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General Rec. Letter Question

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General Rec. Letter Question [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2005, 15:47
Hello All,
Although I am about 9 months from applying I have had a question that has been lingering in my head with regard to rec. letters. I recently switched jobs from one biotech company to another. I worked at my last company for two years and by the time I apply I will be a year into my tenure at my current company. Hopefully I can gain the confidence of my manager at my current job to solicit a letter from him. My question is about my former manager. Him and I are on good terms but the problem is, English is his second language. I have asked for a rec. letter before from him, and he has been more than happy to give me one but when he has allowed me to read them they are fraught with grammatical and idiomatic errors. And even if you get past that, they sound a bit "luke warm". My question is will adcom people look at my application suspiciously if the rec letter I get from my last company is someone other than my supervisor? Will they care if my current supervisor writes me a letter or is that something I will have to explain.
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Re: General Rec. Letter Question [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2005, 15:42
Expert's post
greenandwise wrote:
Hello All,
Although I am about 9 months from applying I have had a question that has been lingering in my head with regard to rec. letters. I recently switched jobs from one biotech company to another. I worked at my last company for two years and by the time I apply I will be a year into my tenure at my current company. Hopefully I can gain the confidence of my manager at my current job to solicit a letter from him. My question is about my former manager. Him and I are on good terms but the problem is, English is his second language. I have asked for a rec. letter before from him, and he has been more than happy to give me one but when he has allowed me to read them they are fraught with grammatical and idiomatic errors. And even if you get past that, they sound a bit "luke warm". My question is will adcom people look at my application suspiciously if the rec letter I get from my last company is someone other than my supervisor? Will they care if my current supervisor writes me a letter or is that something I will have to explain.


Good questions. Regarding your previous manager and employer, if he writes "luke warm" recs in poor English, try to find someone else to write the LOR form your previous employer. From your post it doesn't sound as if he would be receptive to coaching, so I would look elsewhere. You don't have to walk on water in the rec, but the recommender should be enthusiastic. To me that's more of an issue than his English.


They prefer recommendations from supervisors, but they understand that frequently applicants can't ask their current supervisor. Just include a brief explanation.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2005, 11:43
Thanks for the response Linda but the problem is that I will be getting a rec. letter from someone other than my supervisor at my old comapany, is that ok? I know adcom people understand when you cannot get a letter from your manager at company you are currently employed, but what if you don't get a rec. letter from your manager at your former company, would they look upon that suspiciously? Would I have to explain that in my app? And if so, would bringing up his lack of language skills be a valid point, or does that look bad on my part?
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2005, 15:58
Expert's post
greenandwise wrote:
Thanks for the response Linda but the problem is that I will be getting a rec. letter from someone other than my supervisor at my old comapany, is that ok? I know adcom people understand when you cannot get a letter from your manager at company you are currently employed, but what if you don't get a rec. letter from your manager at your former company, would they look upon that suspiciously? Would I have to explain that in my app? And if so, would bringing up his lack of language skills be a valid point, or does that look bad on my part?


You're right. It is a problem to have neither your current or former supervisor vouching for you. In the former company, try to get another supervisor to write it or perhaps a superior who is not longer with the company but has left the firm. If the person who ultimately writes it was not a supervisor, then yes provide an explanation and say you asked this person because of your supervisor's poor English.

Good luck!
_________________

Linda Abraham
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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