Letter of Recommendation- Are you looking for How to Get a LOR. Read the instructions below to get an LOR. A recommendation letter or Letter of recommendation is also known as a letter of reference or reference letter. It is a document in which the writer or the referee (to be precise) assesses the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the person being recommended in terms of his/her ability to perform a particular task or function. A referee is ideally a person who is closely related to the potential recommended person in a professional manner either from the school/university or from the work-force (in the case of employment). Thus, referees are in a better position to comment on the suitability of a candidate. LORs are never written by friends and members of the family. These letters are required for jobs or for admissions into colleges and universities. References can be provided via email as well as in a formal written letter. An effective LOR verifies a candidate’s experience, confirms his competence, builds his credibility and bolsters confidence for hiring/admission. The next step is how to get a LOR?
How to get a LOR?
It should be ensured that the referees get at least one month to write LORs before the earliest deadline for admission or job application. It is a good idea to approach the referees politely with a current resume and a complete job or course description of the position that one is aiming for. This helps the referees to tailor their letters accordingly. Potential referees agree to write a supportive LOR in many cases but usually declined if they cannot portray an individual positively. This is because referees do not like to portray a candidate in a negative manner. It is a good practice to check with the referees one week in advance of the deadline in order to ensure if the referees have dispatched or written the LORs. The referees should always be kept in the loop and informed about the application outcomes simply because they have taken out time to prepare the LOR. They should be thanked and their efforts should be appreciated even if an application has not been successful. If they are not kept in the loop then they would not like to write a different LOR in the future. This practice also strengthens the professional or academic relationship. A candidate should never give a gift or other monetary reward to the referees upon a successful outcome.
Categories of LORs
LORs are classed into three basic varieties:
- Employment LOR (Career References): These are used by candidates applying for jobs. The letters detail employment history, job performance, work ethic, and accomplishments of the candidates. Referees include employers or supervisors but letters from co-workers can also be accepted. Employment LOR is different from an experience letter which is given to an employee when he/she leaves the organization.
- Academic LOR: These are used by students during the admission process. Referees are former teachers, principals, deans, coaches, and other education professionals who are familiar with a student’s academic experience or extracurricular achievements. These letters provide the admissions committee with information not found in the application such as information that shows the applicant matches the school’s expectations and requirements.Academic LORs contain confirmation academic performance, honours, awards, Initiative, dedication, integrity, reliability, willingness to follow school policy, the ability to work with others and independently.
- Character References: These are often used for housing accommodations, legal situations, child adoption, and other similar situations where one’s character may be called into question. Referees can include former employers, landlords, business associates, neighbours, doctors, acquaintances, etc. Applicants applying for their first jobs sometimes use character references in combination with career references in order to cover for their lack of professional experience.
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