True…the letters of recommendation are by Profs or people who are acquainted with us professionally…but, the students are the ones who draft it… right? So, here are some pointers to writing a truly enticing recommendation letter.
– Begin the letter by identifying its author in terms of academic background and professional experience. Also, explain his relationship with you and for how long.
– The letter should evaluate your level of ability and performance, relative to others in the same group.
– A few desirable qualities that your reccos should portray are intellectual curiosity, ability to think logically, commitment and critical thinking, creative ability, social adaptability, and leadership skills.
– Also desirable is a mention of the student’s proficiency in the English language which would help bag that all-important Teaching Assistantship.
– Lastly, the letter should emphasize the relevance of the foreign program of study to the professional possibilities in the candidate’s country.
Who will give you a recco, remember, no one is obligated to give you a recommendation letter. Even if you draft it and the prof only has to sign it he (or she) will not do it for just anyone. If by second or third year you feel inclined to app abroad it would be a good idea to start identifying profs who may give you reccos. Start by: – Attending their classes. Nothing bugs a prof more than having a student who he doesn’t even remember approach him for a recco.
– Make it a point to sit in the earlier benches, ask some questions, meet the prof after class to clarify some doubts. This amounts to “sucking up”, yes.
But you may be pleasantly surprised to discover there’s more to many profs than meets the eye. They too enjoy directly interacting with bright, interested students rather than the herds of cattle forcibly packed into their classes.
– After you get admitted it is the done thing to inform those whom you have taken reccos from.
Send some mithai – just a small gesture but they will appreciate it. Besides, you may need a second set of reccos in case you transfer to another school once you reach the US (it does happen).