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What to Provide Recommenders?

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What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2013, 21:52
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I have reviewed the "Letters of Recommendation - The Guide" thread (as well as others) and found it extremely helpful. It lists the following as things to provide your recommenders:

•Cover Page
•Name of each school
•The Round you are applying and its deadline
•The first of many "thank you's" you should be writing to them
•A request for you Recommender's Information
Note: this is because your recommender may not want schools to send them the forms to their work email or to call their work phone.
•Phone number
•Email address
•Home address
•Copies of each school's recommendation form (available on most school's websites)
•Positioning Statement: material similar to most school's essay #1
•Why you want an MBA
•Why you need an MBA NOW
•What your short and long term post MBA career goals are
•Accomplishments you want them to talk about
•Teams you have lead
•Improvements you have made
•Facts, Figures, Percentages, Statistics...any numbers you can provide to quantify your claims that they can reference
•Weaknesses
•How you are already working on improving these
•What will a school help you to overcome

Is this list fairly exhaustive or are there other things we should provide? Specifically, should we give our recommenders copies of our GMAT results or our resume?
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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2013, 14:04
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Hey there,

That really is a great list! A resume is a must - and not just your regular resume. Your MBA resume (there's a difference). It gives them a snapshot of who you are so it helps set the rest into context. Your GMAT score will be on your resume so don't bother sending it separately. They also don't really care nor would they explicitly use it.

I won't add anything to the list because at first glance it seems pretty comprehensive. I will, however, say this. It is possible that the list is TOO comprehensive and therein lies a risk. Be careful how you package all this information. Your recommenders are busy. They need to get to the key facts and "so what"s quickly and easily.

A good recommender prep package doesn't just include a lot of information, it provides it in an easy to digest and utilize fashion. Don't send them a zip file of 34 documents, in other words.

I hope that helps and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Bhavik
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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2013, 17:13
Thank you for your thoughtful reply!

I think you brought up a good point about it being too comprehensive and maybe a bit intimidating. I agree, but I think many of the items can be combined/condensed. I think my plan is to provide the following: A cover sheet, my resume, a page with the schools and rounds I'm applying along with the recommender questions/prompts, and 1-2 pages outlining my goals, accomplishments, weaknesses, etc.

You mention that my GMAT score will already be on my resume. I understand there are many differences between a regular resume and an MBA resume, but I was unaware that putting your GMAT score on it was one of those differences. I haven't heard/read that before. Is that standard practice? Additionally, where on my resume would I include that?

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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2013, 07:21
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Hey there,

You're quite welcome! You're ahead of the curve here - you're spot on. They absolutely can be combined and condensed and the things you're proposing are definitely a good packet to send along for prep purposes.

As for the resume, keep in mind what it's for. For most admissions directors, it's the very first thing they read. Before they open your application and read your stats or read your essays and see your goals, they look at your resume. So yes, your GMAT should be on there. The best place to put it is in a line item within your academics section. Just include it somewhere in the section so that as they glance through it, they know what that one metric is.

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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2013, 12:44
What is also important for recommenders is two things:

1) Having a thorough discussion with them and realizing if they are truly going to be able to write you a solid, differentiated recommendation. Throughout the conversation you will be able to tell if they are going to spend a significant effort to support your candidacy.

2) Setting firm deadlines and checkpoints to follow-up on the recommendation. Even though you give them all this information with the deadlines, many people still procrastinate, so I would set firm deadlines well in advance of the round 1 application deadline. You do not want something that you do not have authority over to stall you in the last throes of the application submittal.
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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2013, 21:38
CriticalSquare - Good points. I will include my GMAT score on there. On a related note, should my GPA also be included on my resume? My GPA is a bit lower (3.4/4.0) than the average at my target schools, so I ideally don't want to highlight that.

3Hr - Certainly true! I hope to spend 15-30 minutes with each recommender and walk them through some of the documents and try and gauge their enthusiasm. I hope I don't have to chase them around to finish my recommendation, but I know that is a common problem. I will try and be active in checking up on them without being too pushy.

Thanks for the tips!
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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 23:10
I'm going to respectfully disagree with Critical Square on this one re: the GMAT/GPA as line items on your resume. Here is my reasoning: The resume is your chance to show what you have accomplished in undergrad... extracurricular(ly)... and most importantly - professionally. Trying to get all of that into 1 document (yes the resume should be 1 document) is incredibly tough if done correctly. That being said, each line is valuable real estate on the resume and to take up a line to put your GMAT and GPA, when the admissions committee will already have that information, is not something I would advise.

The admissions committee knows exactly where to find your GPA and GMAT score. They'll already have that information AT LEAST TWICE when you hit the submit button. When you fill out the online form they'll ask for both pieces of information and then they'll also have your Transcripts and your Official GMAT scores. No need to then put that information on your resume when you could add another bullet point to a job that you've had.
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Re: What to Provide Recommenders? [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2013, 01:21
First of all to you all, great discussion. Very helpful.

I'm putting a brief pack together for my recommenders, and it is at short notice - I didn't realise until Friday that my senior recommender is on holiday for most of August, and I'd like her to have my pack before she goes away well ahead of any deadlines. Think of it as my head-filler for her "reflection time" on the beach... We can then have a more detailed discussion if needed after her return. Obviously most of the material already exists and can be put together fairly easily for next week.

Both my primary recommenders are in my line management above me (either one step or several) and we work together at some point every day. Although it must be an 'unsaid' acknowledgement, my draft essays on MBA goals talk explicitly about the possibility of seeking new opportunities outside my current business post-MBA. As such, I don't want to share goals as part of the pack at all to avoid discussion on this. It's been hard enough having the discussion about applying in a business that normally does not follow this route!

I wasn't aware recommenders would talk about this aspect, is this in your opinion an important inclusion? At best, it seems an 'optional extra' to me.

P.S. My own take on the GMAT in the resume - again, it seems not 100% to me to be included. Maybe if you feel it enhances your resume include it, otherwise leave it out?
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Re: What to Provide Recommenders?   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2013, 01:21
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