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How To Create An Impactful Recommendation Letter For Higher Studies?

Do you know what can tap the attention of the admission committee at your dream university? The submission of an effective letter of recommendation (LOR). The letter is one of the vital documents required to be submitted along with your admission application form. The purpose of this document is to help the admission committee at your dream university learn better about your academic, personal and work-related achievements.

You would be aware that you require the right recommender to draft a recommendation letter for student admission. But are you aware of how you can enhance this letter better? A well-drafted letter of recommendation can increase your chances to get accepted at your dream university. Thus, to help you take a step further towards your dream, we have shared common phrases which your recommender should use when drafting an effective LOR for your university admission.

What is the Format of a LOR?

Before we can jump into understanding what are the common phrases to use during LOR drafting, let’s be aware of the guidelines and the LOR format. Your chosen recommender must draft your LOR as per the set structure. Here are the 8 steps which they need to follow:

  1. Date
  2. Name of the recipient
  3. Recipient Title
  4. Recipient Address
  5. Introduction: The recommender should state in the beginning itself about who they are drafting the LOR for and how they are related to you.
  6. Body: Your recommender can make use of two paragraphs to explain in detail about achievements. In the first paragraph, let them emphasize more about your academic achievements, such as an overview of your academic performance, participation in related academic activities, etc. The second paragraph can emphasize more about your extra-curricular activities. The recommender should highlight the activities you’ve enrolled in, such as a debate group or joined the sports team, etc. By sharing such information, the admission committee at your dream university will be able to analyse how you function overall during your academic period.
  7. Conclusion: When your recommender reaches the end of the letter, advise them to get up and personal when speaking about why you’re the right fit to pursue your chosen course at your dream university. Let them also create a bridge of contact between them and the admission committee so that if the latter wishes to learn more about you, they can do so by reaching out to your recommender.
    Signature: Lastly, close the LOR by mentioning your recommender’s name, designation, school/company name and their contact details.

Important Guidelines to Follow When Drafting an Academic Reference Letter

Before drafting a LOR, your recommender should familiarize themselves with the LOR guidelines. There are six factors to keep in mind which are:  

  • LOR should never be handwritten. It must be typed
  • The font size to draft a LOR should be size 11 and in black colour
  • Be aware that all grammatical mistakes are eliminated
  • LOR should ideally be between 500 to 600 words
  • Explain each paragraph in simple words.

In case if you choose to apply to more than one university, ensure your chosen recommender drafts different LOR for each.

Common Phrases to Use When Drafting a LOR

Your recommender should use powerful and convincing phrases in every statement to draft an impressive LOR. Using the right choice of phrases can make your LOR more impactful and leave a lasting impression amongst the admission committee at your dream university. Here are a few phrases to make use of:

  1. When drafting introductions, use the below phrases:
  • am honoured to support him as a candidate
  • am pleased to provide a reference for
  • am pleased to write a character reference for
  • am delighted to be called upon
  • am happy to recommend
  • first came to my attention when
  • has worked under my supervision for
  • has been a pleasure to supervise
  • have no hesitation in recommending
  • his qualifications and performance
  • in response to your inquiry
  • it is a pleasure to recommend
  • was a student in two of my classes
  • was employed by us from
  • I am elated to be called upon as a reference for
  • I am happy to write a recommendation for
  • Based on my …..long association with him/her, I would rank him as one of the best students we ever had

  1. When drafting your academic background, use the below phrases:
  • a creative problem-solver
  • always cheerful and dependable
  • among her/his significant contributions to the company are
  • always behaves professionally
  • broad range of skills
  • comments are well thought out and clearly articulated
  • completely loyal and trustworthy
  • gets along well with others
  • handles responsibility well
  • is personable and easy to work with
  • is intelligent and ambitious
  • outstanding leadership abilities
  • Is a quick and competent learner
  • Was an asset to the college
  • Has an amazing capacity for taking challenges head-on

  1. When drafting conclusions, use the below phrases:
  • I highly recommend him/her without any reservations
  • Rarely have I been able to recommend someone without reservation. It is a pleasure to do so in the case of…….
  • Seldom have I been able to recommend someone with such confidence
  • I firmly believe in his/her exceptional capabilities for…and strongly recommend him/her for your program
  • would be a valuable addition to
  • I willingly recommend…as a favourable candidate for your……program
  • will measure up to your high standards
  • I enthusiastically recommend…as a competent candidate for this program
  • request your favourable consideration of
  • should be given serious consideration
  • hope this information proves helpful
  • if you need additional information
  • has my highest recommendation

Essential Tips for Writing a Good LOR

Creating an impressive LOR is not difficult. LOR Recommenders should follow a set of essential tips to ensure their submissions are of the highest quality. Here are a few things to remember:

Write unique content: LORs should always be unique. Your LOR content should be genuine and not copied from any other LOR student samples online.  The admission committee at your dream university will not accept any plagiarism in your LORs, and failure of this could lead to your application getting rejected.

  1. Focus on Highlighting the student: The key focus of a LOR is to exhibit why the student you’re referring to is the perfect fit to pursue a course at their dream university. Use powerful phrases and statements when exhibiting the student’s academic qualities while writing.
  2. Avoid sharing private information: It is not advised for your recommender to share any private information related to you unless it is necessary to explain a situation that impacted your academic journey.
  3. Avoid sharing any academic scores: You will be attaching your academic transcripts along with your admission application. Thus, it is better if you’re recommender avoids mentioning your academic score for the second time.
  4. Speak to the point: Avoid sharing too much information, ensure your recommender uses an active voice and a formal tone when sharing insights about you.
  5. Follow the LOR format: There is a set LOR format which needs to be followed. Ensured the same is incorporated in your LOR.

Proofread and Review: Before submitting the LOR, take a thorough look at the same. Proofread to eliminate any grammatical errors.


The letter of recommendation which you will submit during your admission application process will play a role in determining your chances of securing a seat at your dream university. When using the above-listed LOR phrases, you are helping your chosen recommender to create a powerful LOR that will guarantee your admit chances. However, if you wish to seek expert guidance about the LOR drafting process, get in touch with our expert counsellors. Book a 1-1 free counselling session today!

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Address: Office No. 204, 2nd Floor, ML Spaces, Dashrathlal Joshi Rd. Opp. Old Jain Mandir, Vile Parle West, Mumbai – 400056.




Call Us:  022-46003655


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Copyright © 2002 – 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd.