3 Important Things to Know About Letters of Recommendation for the MBA Application (2023)

The recommendation letter is a very important part of the MBA application. It gives the MBA Admissions Committee a third view of the candidate.

1. What is a letter of recommendation??

The main purpose of a recommendation letter is to provide the admissions committee with insight into your talents and weaknesses. A letter of recommendation is a document that indicates the character of a candidate and helps the admissions college to get a general picture of the candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and achievements.

2. How to write a letter of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation from applicants.You should always start with the person you refer introducing themselves and how they relate to you. This is done to provide the full context for the admissions committee to know

1. The relationship of that person with you.

2. Your experience in the relevant field.

3. Do they know you well enough to accurately assess your strengths?

What should an MBA recommendation letter contain?

Some common indications of letters of recommendation are the following:

  1. Briefly describe your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant's role in your organization.

  2. How does the candidate compare to other well-qualified people in similar roles?

    (Video) MBA Recommendation Letter Must-Haves With StratusPrep

  3. Describe the most important constructive feedback you gave the candidate. Explain the circumstances and the applicant's response.Is there anything else we should know?

To answer the above questions, a letter of recommendation for an MBA program should provide specific examples of the applicant's skills and abilities, as well as the writer's assessment of the applicant's potential for success in an MBA program.

Here are some specific things that a letter of recommendation for an MBA program might include:

  1. Personal and professional relationship with the applicant: the author must describe how and in what capacity they know the applicant (eg, as a supervisor, employee, teacher).

  2. Specific Examples of Applicant's Skills and Abilities: The writer must provide specific examples of applicant's skills and abilities, such as: B. leadership potential, problem-solving abilities, or analytical abilities.

  3. Assessment of the candidate's potential for success in an MBA program: The author should provide their assessment of the candidate's potential for success in an MBA program based on their experience with the candidate.

  4. Comparison with other candidates: where appropriate, the author could also provide a comparison of the applicant with other candidates they have worked with in terms of their skills and abilities.

In general, a letter of recommendation for an MBA program should provide detailed and specific information about the applicant's skills and abilities and provide a compelling argument as to why the applicant is a good fit for the MBA program.

(Video) MBA Recommendation Letter Tips | Ultimate MBA Game Plan

Are MBA Recommendation Letters Important?

Yes, MBA letters of recommendation are an important part of the MBA admission process. Recommendation letters provide information about an applicant's skills and potential for success in an MBA program from the perspective of someone who has worked with or knows the applicant well.

Actually in schools like thatMBA from ISBThe letter of recommendation is one of the five important factors that go into the applicant evaluation process.

MBA letters of recommendation can be particularly useful for admissions committees because they provide a broader view of an applicant's strengths and weaknesses. Letters from supervisors or peers can provide information about an applicant's work habits, leadership potential, and ability to work well with others, while letters from teachers can provide information about academic ability and career potential. applicant's success in a graduate program.

MBA letters of recommendation can be a valuable addition to an applicant's application and help admissions committees make more informed decisions.

Can a mentor write a recommendation letter for an MBA candidate?

A mentor can write a recommendation letter if there is no other option, even if it is the second referrer. For applications that only require a single reference letter, it is advisable to take it from a current or former supervisor. There are some schools that require two reference letters, and some schools only require one reference letter.

Some schools that require two letters of reference are:

  1. Stanford MBA

  2. MBA from HBS

  3. Chicago MBA bracket


Some MBA programs that require a reference letter are:

  1. Cornell SC Johnson MBA

  2. ISB-PGP

  3. Colombia MBA

    (Video) Everything You Need to Know About MBA Letters of Recommendation

How to write an MBA reference?

Some important points to keep in mind when writing a student recommendation letter

1) After a brief knowledge transfer, the recommendation letter should address specific experiences the recommender has had with you. It will represent your character, personality, and any other positive traits that make you the best choice for your university.

2) If your recommendation letter was written by a teacher, you can add cases where you achieved an exceptional level or had an excellent understanding of the lesson topic. The referrer may even discuss his behavior with peer groups, which reflects his positive personality traits.

