I work for an approx. 20-30 person media firm where the CEO is heavily involved with the day-to-day operations. I recently asked him if he would be willing to write a letter of recommendation and he agreed to.
However, he asked me for an outline or list of what I'd like the letter of rec to include. I can see potential benefits and negatives to this.
Is there a general list of traits and characteristics I should be looking for him to discuss? Things like work ethic, personality, etc? I'll admit that I have zero experience with this as this is my first time applying to grad schools so I'm a little lost.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Instead of giving him a general list of desirable traits, I would recommend that you share a list of traits very specific to your profile. In your application (SOP or essays), you would have focused on certain personal and professional traits? Share those with your recommender and let him know that these are the key messages you want to convey through your application. For example, if 'initiative' is a trait you want to highlight, your recommender could possibly cite an example of a situation in which you demonstrated initiative.
However, do make sure that the recommendation letter and your application do not talk about the exact same things - that would come across as a 'rigged' application!
Gowri N Kishore
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