IE Business School recently published some solid tips on how to present top-notch letters of recommendation; these tips are great to keep in mind as you polish your MBA application. Of course, we’ve been tweeting for weeks about recommendation letters and their signficance on admissions results. Here are some of the tips that have emerged, and which we urge all our clients and readers to keep in mind:
1) Encourage your recommenders to present interesting, specific takes on traditional strengths. “Bob is an excellent leader and will make a great MBA student.” Fine, but what kind of leader is Bob? How has his unique leadership style brought about great results?
2) Provide your recommenders with data so the recommendations can be specific and substantive. “Bob is an excellent leader and will make a great MBA student.” Fine, but how were his leadership skills put into practice?
3) Make sure your recommenders keep their recommendations lean. “Bob is an excellent leader and will make a great MBA student.” But not too lean! Every recommendation question should have a fully realized answer, which is supported with anecdotal experience. Quality over quantity–no bonus points are awarded for Homeric recommendations. Think crisp, targeted, substantive elevator pitch instead.
Please be on the lookout for more thoughts on this topic in the coming weeks. Adequately prepare your recommenders, and remember to send thank-you notes! You just may need their support again one day.
Read below for the blogpost from IE Business School, and some great basic tips from an internationally recognized MBA admissions source.
Ready to start work on your MBA essays? Begin here: https://www.ivyeyesediting.com/mba/.
And if your recommender would like a second pair of eyes to edit their letter, send them here: https://www.ivyeyesediting.com/editing-suite.html.
Ivy Eyes Editing
At IE Business School, we take a holistic approach to evaluating each candidate. We look at every aspect of your application; as such no single element is of unique importance within evaluation, but rather a compilation of all the elements submitted.
Between those submitted elements are the letters of recommendation, fundamental in “adding score points in the path to admission” as Julian Trigo, Director of Admissions at IE Business School explained to America Economía: Tips para gestionar buenas cartas de recomendación para un MBA, November, 2010. He also addressed that ”finding the right recommenders is crucial” to get to know the strenghts and weaknesses of a candidate applying to the International MBA program.
Here are some tips when choosing your recommenders:
1. Select your recommender: who is the right person to write about you? Find someone that knows you, from a professional or academic perspective, who is able to describe your strenghts and weaknesses.
2. Prepare your recommender: ask for the letter with time in advance. Give enough time for your recommender to write a letter with high quality content.
3. The final letter: make sure your recommender writes about your achievements, specific projects, communication skills, etcetera, following the format of IE Business School’s online application format (www.ie.edu/app)
Something to avoid:
- Do not write the letter yourself, sometimes due to the daily workload, your recommender might ask you to write the letter and sign it. The letter of recommendation is the best way to get to know your strenghts and weaknesses, as well as your closeness and interaction with your recommender. Therefore, the Admissions Committee will verify the information as needed and reserves the right to deny candidates admission at this point in the application process if a discrepancy in the information provided through verification is noted.