A professional recommendation letter, also known as an employment certificate or work experience certificate, is an important document often required for MBA abroad applications. It serves as proof of your professional work experience and endorses your skills, achievements, and character.
Crafting an impactful recommendation letter that strengthens your MBA application requires focus on relevant details and proper formatting. Follow these tips to write an effective recommendation letter for your MBA abroad application.
Choose the Right Person to Write the Letter
Your recommendation letter should ideally be written by someone senior to you in the organizational hierarchy who has supervised you and can vouch for your work. Some guidelines on who can write the best recommendation letter:
- Current/Former Supervisor: A supervisor who has closely monitored your work and growth is the best person to write the letter. They can provide an in-depth evaluation.
- Department/Business Head: A department or business head is also suitable, especially if you reported directly to them. Their word carries weight.
- Senior Colleague: A senior coworker who has worked with you extensively can write the letter if getting one from a boss is difficult.
Choose someone who knows your strengths and can objectively highlight your achievements. Also, consider someone who has experience writing such recommendation letters.
Ask Politely and Formally
Once you’ve decided who to request the letter from, reach out to them politely through a formal channel. Here are some tips on how to ask:
- Introduce your purpose for the letter – that you need it for MBA abroad applications.
- Specify the institute and course you are applying for.
- Mention important deadlines for the letter submission.
- If required, provide details on where/how to submit the letter.
- Request if they can positively endorse your skills and experience.
- Use a grateful tone and show appreciation for their consideration.
- Follow up periodically if you don’t receive a prompt response. Be courteous, not demanding.
Giving them the full context and ample time to write the letter increases the chances of getting an impactful recommendation letter.
Provide Your Details and Achievements
To enable the letter writer to accurately highlight your profile, share some key details about yourself:
- Tenure at the organization
- Designations held
- Key responsibilities and achievements
- Promotions and salary growth
- Awards/recognitions received
- Contribution to company growth
- Technical expertise
- Interpersonal abilities
- Management and leadership capabilities
- Areas of specialization
- Degrees/certifications obtained
- Academic projects completed
- Grades achieved
- Scholarships or academic honors
Giving them an overview of your background makes it easier for them to write a specific and result-oriented letter. Share only factual details – avoid exaggerations.
Provide Sample Recommendation Letters
To help the person writing understand the right structure and content format, provide some sample recommendation letters or recommendation letters for MS/MBA abroad.
Key elements to highlight in the samples:
- Letterhead and signature of the recommender
- Salutation addressing the institute/admissions committee
- Brief background of the applicant
- Objective statements on skills and capabilities
- Examples of achievements, contributions, and growth potential
- Summary/valuation of the applicant’s suitability for MBA abroad
- Polite closing statement
The samples will give them clarity on the aspects to focus on and help them create an impactful letter tailored to your profile.
Follow Up Politely
Once you’ve made the request and provided the required information, follow up politely after some time to check if they need any other details from you. You can also request them to send you a draft to review before final submission. Politely checking if the letter meets the objective often leads to a stronger final version. When you receive the final letter, do thank them sincerely for their support. These courtesies help maintain professional relations for the future.
Review the Letter Thoroughly
Once you have the final recommendation letter, review it closely to ensure it meets the purpose and presents you in the best light. Look for:
- Factual accuracy of your background details
- Mention of your key skills, achievements, and contributions
- Highlight of your growth trajectory at the organization
- Valuation of your potential to succeed in an MBA abroad
- Strong endorsement of your candidacy overall
Check for errors or inappropriate content. Ensure the letter is crisp, coherent, and impactful. Request edits if required.
Format the Letter Professionally
The recommendation letter must follow standard professional formatting:
- Print on the company’s official letterhead with signatory details
- Addressed to the specific institute or admissions committee
- Structured into coherent paragraphs
- Free of grammatical/spelling errors
- Within the word limit if specified
- Dated and signed by the recommender
- Saved as a PDF with the recommender’s name in the file name
A polished, professional look elevates the letter’s credibility and strengthens your MBA application.
Submit Per Guidelines
Submit the recommendation letter before the application deadlines through the required channels – online form, career portal, or email. Follow the institute’s specifications on how to submit recommendations.
Confirm with the institute once submitted. For emailed letters, request the sender to cc you on the email so you have a submission record. Proper submission of the letter is vital for your MBA application to be considered complete.
Once you’ve obtained a satisfactory recommendation letter and confirmed its submission, convey your sincere gratitude to the recommender. A simple thank you note, small gift, or thoughtful gesture to show your appreciation can help strengthen your professional relationship. Their time and endorsement matter, so express your thanks.
With an impactful recommendation letter that strongly endorses your candidacy, you can bolster your odds of acceptance for MBA programs abroad. Follow these tips to get a compelling letter that gives your application an edge.