How to write a successful letter of recommendation?
Hi Portfolio Crackers! This article discusses how to write a letter of recommendation.
Your letter of recommendation is one of the application documentations and the third most important one after your portfolio and statement of purpose.
For more detailed information about other application documents, please click on the links below.
How do I prepare to pursue a Master of Architecture in the US? What are the required documents?
How to prepare a successful Portfolio to pursue a Master of Architecture in the US?
How to write a statement of purpose to get admission to the Master of Architecture in the US?
Your letter of recommendation is one of the most important documents of the application, regardless of what department you apply to. Letter of recommendation is the third most important document for your undergraduate and graduate school applications.
So let’s talk about it.
It is not necessary if your letter of recommendation is written by someone of high prestige such as a dean of the school. On the contrary, it should be written by someone who you work with, like your teacher with whom you have built a personal relationship with throughout your studies, so that a more individual and strong composition can be made.
What are the crucial parts of the letter of recommendation?
Your reference letter should be consisted of 3 main parts, respectively;
1- It should start with brief information about the person who wrote the letter of recommendation so that it is clear why his or her opinion is important.
Why should someone writing your letter of recommendation be taken seriously? Do you believe the word of someone who you don’t know? In the same way, the committee members always ask themselves why they should take or believe in this person seriously.
Therefore, the first sentence of the first paragraph should begin with the introduction of one’s self.
As an example;
“Dear Review Committee Members;
I am the current dean in the Department of Architecture at Portfolio Cracker University, and a graduate and former Fellow at Portfolio Cracker.”
This sentence will be enough to show one’s self and credibility.
2- The relationship between both of you, the pleasure of working together, the beautiful experiences gained while working with you.
This part is perhaps the most important part of the letter, because if he or she is an academician who has spent a long time with you, it means he or she really had a sufficient time to get to know you. The credibility of the one who wrote the letter with his excellent thoughts will show the committee members why you are the one they look for.
Let me give an example;
“Over the last three years I have had the pleasure of sharing rich and varied experiences with Portfolio Cracker (replace portfoliocracker with your name.) Portfolio Cracker participated as a student in my third year design studio in the Spring of 2018 and was a student in my seminars, as a second year student.”
In this sentence, it shows how and in what ways he or she recognizes you and how you both interacted.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Portfolio Cracker closely over the years of —— and see his/her skills blossom on a steep and promising trajectory. PC is a good listener and was a committed and thoughtful student. In addition to her degree in Architecture, PC is pursuing (lateral branch, student organizations and your roles), which I believe has reinforced and strengthened her interests in the profession and has broadened her understanding of the profession.”
Although the flow of these letters may vary from person to person, the layout should be the same.
3- In this part, the person who wrote the letter of recommendations should talk about your achievements, working activities and talents.
In this person, the person writing a letter of recommendations should talk about your successes, working ethics and skills by adding their own experiences and how you can contribute to the school you are applying to.
Here is an example;
“I have worked closely with Portfolio Cracker in this period of time and have come to know him well. PC is not only a talented designer but a committed student. PC has a broad set of design skills that includes hand sketching, 3D digital modeling, visualization, and has a great sense of materials and methods. Portfolio Cracker has done very well in our program, recognized as a finalist in the third-year class wide competition and was named as one of four winners two winners. Portfolio Cracker would provide a great platform for (your name) to contribute her skills and benefit from the diverse energies at the school. It is my pleasure to give Portfolio Cracker my highest recommendation without hesitation.”
Following the steps outlined above, an effective letter of recommendation will be fully formed. Your letter of recommendation is the most important factor after your Portfolio and statement of purpose in your undergraduate and graduate school application. If it is written in the right way, it will bring your chances higher than other candidates.
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