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Writting Recommendation Letter

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Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 10:51
I approached my recommenders today and they were happy to recommend me. But contrary to my expectations, they asked me write it and then they would sign it. Now I am wondering, what is the drawback of this approach?

I have read on the forum where people suggest to avoid writting recommendations for himself. Unfortunately I couldn't convince my recommenders to prepare the recommendation content themselves.
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Re: Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 11:01
Maybe you can explain to them that each school has a recommendation form with specific questions that person must answer. There is also an evaluative rating grid across several leadership measures. Offer to provide them with written examples of the ways you have excelled, a copy of your resume, and any additional information they may need. They can take all of the information you give them and easily rewrite it in their own words for the recommendation. You need to make their job as easy as possible, especially if you are asking them to do recommendations for more than one school. If they are still unwilling then you might want to ask someone else.
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Re: Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2012, 21:56
Writting recommendations is not a few minitutes job. So most of the people refuse to write the letters even when they are willing to recommend. Generally either the recommender does not have enough time or he feels inferior about his writting skills.

So my questions is - what are the drawbacks if I write the recommendations myself and then recommender just signs it?
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Re: Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2012, 05:25
syog wrote:
Writting recommendations is not a few minitutes job. So most of the people refuse to write the letters even when they are willing to recommend. Generally either the recommender does not have enough time or he feels inferior about his writting skills.

So my questions is - what are the drawbacks if I write the recommendations myself and then recommender just signs it?

I'll try to help cheetarah out here. The drawback is that admissions committees consider it highly unethical to write your own letter of recommendation. And, since your writing style would presumably be pretty consistent between your essays, AWA, and recommendations, it would be very easy for them to spot.
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Re: Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2012, 05:33
kingfalcon wrote:
syog wrote:
Writting recommendations is not a few minitutes job. So most of the people refuse to write the letters even when they are willing to recommend. Generally either the recommender does not have enough time or he feels inferior about his writting skills.

So my questions is - what are the drawbacks if I write the recommendations myself and then recommender just signs it?

I'll try to help cheetarah out here. The drawback is that admissions committees consider it highly unethical to write your own letter of recommendation. And, since your writing style would presumably be pretty consistent between your essays, AWA, and recommendations, it would be very easy for them to spot.

Bingo! I couldn't have said it better myself.
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Re: Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2012, 08:44
syog wrote:
Writting recommendations is not a few minitutes job. So most of the people refuse to write the letters even when they are willing to recommend. Generally either the recommender does not have enough time or he feels inferior about his writting skills.

So my questions is - what are the drawbacks if I write the recommendations myself and then recommender just signs it?


If someone (presumably your manager) is supportive of your pursuit of an MBA, he/she will find the time to write the recommendation. It doesn't take all that long, especially if you prep them beforehand and provide them with the relevant material that they will find helpful in writing the recommendation. Granted that its "not a few minutes job" but it hardly takes more than a few hours with the right prep. Top executives from top companies around the world find the time to write recommendations for their employees, so I find it unlikely that someone "does not have enough time."

As far as writing skills are concerned, you can explain to your recommenders that it is not a writing contest. Their writing is not going to be held to the same standard as your own essay writing is likely going to be. Plus they are free to get writing help if they want (from someone other than you of course!).

I will strongly suggest that you talk to your recommenders and explain to them why its important that they write the recommendation themselves. Also be sure to provide them with all the necessary information and prep material. If you make it easy for them, they will be more willing to write it.

I think kingfalcon has covered the drawbacks of writing the recommendations yourself. You definitely do NOT want to put yourself in a situation where the adcom thinks you are being unethical.
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Re: Writting Recommendation Letter [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 13:04
Quote:
...Offer to provide them with written examples of the ways you have excelled, a copy of your resume, and any additional information they may need. They can take all of the information you give them and easily rewrite it in their own words for the recommendation. You need to make their job as easy as possible, especially if you are asking them to do recommendations for more than one school...


This. In applying to grad school, I had a similar situation arise when a recommender asked if I would write the letter myself. His reasoning was that he wanted the letter to be really good, and he thought I would be able to write a better letter. I politely refused to write the letter myself, but I offered to give my boss my resume and some bullet points to use. It took him only a few minutes to bang out a letter, and the letter was accurate, personal, and detailed. He was surprised at how easy that made it and at the things he had forgotten about. To add to the value of resumes, my other recommender highlighted an accomplishment that he didn't know about me until he read my resume.

I highly recommend giving the following things to those who you want to write letters for you:

  • Resume (expanded version preferred)
  • Bullets of accomplishments that are relevant to your relationship to the writer (it is easy for them to forget such things and much easier for them to add detail to things that are already written)
  • Stamped, addressed envelopes (depending on how the letter needs to be sent)
  • Thank you card/note a day or two afterwards
Re: Writting Recommendation Letter   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2012, 13:04
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