• Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Veritas GMAT Class Experience Lesson 1 Live Free Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Get 300+ Practice Questions 25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Trial & Practice Exam BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • 5-Day Free Trial 5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • 5 Day FREE Trial Study Smarter, Not Harder Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Magoosh Study with Magoosh GMAT prep Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Free Practice Test & Review How would you score if you took the GMAT Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • 1 Hour Free BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • FREE GMAT Exam Know how you'd score today for$0

Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

Letter of Recommendation....how long should it be...?

This topic has 3 member replies
ECLS Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
31 Aug 2010
Posted:
38 messages
Followed by:
1 members
1

Letter of Recommendation....how long should it be...?

Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:36 pm
3 quick ques on letter of recommendation

1) If there is no word limit/page limit specified, how long should it be.?

2) How detailed should the recommender be while giving examples.? If there are multiple examples for a ques, should he mention one or more ?

3) How should the recommender answer weakeness question.? Should he go all out or does it have to be a subtle version. Pls mention few examples which are acceptable and some examples of weaknesses which (though true) could harm the applicant.

Thx.

Tani Legendary Member
Joined
07 Nov 2008
Posted:
1255 messages
Followed by:
90 members
312
Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:20 pm
At the risk of being hopelessly trite, letters should be like bathing suits - short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover the subject. Most schools have their own format. If your school does not specify length, I would compare recommendation length to the word limits specified in their application essays. Schools that allow 1500 word essays are more likely to be receptive to long recommendations than are those that specify 500 word essays.

Examples should be as personal and concrete as possible. "Joe was a terrific assistant" is not nearly as helpful as "Joe increased sales in his group by 26%." Examples should be from the writer's direct experience. Comparison's are good Here too, "Jenny is among the top 5% of people who have worked in this group" is stronger than "Jenny is dynamite." As long as there is space, the recommender can, and probably should, mention more than one example, provided of course each example carries enough specifics to make the point.

For examples of the weakness question check out Richard Montauk's book, How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs. You can find it in almost any bookstore or library. It gives many fine examples of successful essays to top schools. The key to addressing "weaknesses" and "mistakes" is to be direct and non-apologetic. The writer needs to show that you recognize and have learned from and corrected (or are working on correcting) the weakness. The weakness shouldn't be terminal (e.g. ethical issues or inability to work with people) and ideally it should be in an area that continued business education can address.

Good luck,

_________________
Tani Wolff

ECLS Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
31 Aug 2010
Posted:
38 messages
Followed by:
1 members
1
Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:28 pm
Thanks Tani. These are some wonderful inputs.

Also, would it make sense for me to check with the school on what is the acceptable length (word limits/pages) for a LOR.?

Tani Wolff - Kaplan wrote:
At the risk of being hopelessly trite, letters should be like bathing suits - short enough to be interesting and long enough to cover the subject. Most schools have their own format. If your school does not specify length, I would compare recommendation length to the word limits specified in their application essays. Schools that allow 1500 word essays are more likely to be receptive to long recommendations than are those that specify 500 word essays.

Examples should be as personal and concrete as possible. "Joe was a terrific assistant" is not nearly as helpful as "Joe increased sales in his group by 26%." Examples should be from the writer's direct experience. Comparison's are good Here too, "Jenny is among the top 5% of people who have worked in this group" is stronger than "Jenny is dynamite." As long as there is space, the recommender can, and probably should, mention more than one example, provided of course each example carries enough specifics to make the point.

For examples of the weakness question check out Richard Montauk's book, How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs. You can find it in almost any bookstore or library. It gives many fine examples of successful essays to top schools. The key to addressing "weaknesses" and "mistakes" is to be direct and non-apologetic. The writer needs to show that you recognize and have learned from and corrected (or are working on correcting) the weakness. The weakness shouldn't be terminal (e.g. ethical issues or inability to work with people) and ideally it should be in an area that continued business education can address.

Good luck,

Tani Legendary Member
Joined
07 Nov 2008
Posted:
1255 messages
Followed by:
90 members
312
Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:50 am
You can ask, but I doubt that they will have an answer. Your recommender should be able to judge how long a recommendation he/she would be happy to receive if looking to evaluate a potential hire.

_________________
Tani Wolff

Top First Responders*

1 GMATGuruNY 69 first replies
2 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma... 41 first replies
3 Brent@GMATPrepNow 40 first replies
4 Jay@ManhattanReview 24 first replies
5 Terry@ThePrinceto... 10 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

134 posts
2 Jeff@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

111 posts
3 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

111 posts
4 Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

103 posts
5 Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

92 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts