How to Write a Letter of Recommendation for Business School
Recommendation letters are
often used by students during college admissions or by jobseekers
seeking employment. Many colleges prefer that applicants supply at least
two letters of recommendation during the admissions process. If you want
to truly enhance your application, recommendation letters should be
written by someone who knows you very well.
Business schools are primarily interested in recommendations from
professors who know the applicant and his/her academic work, as well as
from employers. Note: Schools which usually only accept applicants with
several years or more of full-time experience often place greater
importance on letters from employers. They are interested in summary
estimates of the applicant's general promise as a student of business.
The more the evaluation reflects real knowledge of the applicant and
his/her performance, the more useful the letter is to the business
school admissions committees and thus to the applicant. The letter
should address the following:
- Interpersonal skills and leadership ability: How effective
is the candidate in establishing and maintaining relationships? How
well does he or she work with and/or through supervisors, peers and
subordinates? How do you assess the applicant's ability to lead,
ability to delegate responsibility, sensitivity to those less
competent and potential for future success as an administrator? Has
the applicant demonstrated willingness to work in a team environment?
- Personal achievements: Has the applicant sought or created
opportunities to make use of his or her native ability and how
effectively has he/she exploited it? How do the applicant's
achievements compare to those of his/her peers?
- Candidate's insight into his or her own assets and liabilities:
Will the applicant accept constructive criticism? Will he/she accept a
challenge with self-confidence, admit mistakes and ask for help when
- Intellectual qualifications: What is your assessment of the
applicant's analytical skills and ability to grasp new ideas? Has the
applicant's academic record been affected by any special circumstances
such as work or academic background? Does the applicant have the
ability to apply his/her knowledge creatively?
- Ability to communicate: Is the applicant an effective
writer? Does the written work submitted demonstrate a mastery of the
conventions of English? Is the written material clear, well-organized
and forceful? Is the applicant articulate in oral expression?
- Industry and self-discipline: To what extent does the
applicant possess the traits of persistence, efficiency and
motivation? Is there any reason to doubt the applicant's diligence as
- Potential for the study of business: What is your
prediction of the applicant's probable performance in the study of
business? How well do you think the applicant has thought out plans
for graduate study? Among others recommended for business school, how
does this candidate rate?
- Is there any other information about the applicant which you would
like to share with admissions committees?
The bottom line, please
choose recommenders who are able to provide specific answers to the
- How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
- How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar
- Please give an example of the applicant's impact on a person,
group, or organization.
- Please give a representative example of how the applicant
interacts with other people.
- Which of the applicant's personal or professional characteristics
would you change?
- Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this
Nowadays, recommenders may submit recommendations
either online or through the mail.