Application Checklist Study Abroad

A Letter of Recommendation (LOR): Common Mistakes to Avoid

A letter of recommendation (LOR) is quite an influencing document for admission officers as far as the acceptance of your application is concerned.

Your LOR, basically, acts as a validating document for the claims you’ve made in your CV, personal statement or essays. Also, it is used to analyze and evaluate your reputation amongst your peers.

As an applicant, you must never overlook the importance of this document. By doing so, you’ll be simply ruining your chances of admissions to your favorite study destination.

In our mission to help our readers in their study abroad journey, here is a lowdown of some common mistakes that the applicants, often, tend to make while getting their LOR drafted:

Emphasizing Only the Positive Aspects of Your Personality

No one is perfect, no one has it all!

Therefore, there is no harm if a recommender mentions the areas of your life in which there is a scope of improvement.

By getting only good things written about yourself, you tend to raise doubts of admission council. Remember, the admission officers are quite well-trained in understanding that it has all been fabricated and it, therefore, ends up in creating a negative impression.

The wisdom is, therefore, to optimize your candidature by striking a balance between your strengths and weaknesses.

The Choice of a Recommender

The wrong choice of a recommender is one of the most common mistakes made by the applicants.

Making a right choice of recommender is one of the most crucial factors involved in getting a convincing LOR written.

Your recommender has to be a person who understands you well and has known you for a long time. He/ she should be capable of writing an impressive LOR by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses in a right manner.

It is best to choose someone who has taught you and has, therefore, observed you in different situations. Only such a person is capable of profiling you in a right manner.

Read Also: How to Improve Your Chances of PR as a Study Abroad Student?

Also, your recommender should understand the basic principles of writing an LOR and must maintain a feeling of warmth throughout his/ her writing of the document.

Rushing Up Your Recommender

Do you really think you can ask a recommender to come up with an impressive LOR by approaching him at the eleventh hour?


There are few things you must understand:

  • A person is doing a favor to you by agreeing to write a recommendation letter for you. Therefore, you must respect his/ her time.
  • If you want your LOR to be written well, you need to give your recommender sufficient time to study and draft your candidature.
  • You need to approach a recommender well in advance so that he/she gets can complete LOR before the application timeline. Also, make it a point to give timely reminders to your recommender.

Failure in Providing Relevant Examples

A recommendation letter that talks only of generic content without any relevant examples or instances fail miserably in leaving a positive impression on admission council.

When a recommender fails in providing any examples to support his statements, it directly implies that he is either following a standard format of saying good things about you so as to make your profile look impressive or is short of time. Whatever might be the case, it will weaken your chances of success.

Final Words:

Any candidate who works towards presenting a genuine letter of recommendation to the admission council has maximum chances of getting an acceptance letter.

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