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How to get SOLID letters of recommendation for graduate school applications - Part 2 ๐Ÿ“ฉ Look at this sample of a compelling LoR from MIT. A thread๐Ÿงตon how you can get a similar letter from your prof.

Believe it or not, an LoR is a tricky document in the application process. You don't really have control over what goes inside. But there are ways you can apply to ensure that the letter does have impressive characteristics about you. Let's dive in ~

โšช๏ธ Assuming that you have a great equation with your recommender, request them to answer the following questions in the letter ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

โšช๏ธ What is the context of the prof.'s relationship with the applicant (i.e. you)? In what ways have they supervised/instructed you (projects, courses, extracurriculars, etc.) It is VERY important for the graduate committees to know how the recommender is associated.......

with the applicant. Preferably, the supervisor should have known you for at least a semester (or an internship period) for them to write reliably about your potential. โšช๏ธ Has the applicant displayed an ability to go beyond classroom experiences and shown intellectual risks?

โšช๏ธ What excites/motivates/drives the applicant? โšช๏ธ Does the applicant have an unusual ability/talent/competence? โšช๏ธ How does the applicant deal with challenges and uncertainties? Request them to use an anecdote if possible.

โšช๏ธ Describe the applicant's social skills? Are they a good team player, do they help others, how do they resolve conflicts? โšช๏ธ What is it that you will remember the most about this person? It could be a very good starter for the letter.

โšช๏ธ Why do you think the applicant is a good fit for the chosen program? For the prof. to answer this, share an excel sheet that consists of brief info about the program & why you think you are fit for it. This will help prof. to write why you are a good match.

โšช๏ธ How does the react to disappointments or rejections (request them for an anecdote if possible). โšช๏ธ What are some of the personal qualities of the applicant that make them a good researcher? โšช๏ธ Are there any unusual circumstances suffered by the applicant that the........

committee should be aware of? Your profs can answer some of the above ques on their own (by recalling anecdotes, assessing your performance). There are a few ques. that they can only answer if you give them the information to fill in.

Your next job is to prepare a brief document about all the questions that you think your supervisor may not be able to answer by themselves. For e.g., I made a separate CV that consisted of my experiences that showed I was active beyond the classroom too.....

I highlighted how I was able to work more around an already demanding academic workload by: -volunteering in educational enterprises -going beyond my comfort zone and writing scientific papers on topics that are not my.......

major area of focus, but are currently relevant for the world. For eg., I told my professor that even though I am a cognitive science student, my acumen, interest & collaborative environment of the institute allowed me to do and publish research on ways to tackle COVID-19.

Similarly, you can create a list of usual (& unusual) accomplishments that will help the prof fill in for you with a lot of enthusiasm and confidence. Make sure you have proof (certificate, letter of appreciation, online document, etc.) to validate your accomplishments....

If you do the work by requesting your recommenders (which you have full right for), it will pay you off by giving you an LoR which is effectively customized to you with lots of stories, experiences & facts. Don't be afraid to ask for what you deserve....

Have you already requested your professors for your LoR? If not, request RIGHT AWAY, so that they have enough time to craft a compelling letter for you <3 If you found value in this, kindly retweet the first tweet to spread this info with others. Follow for more!

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Admissions).