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What is LOR?

A letter of recommendation (LOR) also referred to as a reference letter or a reference is a document where a writer assesses the qualities, the capabilities along with the characteristics of the person the letter is being written about. For those wondering what is LOR, it assesses the qualities and the capabilities of the individual while stating his ability to perform a given task.

The meaning itself signifies its strong significance and the importance it builds in the present times. While a large number of students are striving hard to get themselves into the best universities of the world, documents like LOR stand as one of the most important documents supporting it. This enables the Admission Officers to gain a larger and deeper understanding of the candidate, his/her experience, the achievements and skills as communicated by the recommender through the letter.

Letter of recommendation is useful for gathering additional information about a candidate for either graduate or candidate opportunity. It will offer an overall understanding of the following qualities of a candidate.

  • Performance
  • Strengths
  • Professional promise
  • Personal characteristics
  • Experience
  • Capabilities

Who requires a recommendation letter?

Wondering what is LOR and who requires it? Recommendation letter, as cited before, is one of the most important documents of a student while applying to undergraduate and graduate schools and scholarship programs. At the same time, it also serves as a crucial document for employees looking for work opportunities.

Individuals applying to MBA programs and business schools typically require a few recommendations, about two to three that explains how good a candidate they are. Furthermore, the recommendation might also explain the ways in which they have succeeded previously in academic pursuits.

Students applying for scholarship programs might need the applicants during the submission process. The LOR supports the scholarship program and is usually popular in programs that are merit-based which further award scholarships depending on volunteer experience, academic merit and many other factors. This is the most common merit-based program and is highly popular among scholarship programmers.

A job seeker needs a written reference which cites the reasons why the candidate is a deserving one for the position. The letters lay a strong focus on the professional qualification.

Types of LOR:

Now that you have understood Wondering what is LOR, let us discuss the types. There are two kinds of LOR, the academic LOR and the professional LOR.

Academic LOR

A letter of recommendation (LOR) is offered by a faculty member of the previous institute. Universities usually offer two to three LORs from the previous institute and the format tends to vary. It requires professors to highlight the accomplishments achieved by students of the course. These are a lot more relevant for bachelor courses abroad.

Professional LOR

This type of LOR is most common among MBA colleges that require a predefined work experience criteria. A professional LOR is requested from the immediate supervisor. This format varied from the former LOR type as this highly focuses on the candidate’s ability to work professionally with a team.

Although the approaches are different, however the purpose remains the same.

Important things to include in a recommendation letter:

After understanding what is LOR, it is time to define the crucial points. The content that you will write will highly depend on the requirements the letter is requested by. However, there are a number of common topics for both academic and professional LOR:

  • Potential ability (a leadership quality)
  • Skills/strength
  • Dependability
  • Motivation level
  • Character
  • Consistency
  • Perseverance
  • Accomplishments
  • Achievements
  • Contributions

Things to consider before you start writing a recommendation letter:

At some or the other stage of life, you will be needing an LOR for yourself or for someone you know and know what is LOR. Writing an LOR for another person is a big task, similar to your own. Hence, before you start your endeavour to write a well framed LOR, there are a few things you need to have a clear understanding of. The guide will help to prepare yourself with the best ideas and concepts before you start writing the letter.

It is important for the writer to know the kind of information you need to state, which is expected out of you. For example, if you are writing a letter for someone who might be needing to highlight the leadership quality. This is when it gets important for you to know the leadership skills that the person has. An unclear knowledge will make it difficult for you to state their qualities well and will result in a poorly written LOR. Additionally, there is always guiding assistance available by your side to help you attain quality LOR help. Do not be confused wondering what is LOR, as there is professional assistance available to help you acquire knowledge.

Primary components of the LOR:

To know what is LOR, you need to know the components as well. The recommendation letter should comprise of the following three key components:

  1. A sentence or a paragraph that enunciates how well you know the person along with the relationship with them
  2. An evaluation of a person along with the skills/accomplishments is where you also need to cite specific examples which properly illustrate the qualifications and strengths. The examples need to be brief yet a detailed one.
  3. A summary furthermore describes why and how the person is highly recommended.

How to write a recommendation letter?

A letter of recommendation comprises a 400-500 length essay that states a number of important points as mentioned above. Apart from knowing what is LOR, here is the basic format that must be kept in mind.

A large number of universities need the letter to be on the official overhead.

The academic LOR needs the letterhead of a university while the professional LOR needs the letterhead of the company/organization.

The letterhead needs to be of the company that the recommender is working upon. This creates a problem if the recommender no longer works with the previous organization. Hence, it is important for students to choose the right recommender.

An ideal LOR demonstrates the perspectives of the personality not mentioned previously in the resume. Hence, an ideal recommender is the one who is well aware of you and has witnessed your performance delivered by you. At the same time, the writer also needs to be able to offer a number of instances of the valued contribution.

A generic LOR is not a good idea as it does not highlight the value of the candidate well.

It is extremely important to remember that the admission authorities browse through a zillion letters of recommendations. Hence, in order to stand out from the crowd, you need to focus on knowing what is LOR and including a number of accomplishments that are not only highlight the best of the candidate, but also ensure that the written document stands out from the crowd.


The writer needs to explain the relationship between the writer and the individual the letter is getting written for. The writer might want to describe the kind of length, the experience and the time period with which he/she has worked with the candidate. At this point, the writer might also describe any special responsibilities of the task headed by the candidate.


The body needs to offer specific information about a candidate such as personal characteristics including confidence, poise, patience, creativity, dependability and so on

The work capabilities such as knowledge of a subject area, abilities to solve problems, to manage a team and the ability to coordinate well with subordinates

Specific areas of strength and special experiences as performed earlier. The candidate might also have some exceptional strength such as high energy level, or communication skills that can be enlisted here. A candidate might have a special knowledge on a particular domain that can also be well explained.


The conclusion needs to summarize the points and also state that you recommend the candidate for a particular position, a graduate program and the opportunity that they are looking for. The letter should be written in a clear and crisp language, without any usage of complicated words or language. Additionally, it is also recommended to avoid the use of language or jargon which is way too effusive or general. If you are still wondering what is LOR and how to write one, you need the helping guidance.

Seek professional assistance to ease your stress down

The letter of recommendation is a highly important piece of document that is no child’s play. It takes professional assistance to know what is LOR and give it the shape it deserves. If you have been looking for a helping hand by your side, it is time to get in touch with The innovative assistance hub comprises a large team of experienced writers and researchers who know how to ace your LOR well for you acquire the degree or the job you have always wanted.

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