masters?

A major difference between a LOR for bachelor's courses and a LOR for master’s courses is that the undergraduate LORs would primarily be written by professors or teachers who have witnessed your academic prowess and achievements. Meanwhile, a LOR for a master’s can be written by either a faculty member or a supervisor from your previous place of employment.

What is the difference between LOR for MS and MBA?

While the common format is used for letters of recommendation, a LOR for MS courses would primarily focus on technical skills and expertise in the relevant field that a candidate has displayed, either academically or professionally. Meanwhile, a LOR for MBA would focus on the leadership and decision-making skills that the applicant has displayed in the workplace.
 

How to get an LOR from your Supervisor or Faculty?

When choosing the recommender for your professional LOR, you should consider someone who has worked with you and held a higher position than you. This will allow them to provide greater insight into your professional expertise and experience. Meanwhile, for academic LOR, it is advisable to choose a professor or an assistant professor who has worked with you on an academic project.
 

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