The college recommendation letter is a crucial aspect of the college application process. High school students work hard to get impressive GPAs and standardized test scores, hoping that this would be enough to get them into their dream colleges. However, this is seldom the case since most competitive colleges look beyond these credentials, especially when applicants' stratospheric grades are the norm.
Some colleges like Stanford and Harvard are notoriously challenging to get accepted into, making documents like the recommendation letter critical for the process. According to recent data, Harvard and Stanford are among the most selective, with only about 5% of applicants who seek admission getting accepted.
To boost your acceptance chances, you will need to submit recommendation letters. Assessments from counselors and instructors are most useful when storied and specific. They offer colleges the info and inklings they cannot learn about candidates from other application elements. This article highlights what constitutes a great endorsement letter and how to write one.
What Is a College Recommendation Letter?
A letter of endorsement is a formalized communication from a previous teacher, professor, manager, counselor, or someone with the capacity to vouch for a candidate's skills, accomplishments, and integrity. The person drafting the letter should indicate why they believe the candidate is a great fit for the role being filled. In other words, the letter should indicate why the person is competent and what makes them ideal.
In business settings, letters of endorsement can be replaced by quick reference calls to former employers. However, in the academic environment, colleges ask for letters of commendation from authoritatively and honestly vouch for the applicant's character and academic credentials.
What Does Recommendation Letter Look Like?
Admission officers give serious consideration to recommendation letters as they allow a sneak-peek into abilities. College admissions are getting increasingly competitive, and recommendations help applicants improve their acceptance prospects.
Most college admissions officials prefer a holistic view of candidates, and the letters offer elements not reflected in grades and test scores. A great recommendation letter vouches for the applicant, raving about the amazing qualities while opening a window into their character and traits.
A great recommendation letter for college focuses on the applicant's contributions, accomplishments, motivations, character, reliability, attitude, and other skills. When asking someone to write this important document for you, ensure that they know you well. Here are some features of expertly written recommendation letters.
- They are positive, honest, and personal — The writer uses personalized stories or observations relating to experiences with the candidate;
- They talk about what qualifies the writer to recommend the applicant — The writer talks about the nature of their association with the contender;
- They identify specific qualities and behaviors depicted by the candidate — The writer highlights particular attributes that college admission officers may find useful;
- They highlight the writer's availability for follow-ups — The author lets recruitment officers know how to contact them to ask further questions.
How to Write an Endorsement Letter Without Experience
When asked to write a college recommendation letter and you have no previous experience with this type of text, what do you do? The first thing to do is ensure you have a good comprehension of what the recommendation letter entails. This document makes a statement of support for an applicant, showing why they qualify for specific positions.
The person writing the testimonial letter should preferably be in a working or academic or work association with the candidate. The text ought to properly document the assessment of the candidate and offer adequate evidence and info to help admission officials to make a decision.
Here are some insights on how to draft an endorsement letter if you have no experience:
- Ask the candidate to provide the relevant information, including the resume, academic transcripts, explanation of career goals, cover letter, and copy of application essay;
- Prepare an outline by listing the main strengths, skills, and abilities;
- Start your letter by indicating the rationale of the document and the complexion of your affiliation with the contender;
- Be specific in your writing, giving anecdotes and stories that highlight character;
- Edit and proofread the text to eliminate typos and grammar mistakes.
What to Write in the Recommendation Letter
If the applicant is pursuing a specific academic program and has the description ready, use it to enhance the letter of recommendation college. Note that the college endorsement letter can offer additional information and a more positive sense of the candidate’s characteristics.
When it comes to what to incorporate in the letter, make sure to write about the context of the application. This means providing some basic information on your identity and how you are related to the applicant. What qualifies you to give a testimonial to the learner's integrity? It would help if you also talked about why the applicant is competent and the particular skill-sets.
How Long Is a Good Endorsement?
The letter of recommendation for college can be as short as one or two concise paragraphs. Remember, you don’t want something lengthy that will bore your readers. Whatever the goal of the endorsement, one page is enough to sing the praises of the candidate.
How to Start the Endorsement
The initial section of the endorsement ought to explain the goal of your document and the association you have with the hopeful. How familiar are you with the applicant in question? The intro should also highlight your expertise or experience, while preparing your readers for what is to follow.
How to Title the Reference Letter
An important element of the letter of recommendation is the title or salutation. Professionals recommend personalizing the salutation, indicating the reader’s name if possible. This is more effective when you know the person to whom your letter is addressed. When drafting a more general reference letter, you could write "To Whom It May Concern."
What to Incorporate in the Endorsement
A well-written letter of recommendation to college should address its specific purpose, presenting both personal character and academic abilities. It should offer a general picture of the applicant's performance, personal experience, abilities, and strengths.
The document can also be used to justify or explain any ambiguity in the applicant's academic record. If needed, and provided you have consulted the applicant, you can talk about financial hardship, illness in the family, or any issue that may have affected their academic journey.
How to Format the Endorsement
A well-written endorsement letter should include three primary points. It should highlight your affiliation to the candidate, your assessments and observations of their abilities, and why you consider them qualified. At the start of your reference letter, establish context by talking about your qualifications and association with the student. Also, talk about the duration of your association.
The second part of your endorsement should deliberate your appraisal of the candidate's work. Talk about notable strengths and abilities, relating them to the academic program and college. Tailor the endorsement letter to the academic program, giving your professional opinion on the applicant's likelihood of success.
How to Sign the Endorsement
The final part of your testimonial letter is the signing off. You are expected to end the letter with a closing statement before providing your full support for the candidate. Finalize by signing off with "Yours Sincerely."
How Many Words Are in a Reference Letter?
The reference letter is a concise and clear document submitted directly to the admissions office without necessarily being sent to the applicant. The endorsement ought to be between 300 and 400 words long, enough to present the applicant's character, abilities, achievements. Avoid wordiness when drafting your letter.
What Font Should You Use for the Letter?
When creating the recommendation letter for college student, strive for readability. This means using a clear and easy-to-read conventional font. Choose fonts of between ten and twelve points. New Times Roman or Arial are always ideal. This way, admissions officers will be able to easily read your content as they review applications.
What Makes a Good Endorsement?
A great reference letter should be concise and clear. Provide examples or particular anecdotes that emphasize your support. Instead of telling the readers that the applicant is an incredible writer, talk about an award-winning essay or highlight specific accomplishments.
The college application recommendation letter should match the academic program's requirements with the applicant's qualifications and skills. The objective is to vouch for the person in a way that boosts their acceptance prospects.
So, please review the course requirements and talk about how specific abilities possessed by the candidate qualify them to thrive in the program. Ensure to incorporate your contact information to allow the college to contact you if needed.
How to End the Endorsement
The conclusion of your endorsement letter should reaffirm your support for the candidate. Include their full name and the reasons for offering your support. End the letter by including your name, position, and signature. Proofread and edit the document before submitting it to the college.