3) You can include your area of ​​weakness in the letter that reflects your ability as an individual to learn from your mistakes and recognize that you are still growing. But it should be written in such a way that it ends up being positive and full of praise.

4) Student recommendation letter You should end up with positive feedback from the recommender that reaffirms your excellent potential, as you will prove to be a great asset to the admissions community. They will self-certify the document below and provide their contact information.

3. How do you select the references for your letter of recommendation?

Choosing a good reference for your letter of recommendation is one of the most difficult decisions one has to make. When choosing your referrer, keep the following tips in mind:

1)Choosing a Recommender - Academic Recommendation:Undergraduate applicants may choose a teacher to be their referrer, however, for graduate applicants, referrers must be a professional supervisor.

Most of the time, their recommendations are very typical and they would apply to any student who excelled in their course. Also, they can't even mention your character traits. Therefore, you should choose a teacher who has known you well, even if he was not very good in his classes. Getting a reference from a teacher who understands your personal behavior and his quality in overcoming difficulties would create a stronger connection with admissions officers and allow you to present yourself as a promising candidate.

2)Selection of a Recommender - Non-Academic Reference / Professional Reference:Specifically, depending on the program and school to which you are applying, you may be asked for a recommendation from a counselor, volunteer advisor, or employer. Non-teacher referrers work great for discussing your ability to work as a team member and your quality in building relationships not only with your peers, but also with your team leader, your coworkers, and the organization as a whole.

Take the time to decide who to recommend and reach out to them with sincere requests. This is the best way to secure your references, which will help you stand out in the application process.

How to ask a professor to write a letter of recommendation

(Video) MIT Sloan MBA Application Tips: Letter of Recommendation & References

The letter of recommendation is an important aspect of the admission process. In a situation like this, where face-to-face interviews are not possible, the letter of recommendation plays a key role. The recommendation letter is an important document that describes you as a candidate and shows whether you are a perfect fit for the institution or not. It is very common to feel intimidated in the initial stages when you think about asking for your letter of recommendation. The only thing to keep in mind is that you are asking the right person and that you are asking the way you are asking.

Who should you ask for the letter of recommendation?

When considering a recommender for your letter of recommendation, ask yourself the following questions:

a) Do you know yourself as a professional/student?

b) Did you interact with him regularly enough?

c) Have you had the opportunity to work on a project under your supervision?

When applying for the letter of recommendation, it is not necessary to ask the most prominent or notable person in your field. Instead, it should be someone who knows you and brings quality to your letter of recommendation. You should always approach the person who has a real opinion about you and would add meaning to your request. You should even consider someone who can show off your personality traits. It would be in a way that sets you apart and makes you shine above the rest.

Here are some perspectives on letters of recommendation that sometimes come a little late.

1. A letter of recommendation has the power to make or break your application.Most applicants do not understand why recommendations contribute to the success of their application. This happens in part because candidates have no control over this part of the application. In a way, letters of recommendation are a window into your managerial potential for the MBA application.

The ISB PGP Admissions team values ​​a third-party perspective on an applicant's leadership abilities. Also, there is a limit to how much we can discuss ourselves and why we are the best. So when a referrer steps in to make some glowing comments about the applicant, it's an opportunity worth taking. Learn more about theIn the application process from IIM and ISB.

2. Start early.Typically, the application preparation process leans heavily toward GMAT/GRE preparation, then we wake up to essays, and lastly comes the recommendation. This is a very good reason why many candidates fail. Considering that an effective recommendation letter is an important addition to the ISB PGP application, you should start going through your pool of references and filling it with details on time.

3. Choose your recommender carefully.For MBA schools that only require a letter of recommendation as part of the MBA application package, such asISB-PGPthe quality and length of the applicant's service should give the highest value to the recommendation. In some cases it is mandatory to obtain a recommendation from the hierarchical superior. There are some special conditions in which a previous supervisor can also be chosen as a recommender. For application support from an experiencedMBA admissions counselorinTorisb Contact Us.

