How to Write the Graduate Recommendation Letter from an Employer: The Ultimate Guide

EssayEdge Graduate Recommendation letter

The graduate recommendation letter from the employer became an inescapable and valuable feature of the graduate application path. Nearly all graduate schools require at least two recommendation letters to support the pack of the application documents. One of which is usually produced by the past or current employer. 

One might think that crafting a graduate school recommendation letter from an employer for the graduate school is a piece of cake. However, there is a set of nuances that need to be accounted for to produce a stellar recommendation that would provide a comprehensive glimpse of the candidates’ qualities and competencies. 

Normally, the graduate programmes outline the set of questions that should be addressed by the referee. This framework helps to put together the recommendation letter from the employer for graduate school in a structured and logical way. 

Choose the right one.

As an applicant, you have the right to choose who will be your referee. Stay selective. Think about all your previous employers and supervisors you had, and who was quite familiar with your performance. The referee should not simply be your manager, but the person who truly knows you and can lay out an impression about your dedication to the job, while delving into certain examples of recommendation letter for graduate school. If you happen to have quite a robust experience, then you might be lucky to choose between a few potential referees. Otherwise, approach the one who supervised you, rather than being a co-worker at your department. It is critical to get the senior voice who will only add value to your recommendation letter. Always target the higher manager, and never settle down for less. 

Limited working experience.

With a minimum of working full-time experience, there is still a chance to find the right person who can provide you with a sound and original recommendation letter. Better to avoid family and friends connections, however. Instead, you can always approach your supervisor of the debate club you have been a part of, as an example. Alternatively, such placements as summer jobs, volunteering programs or any other out of class activities can become those working experiences you can think of. Always think about those people who supervised your leadership and organizational skills, and target the one who possessed seniority over you.

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Help your referee. 

Once you set your mind, think about certain practicalities. To start with, send an email to your former employer, politely reminding them about who you are and how you were aligned with the company, finally adding a line or two in relation to your future academic aspirations.

Even though your referee possesses the best knowledge of your background, it might be wise to supply them with your CV, motivation letter and other details of your professional experience. The easiest way to do so is to send your resume and the supplementary short bio, which would enlist your traits, strengths and would help to capture the applicant’s advantage as a whole. The details of the program you are applying to can be sent as well, so the recommender could convey the holistic message for a graduate school recommendation letter from the employer. Additionally, you might provide your supervisor with a list of all the projects and things you were engaged with during your employment. This will be beneficial in terms of connecting the dots between the competencies you acquired, and the projects throughout which you demonstrated these skills. In such a way, this will simplify and facilitate the crafting of the recommendation letter for both of you.

Where to begin with?

In certain cases, you might be asked by the referee to compile your letter for yourself. Here starts the self-praise roller coaster. You might struggle to say good things about yourself, while staying objective, but persuasive about your performance. However, this is not the right time to be humble and reserved. It is your time to shine like a diamond. That is why this letter should be focused on unpacking the best of your qualities and potential.

First and foremost, the recommender should demonstrate in which capacity and context they interacted with the applicant, including minor details like the length of this cooperation, roles, and place. The opening line should also contain certain formalities, such as the full name of the applicant, the name of the graduate program and other dates, and places. It is crucial to add a heading in the beginning as well, where the name of the graduate program and the name of the person who is in charge of it. 

The main body of the letter should pinpoint those interactions during which the supervisor could observe your leadership, organizational, management and other hard skills you showcased at the workplace. Ideally, all the words should be accompanied by concrete examples of your performance. For instance, the supervisor can mention the specific solutions to problems you suggested, the new approaches you introduced or anything else that has been implemented by you. It is recommended to focus on three to four of the major strengths of the candidate and illustrate in detail only a few of these, instead of saying too many generic and not personalized things. 

Apart from this, a bit of attention should be allocated to your excellent traits. No matter how efficient you are, your attitude and behaviour should be satisfying as well. In this case, the supervisor might be asked to elaborate on how you engaged with the team, overcame tight deadlines, managed stress, stayed proactive and excelled at some tasks. Put it differently, here the referee has to advocate for your communication skills, ability to be disciplined, initiative, prioritize tasks and  Once again, all the words need to be supported with evidence of such behaviour. Simple examples from daily working life are the best, and there is no need to exaggerate or tell the nonexistent fairytale. 

Every recommendation letter should also encompass the meaningful comment on the applicant’s skills they mention in the motivation letter and CV. Put it the other way round, any skill, competence and trait should be validated by the referee. Moreover, a good recommendation letter fills the gaps on those matters of the applicant, which are not sufficiently covered in other admission documents

Moving forward.

Some other basics should be reflected in the cover letter. It is always relevant to put an emphasis on those skills of a candidate which would be of particular interest to the admissions officer. For these purposes, some of the criteria for admission are needed to be demonstrated in the recommendation letter as well. It is quite welcomed when the recommender describes a candidate's excellent performance in line with the selection criteria. 

An excellent recommendation letter from the employer should also underscore mainly out-of-class competencies. The referee should discuss primarily the skills and perks of your personality which were observed at the workplace while avoiding duplicating anything that has been said by the applicant in his cover letters. 

Concluding remarks.

When everything regarding strength and accomplishment has been said, it is time to elaborate on why this applicant particularly fits the program. A recommender should emphasize the potential of the candidate and how this will help them to thrive in a challenging academic environment. The final words should be devoted to the uniqueness of the applicant which rests solely on the subjective and professional interaction, and which explains why you stand out of the crowd. 

Strong recommendation letter for graduate school: Rules of thumb.

Always make sure you indicate the deadlines for the recommendation letter and the ways it should be submitted. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the recommendation letters are uploaded online or sent by email in a timely manner. So watch out! To be on time, it is recommended to reach out to the referee at least one month before the upcoming deadline, so stick to this timeline. 

Even though you might not be responsible for writing the letter from the employer, this should be proofread by the applicant as well. Namely, double-check whether the titles, duties and the name of the graduate programme look accurate for you. Make sure there are no discrepancies between the recommendation letter and your CV. 

As a general rule, keep an eye on the length, which should not exceed one page. The heading should include to whom the letter is addressed, in particular, the name of the graduate program. Last but not the least, the letter should contain the signature and if possible the stamp of the organization the referee represents. 

Do not struggle alone.

On a final note, no one expects you to face this challenge alone. Once the major parts of the recommendation letter are finished, do not hesitate to find an expert who can help you to polish your recommendation letter. EssayEdge can guide you through this process, and offer the editing services of your recommendation letter. Check out the website now and find yourself a mentor to make an outstanding recommendation letter for graduate school. You can also check out the examples on the website, and get inspired by these samples. 

A glowing recommendation letter always:

  • Crafted in close cooperation with the supervisor and the applicant.
  • Well-structured in a logical and nuanced way.
  • Sounds and looks professional.
  • Mentions accurate and truthful information. 
  • Contains all the necessary details – the more, the merrier. Names of courses, organizations and other titles are always on point. 
  • Follows the chronological order to enlist certain actions.
  • Has the reference to the full name of the applicant is indicated clearly.
  • Contains the active voice used to describe the achievements of the applicant.
  • Proofread by both sides.
  • Submitted on time.

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