The candidate should firstly brainstorm and make a list of the prospective recommenders, whom he/she can ask for writing a Recommendation/Reference Letter. From the schools’ perspective, they generally prefer people who have worked or taught you like your supervisor, of your current or last organization, your professor at school/college, your research guide if you did any kind of research work. From the above, whomsoever the applicant chooses, the LOR would be at its best if the author knows you in-depth, in order to give a validation of your work and qualifications, he/she is well educated about the admissions processes of the US schools and universities (with the demands of the school on the abilities of the incumbent in particular) and last but not the least has ample endorsing material for the candidate, apart from his valuable time and effort.

The selected recommenders should be persons who have been efficient scholars, leaders with noteworthy academic and professional eminence, who have been closely associated with him/her, and view the candidate as a resourceful individual who can drive a change in an organization. The aforesaid personalities should be keen to throw light on his/her progress and in particular the applicant as a “stand-out” among his peers/students, etc. The referee should be able to advocate why the applicant can take the pressures and is tenacious enough to sustain the particular course he is applying for.

The best way to plan, obtain and decide on the key prospective recommenders is to dwell on the novice approach of what the schools look for in an applicant. It is the GMAT/GRE Score, the Applicant’s Professional experiences, his/her Community profile and the personal attributes of skills, interests and passions. Hence, a key person from these prominent areas, whom the applicant has been collaborating or associated closely can be selected. Thus the best or “Right Recommenders” are:

  • The applicant’s supervisor where he/she is currently working or past employer Supervisors with whom he worked. Here an applicant who has good number of years of experience can encash, as the recommenders should entail his career development and progression, how he has grown from the past in areas of technical expertise, skills like leadership, teamwork, etc. He should explicitly state the height of the applicant’s ambitions and how it has been a powerful catalyst for pursuing of the course he is applying.
  • An administrator/superior of a Voluntary or community development organization, the applicant has contributed, with special citations of his/her offerings. This type of LOR can make a candidate create a captivating and memorable mark on the minds of the admissions committee. The attitude of the applicant along with his dedication, for fighting for a cause for the society at large is what would make this worthwhile. The author should go on to explain the inherent nature of the applicant to mingle in a diverse set-up.
  • Mentors who have been closely associated with the applicant for quite some time, can also be approached as they would give an authentic and substantive evidence to bolster the applicants’ candidature.
  • If the applicant has a varied academic backgrounds, he/she should try to get one LOR from a senior Faculty member of the subjects, from the undergraduate and graduate schools. This typically suggests those faculties with whom who he/she has worked on a project etc.

From past experiences we learn that an applicant is always in a better position if he/she gets his/her LORs written from the said persons.