THE COMMON CHALLENGES FACED IN CHOOSING THE “RIGHT RECOMMENDERS”

The people who can write Recommendation Letters for applicants, who wish to study in the US universities or International universities are usually aware of the aspects, tone, and style of writing it. The LOR is critical in terms of its angle from which the author views it, he understands the purposes of it, he understands well the applicant’s appraisal methods by the admission committee in the light of the areas which he (the author) has witnessed and thus penned it.(For example - the writer should understand the technical aspects of a MS degree for a B.Tech /B.E candidate OR the pressures of the MBA course curriculum for any executive wanting to do a MBA).Here it is important that the writer frames the Letter, as it can be best understood without misinterpretations and be understood exactly what he wants to express about the character. To take care of these things, there are many abstract as well as concrete measuring qualities a candidate has to view and then decide on choosing the correct Recommender for himself/herself. We can discuss the challenges a candidate faces in both the areas here.

ABSTRACT (NOT MEASURABLE/NON QUANTIFIABLE) ASPECTS:

  • The Recommender chosen, is a faculty member, but has no idea or much knowledge about the soft skills of a person (like leadership, teamwork, maturity and decision making abilities) the soft skills are much needed in today’s corporate executive or any entrepreneur. If your recommenders is himself not well aware of these, how can he judge and give a comment.
  • The applicant’s supervisors who view and rate him/her very well, but don’t have the requisite knowledge, style and tact to present facts. Asking these kinds of people can be a “total blow” to your application. The applicant should see whether they can write good English, they possess the knowledge and the tact of presenting all relevant information properly and of course they should always be ready to advocate for the candidate if need be, which means they should be always for him/her.
  • Prospective recommenders who ask the candidate to write their own LOR. This is an absolute “No”. The admissions committee will at once notice this.

CONCRETE (MEASURABLE/ASSESSABLE) ASPECTS:

  • Candidates should select authors for their LOR, from people whose native language is English. This may seem to be a small step, but has far reaching consequences. A person who has command over the language can present it well and in a way it is intended for the person to understand, without being too short or too long.
  • Bosses and clients, who fall short of time (always have a tight time bound schedule), shouldn’t be asked for a LOR, as they usually tend to be very short in their approach.
  • Many companies, for Legal reasons, don’t accept furnishing any information apart from the applicant’s name, Title held, Department etc.

These are some common obstacles, a candidate faces in the selection of his potential recommenders, but thankfully, all of them can be dealt and have solutions.