(Video) 3 Steps to Helping Your Recommenders Write Strong MBA Letters of Recommendation


3 Important Things to Know About Letters of Recommendation for the MBA Application? ›

A recommendation letter should include information on who you are, your connection with the person you are recommending, why they are qualified, and the specific skills they have. Specifics. Whenever possible, it's helpful to provide specific anecdotes and examples that illustrate your support.

What 3 things should your recommendation letters give evidence of? ›

A recommendation letter should include information on who you are, your connection with the person you are recommending, why they are qualified, and the specific skills they have. Specifics. Whenever possible, it's helpful to provide specific anecdotes and examples that illustrate your support.

What makes a good letter of recommendation for MBA? ›

An MBA recommendation letter should include anecdotes about your accomplishments at work, your skills, and your character. It should highlight the qualities that make you a good candidate for the MBA program you're applying to.

What are three 3 important things that you should include in writing a recommendation? ›

Recommendations should be one-sentence, succinct, and start with an action verb (create, establish, fund, facilitate, coordinate, etc.). They should use a “SMART” format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Each recommendation should be followed by a few sentences of explanatory text.

What makes a recommendation letter stand out? ›

Choose strong, accurate adjectives over general terms or cliches. Think about what the person reading the letter might want to know. Include details or insight that wouldn't necessarily show up on a resume or application. Your letter should help the recipient get to know the person you are recommending.

What are the 3 recommendations? ›

There are three basic categories or recommendation letters: academic recommendations, employment recommendations, and character recommendations.

What is a weakness for MBA recommendation letter? ›

First off, your MBA references should steer clear of any character weaknesses like stubbornness or an inability to control one's temper. Second, there is no “get out of jail free” answer but there is a common pitfall: the biggest pet peeve of admissions officers is the “strength disguised as a weakness” answer.

What makes a strong letter of recommendation for grad school? ›

Any strengths or qualities they want highlighted.

If the strengths they mention are ones you agree with and seem relevant to the degree program, definitely include them. You should also ask about what achievements they've made that will help them stand out from the crowd of applicants.

How important are references for MBA? ›

As the only part of your MBA application not authored by you, your letters of recommendation carry a lot of weight by validating how you're perceived by others who are in a position to judge your candidacy.

What are the top 3 strengths for a recommendation? ›

  • Accuracy.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Consistently meeting deadlines.
  • Dedicated.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Determination.
  • Effectively managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Flexibility.
Dec 4, 2022

What makes a strong recommendation? ›

A great letter of recommendation includes specific examples and anecdotes that demonstrate the applicant's skills and qualifications. It backs up descriptions of your qualifications with examples. You want your letters of recommendation to demonstrate that you not only possess good qualities but also apply them.

What should not be included in a letter of recommendation? ›

A successful letter should avoid:
  • General language or overly broad descriptors of the student's performance in the classroom;
  • Focusing on a student's punctuality or ability to complete the readings. ...
  • Too much time and attention detailing the relationship with the student or the content of the course.

What are positive things to say in a letter of recommendation? ›

Dependable is a good recommendation word because it illustrates an individual that is trustworthy, reliable and has an excellent work ethic. Try to use the word in the middle of the reference letter. Example: "I have worked with John Henry for six months and am thoroughly impressed by his commitment to his role.

What do universities look for in recommendation letters? ›

It should include any relevant projects or work you've done. Experiences that relate to your character and academic potential are helpful, too. The teacher should include specific details about their experiences with you. Letters of recommendations can be brief and bullet points are fine!

What do potential employers want to see in a letter of recommendation? ›

The letter of recommendation should give a picture of the candidate's personal characteristics, performance and experience, strengths, capabilities, and professional promise from someone who has worked closely with the candidate. The selection committee relies on these letters to assist in making a final decision.

How do you end a strong letter of recommendation? ›

The closing of the letter should briefly summarize previous points and clearly state that you recommend the candidate for the position, graduate program or opportunity they are seeking. The recommendation letter should be written in language that is straightforward and to the point.

