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Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations)

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Current Student
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Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 119
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: Q V0
GPA: 3.45
WE: Marketing (Consumer Electronics)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 5

Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 10:00
One of my MBA applications is due next week and my direct supervisor has just sent me his recommendation letter for review.
and its a mess!
The points are wayyyy too technical and written from 3rd person point of view(not first person).
Mainly it looks like I wrote the letter - they are no perspectives from him.
And its very general and makes a lot of claims without elaborating some of them.

I know its very late in the process.But really some help how to handle this!

Are there some sample letters floating around which I can show him?

Any help will be much appreciated!!!
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 900
Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
Followers: 122

Kudos [?]: 590 [0], given: 114

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 10:46
Sounds like you need to have a discussion with him. He also sent it to you to allow you to review it. Maybe you should just take a bomb to it and blow it up. Haha, but what I mean is to litterally scrap it and write it for him.

I know its tough, but this is your life, not his. Many times recommenders are way out of the loop and have a challenging time writing these letters. Just remember, as long as he has good things to say about you, you should be fine. They understand that recommenders are busy, not professional writers, and won't all be the same. Buuut, if it is truly awful, it will look like he didn't take the necessary time for you.

It might just make the most sense to rewrite, or really revise his copy to make it what you want. Use his words, structure, etc... but change a bunch to make it more what you want. If he's a cool boss, he will submit what you give back to him no questions asked. Just tell him that the format they expect was slightly different then what he had.
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Joined: 15 Apr 2011
Posts: 78
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 0

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 10:51
Did you give your recommender any guidance? Or was it simply 'here are the questions. please answer.'? If it was the latter, I would definitely sit down with them. I provided an outline to my recommenders highlighting some potential stories/qualities/etc. I think the Richard Montauk book had a good section on how to prep your recommenders. Either way, at least he gave you a draft and enough time to sit down with him...
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Current Student
avatar
Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 119
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: Q V0
GPA: 3.45
WE: Marketing (Consumer Electronics)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 5

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 10:55
I have given him my essays, my resume and had a talk with him as well.
He basically copy pasted my own self appraisal form from the system into the recommendation letter, without providing his point of view...
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 900
Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
Followers: 122

Kudos [?]: 590 [0], given: 114

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 14:00
That sounds kind of pathetic. Do you think he'd actually like to help? I had to cancel one of my recommenders b/c he didn't seem like he was going to take the time necessary, or submit it on time. I canceled him (of course spoke with him about it, and it was no big deal b/c of how I posed it) and added another person that I'm close with that submitted that day with a great letter! He may not have had the greatest positiong, but he was familiar with my work product, and spent about 3 hours on the letter. Remember, it isn't always about the person writing it if they won't write a good letter.

If this guys is willing, see if you can write it for him. Or tell him that they would like his opinions. This is one of the problems with having people let you see their letters. Technically you should wave the right to see it, and ask them to submit without your help. This way, they can be more candid. Of course there is a risk here that they will write a bad recommendation, or not put together a sound letter...

Either way, don't let him bring your application down! You have to make an executive decision and figure out a way to improve the letter, get another recommender, or work with him.
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Current Student
avatar
Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 119
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: Q V0
GPA: 3.45
WE: Marketing (Consumer Electronics)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 5

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 16:58
Thanks GMAT LA!

But I have only 6 days to submit the recommendation letter - not to mention he is most familiar with my work product since I trained him from scratch and he knows what I do!

Should I just write a template for him and ask him to fill in?

Thanks!
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 900
Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
Followers: 122

Kudos [?]: 590 [0], given: 114

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 17:05
You trained your direct supervisor! haha, well this is indeed a special circumstance.

With the short amount of time you have left, I would not recommend a new person. I would advise that you rewrite the letter to the best of your ability tonight. Give it back to him tomorrow morning, and say "I needed it to be more personal, something like this would be perfect". Bring him a $20 gift card from starbucks, or some type of gift (sees chocolates, movie gift card, nice pen, etc..) as a thank you. He will appreciate the gift, and will most likely say "why don't we just go with this letter if this is what they're looking for?" Bammmm... he submits it, and your hopefully on your way to BSchool! What do you think?

Get 'er done!
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Current Student
avatar
Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 119
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: Q V0
GPA: 3.45
WE: Marketing (Consumer Electronics)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 5

Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2012, 20:31
He just told me a short while ago, that he doesn't know how to write such recommendations as he has never written them before.and has asked me to write it myself.he should have said this.a month ago when I asked for it!!

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Re: Urgent Help Needed (Recommendations)   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2012, 20:31
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