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Using a single generic recommendation letter

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Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 20:08
I'm applying to 6 schools this year, probably all within Round 1. I think this could pose a serious problem for my manager, who is on the verge of retirement, to go through the process of putting all of this information and making sure that everything's correct and on time.

My undergraduate college offers a service to send recommendation letters to multiple schools, all it needs is a single letter with the following attachment form.

http://www.careercenter.umich.edu/stude ... al2010.pdf

Has anyone done this and is this ok?
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 20:12
generally, MBA programs require recommenders to answer a series of short questions instead of a typical recommendation "letter". for this reason, no i don't think that you'd be able to use that service.
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 21:14
http://www.mbaapplicant.com/recommendation_guide.htm

They recommend using a single letter. OR, at least they claim that most adcom's will understand if the rec is not in the format they requested.

What do you think?
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 07:27
I think getting specific recs for each school helps since its clear that person thinks highly enough of you to write you a recommendation and not just submit a generic form recommendation. There is also the arguement that it shows you probably are applying to a handful of schools and thus really like them.

That said, I am sure all schools accept plenty of people who had single letter recs.
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 09:16
school's question often overlap so i would advise them to answer the most thorough rec first, that way they can copy & paste for the majority of the other recs and will only have to fill in the few questions that may be specific to a school or two. if they really dont have time, (6 recs is a lot for one person) i'd suggest having them fill out recs specifically for your top 3 and then using that to do a generic letter for the remaining schools
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 10:47
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Look what I found... http://gmatclub.com/wiki/Recommendations

Aaudetat also put together a great guide, which is somethign a lot of us modified for personal use and provided to recommenders.

http://gmatclub.com/forum/recommender-guide-41085.html#p285758
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 13:12
great guide - i adapted that for a guide i sent to my recommenders a few days ago.

I was hoping though that maybe the discussion could talk about the "single reference letter" approach some more since the guides and links don't really compare it with the standard approach of filling out each rec individually.

for example
- during ding analysis, has anyone ever been told that they should get their recommedors to fill out the form properly? (my guess is probably not, but you never know)
- anyone recall a statement by an adcom about the single rec or not following the rec guidlines?
- the debate between "does it show that you're probably applying to several schools (and that looks bad)" vs "your recommender is just really busy"
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 06:41
mba2013: I share the same dilemma with you in trying to do several applications in R1. I figure that by starting the process very early, I should be able to handle my business. However, I know it's tough to ask the same supervisor to do six unique recommendations for you, but I would strongly advise that you broach the subject with him/her. As an undergraduate admissions officer, I can tell you there are few things more off-putting than receiving a standardized recommendation letter that is clearly being used for several different applications (or even for different individuals - just changing "Billy" is really smart to "Joey" is really smart.)

In order to help alleviate the extra burden on your boss of writing multiple recommendations for you, print out all the recommendation sheets and study them. Think through everything you have ever done for your boss and make notes on those recommendation sheets. Then, present to your boss your finalized essays and an outline of possible topics for him to discuss on the recommendation sheet. Certainly DO NOT answer the questions for him, but give him a framework to use. Give him some topics to cover or stories to tell that you think are important to strengthening your candidacy, but then let him run with it. You want his own voice and prose to shine through. Make sure that he corroborates some of the things you mention in your essays while also providing some color on additional topics that you did not mention.

Finally, you probably won't be able to spring for the Rolex retirement gift, but get him a bottle of Scotch, some cigars, or something else to thank him - not just for doing your recommendations, but for everything he's taught you in the course of your employment.
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Re: Using a single generic recommendation letter   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2010, 06:41
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