What is a good way to start a letter of recommendation? ›

Open with a friendly and professional salutation, such as “Dear Dean of Students Marcus Smith.” If you don't know the name of the person, use their title or department name. Establish excitement for your strong recommendation in the first sentence.

What is recommendation rule? ›

Recommendation Rules can be used to help buyers configure your products by offering suggested attribute values. For each configuration where a model (or part) would likely have certain attribute values, you can create a recommendation.

What is an example of a good reference? ›

(Person name) went above and beyond in that assignment, as he/she does in all tasks. (Person name) was always willing to offer his/her assistance and had an excellent rapport with the many constituents served by our office including clients, employers, and other professional organizations.

Is 3 recommendation letters too much? ›

Familiarize yourself with the different requirements among schools and pay close attention to their instructions. Most colleges will ask for up to three letters of recommendation, so keep that in mind and don't overdo it. If a school wants two recommendation letters, only submit two.

What makes you a strong candidate for MBA? ›

Strong academic record

A key strength of MBA students is academic excellence, with a solid or stellar GPA, challenging past coursework under your belt, and a track record of being able to bring the smarts to bear when it counts.

How to write strength and weakness in MBA application? ›

10 Strengths and Weakness of an MBA Interview
  1. 5 Strengths for MBA Interview. Enthusiasm. Discipline. Patience. Determination. Dedication.
  2. 5 Weakness of MBA Interview. Thinking about the future and creating effective plans. Too much risk taker. Thinking about the whole team. Trying to finish tasks before the deadline.

What are the applicants weak points? ›

Examples of weaknesses you might want to cite during your interview include:
  • Getting caught up in details.
  • Unable to let go of projects.
  • Trouble saying “no” to others.
  • Managing missed deadlines.
  • Little experience in certain areas.
  • Lacking confidence at times.
  • Difficulty asking for help.
  • Working with certain personalities.
Mar 16, 2023

What should a letter of recommendation include for Masters? ›

The letter should always include examples of things you did. The person who recommends you should not simply list your skills, but also give examples of how and when you used them. It does not help to say that you have good research skills if they don't give an example of a research project you did.

Who are the best people to get letters of recommendation from for grad school? ›

Truthfully, professors or people who've managed you are the most trusted option for grad school recommendation letters, as graduate admission committees will give much more weight to letters of recommendation from professors who have directly evaluated your work and believe that you are qualified for the graduate ...

How do you write a good letter of recommendation for a masters? ›

How to write a reference letter for a master's program
  1. Open by addressing the recipient. ...
  2. Highlight the student's attributes. ...
  3. Add context with an anecdote. ...
  4. Reiterate main points in the closing. ...
  5. Include a thank you in the ending. ...
  6. Review letter for spelling and grammar. ...
  7. Academic success. ...
  8. Work ethic.
Jun 24, 2022

How do I choose a recommender for MBA? ›

Consider the following tips when selecting your recommenders:
  1. Know your application. Very few applicants have a perfect application, so being aware of your strengths and weaknesses is important. ...
  2. Titles don't matter. ...
  3. Consider who cares the most. ...
  4. Manage the recommender.
Aug 16, 2022

How many words should an MBA recommendation letter be? ›

Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant's response. (Recommended word count: 500 words).

What are 3 work related strengths? ›

10 examples of strengths in the workplace
  • Dependable. Dependability characterizes someone reliable and loyal. ...
  • Flexible. Flexibility describes someone who can quickly adapt to changes. ...
  • Self-motivated. ...
  • Team-oriented. ...
  • Success-oriented. ...
  • Optimistic. ...
  • Communicative. ...
  • Emotionally aware.
Mar 10, 2023

What are 3 key strengths you think would help you in the role? ›

Detail-oriented/attention to detail. Critical thinking. People skills/interpersonal skills. Strong work ethic.

What are 5 examples of weaknesses? ›

Examples of Weaknesses.
  • Self-criticism.
  • Shyness.
  • Lack of knowledge of particular software.
  • Public speaking.
  • Taking criticism.
  • Lack of experience.
  • Inability to delegate.
  • Lack of confidence.

