Professional Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Format from a Supervisor

While as a general practice, most MBA Programs have a form based LOR which has standard questions that the recommender is supposed to answer about the applicant, sometimes universities also ask simply for a letter of recommendation. This is a running LOR format, much like the Academic LOR format. The difference is more of the content than the basic word limit or font style.

Much like any LOR, a professional LOR is also divided into four small paragraphs of about 100 words each. Here is a paragraph by paragraph description of how the recommendation letters should be prepared when they are to be submitted by a supervisor or a colleague.

In the first paragraph, provide the following details (of the recommender) – designation, department and organization name, city. Also write the capacity in which the recommender has been associated to you along with the number of years/duration of your association with him/her. Also mention your designation and department in the organization. Write about your role and responsibilities that impressed this recommender.

In the second paragraph, ask the recommender to mention your professional achievements. For instance, if you contributed to reducing the cost of a process, quantify it and present it as an achievement. Ask the recommender to mention any client appreciation that you received. Mention your team handling skills and how you motivated your team members to achieve excellence. In other words, highlight your leadership skills.

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In the third paragraph, please mention your project, seminar, workshop, etc. (their names along with your contribution to them) this recommender would like to talk about. Ask the recommender to explicitly mention what about these impressed him/her. In this paragraph, the recommender may also provide any instance where you applied a theoretical concept practically which impressed the recommender. You may provide details of just about any activity pertaining to academics/research you participated in that the recommender wishes to share with the Admission Committee. The recommender may also talk about your research interest and your aptitude/capability for research work.

In the fourth paragraph, the recommender must mention your extra-curricular/co-curricular activities you undertook at your workplace and your achievements in the same. It is important to end the LOR with the recommender’s information like the name, designation, department, organization and contact details. Email is more or less mandatory to provide. Applicants should also keep in mind that the LOR should clearly state the recommender’s relationship with the applicant.

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