What does a good face is the best letter of recommendation mean? ›

it means that:

A nice exterior is a silent recommendation.

What is a lukewarm letter of recommendation? ›

There is a common wisdom that letters of recommendation have an "internal code." Lukewarm letters use the words "good" or "very good." Those that are positive but not exceptionally enthusiastic use the words "excellent." Those that are strongly supportive use the words "outstanding" or "superior."

Who Cannot write a letter of recommendation? ›

Someone Who's Related to You

This is one of the more obvious inclusions among the list of who not to ask for a letter of recommendation. Think of it this way — your parent, uncle, or cousin obviously want the best for you, and they want colleges to pick you.

What does Harvard look for in recommendation letters? ›

Admissions officers are looking for applicants with a demonstrated commitment to a specific field, so your recommendation letters should ideally reflect these interests and highlight the fields you're most passionate about pursuing.

How much do colleges care about letters of recommendation? ›

Letters of recommendation are particularly valuable to admissions officers because the experiences that high school counselors and teachers describe can help them paint a better overall picture of who you are and the impact you will have on campus.

What are the 6 details that should be included in a letter of recommendation? ›

The parts of the letter include:
  • Introduction and statement of recommendation.
  • List of specific reasons you are recommending them to the position.
  • Personal story with evidence of their qualities (soft and hard skills)
  • Closing statement with contact information.
  • Signature.
Mar 16, 2023

What are three important things to mention in a letter of recommendation? ›

If a student asks you to write a letter of recommendation for them, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
  • Describe your personal relationship with the student. ...
  • Provide specific examples of the student's abilities and work ethic. ...
  • Stay away from vague wording and phrases. ...
  • Take the specific job or school into account.

What should a letter of recommendation consist of? ›

Letters should be complete but concise, and they usually consist of three parts: introduction and background, specific assessments, and summary of recommendation. Letters from primary mentors, supervisors or close collaborators are generally somewhat longer than letters from others.

What are the things that you should consider when giving recommendation? ›

Giving recommendations:
  • I highly recommend using this product / service.
  • This person is highly trained / very skilled / very professional.
  • We found the information presented very useful.
  • I only have positive things to say about this product / this person / this service.

Should I have 3 letters of recommendation? ›

Most graduate program applications ask for three letters of recommendation. If you are currently enrolled in college, your letters of recommendation are likely going to come from three of your professors. More specifically, you ideally want to ask professors who are in or related to the field of your graduate program.

What questions should be asked in a letter of recommendation? ›

Why do you wish to pursue this major or career? What experience do you have which will prepare you for that major? What do you consider to be your greatest strength? Please give one example of a situation in which this strength has been shown.

What are the keywords for a letter of recommendation? ›

They do this by invoking the linguistic terms mentioned above: standout terms or phrases, such as “unparalleled,” “one of the best I have worked with,” “incredible,” “fantastic,” “prodigy,” “unrivaled,” “outstanding,” “rising star,” “as good or better than” (a well-known person), “amazing,” and others.

How many letters of recommendation do you need for MBA? ›

Most MBA programs require two to three letters of recommendations from people capable of commenting on your qualifications for business school.

Who should you not ask for a letter of recommendation? ›

Don't ask a family member or a friend for a recommendation as a college may not take them seriously. You should always follow the guidelines from the colleges you are applying to when choosing who to write your letter of recommendation.

What are the three professional letters of recommendation? ›

The three types of recommendation letters are employment, academic, and character recommendation letters.


1. Write Amazing MBA Recommendations: How Does This Applicant Compare To Other Qualified Individuals?
(Career Protocol)
2. Do letters of recommendation ACTUALLY matter in your MBA application?
3. Getting a Strong MBA Recommendation Letter
(GMAT Club)
4. MBA Application Tips Video: Recommenders
(Harvard Business School)
5. How To Write MBA Recommendations: Describe The Most Important Piece Of Constructive Feedback
(Career Protocol)
6. Tips on Letters of Reference
(Stanford Graduate School of Business)


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