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How long should recommendation answers be

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Joined: 11 Aug 2018
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How long should recommendation answers be  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2018, 14:07
I've decided my recommenders and I'm sure they will give me good reviews but how long should their answers be?
I ask this because one of them doesn't write much. In my official performance review, he wrote very less about my work although it was all very good.

Some questions like strengths and weaknesses have word limit and I guess maximum would be better.

Other questions like - I know for Haas which asks - how does candidate show confidence with humility?
I doubt my recommender would be able to write more than 100 words on this. Would that be sufficient in such questions?

There might be other questions like these where the school asks for particular behaviour? What are they expecting? Like 500 words essay?
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Re: How long should recommendation answers be  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2018, 07:46
Hi imdow123,

I understand your dilemma. The idea behind a rec letter is not about how many words are written; instead, quality of words counts. Can you recommender talk about specific examples where you've exhibited confidence with humility, in the question from Haas?

The admissions committee is expecting to read a letter that supports your application, in one way or another, and adds valuable insight about you as a professional (as it appears in your application material). How do your recommenders see you? Do they value your contributions? Do they see potential in you? Can they reference specific example in their responses? The last is crucial. (<-104 words :-) )

Good luck!

imdow123 wrote:
I've decided my recommenders and I'm sure they will give me good reviews but how long should their answers be?
I ask this because one of them doesn't write much. In my official performance review, he wrote very less about my work although it was all very good.

Some questions like strengths and weaknesses have word limit and I guess maximum would be better.

Other questions like - I know for Haas which asks - how does candidate show confidence with humility?
I doubt my recommender would be able to write more than 100 words on this. Would that be sufficient in such questions?

There might be other questions like these where the school asks for particular behaviour? What are they expecting? Like 500 words essay?

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Re: How long should recommendation answers be  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2018, 19:16
imdow123 I just wrote this for another post, "the key is to select someone who can CHAMPION YOU is willing to work openly and can describe IN DETAIL anecdotes that show how you have modeled teamwork, leadership and problem solving (in sum, all the shiz that b-schools are seeking.)

there is no way someone can do a convincing job telling the beginning, middle and end of compelling anecdotes showing how you model these qualities without using words. I recommend that you queue up some stories and see if he can/will tell them in his own words and also wax poetic about you a bit.

If not, dont choose him. It's better to go with a non-manager if you will get a better rec from it.

imdow123 wrote:
I've decided my recommenders and I'm sure they will give me good reviews but how long should their answers be?
I ask this because one of them doesn't write much. In my official performance review, he wrote very less about my work although it was all very good.

Some questions like strengths and weaknesses have word limit and I guess maximum would be better.

Other questions like - I know for Haas which asks - how does candidate show confidence with humility?
I doubt my recommender would be able to write more than 100 words on this. Would that be sufficient in such questions?

There might be other questions like these where the school asks for particular behaviour? What are they expecting? Like 500 words essay?

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"You don't often come across people so perceptive and empathetic." - EM, NYC

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Re: How long should recommendation answers be  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2018, 00:35
imdow123 wrote:
I've decided my recommenders and I'm sure they will give me good reviews but how long should their answers be?
I ask this because one of them doesn't write much. In my official performance review, he wrote very less about my work although it was all very good.
Some questions like strengths and weaknesses have word limit and I guess maximum would be better.
Other questions like - I know for Haas which asks - how does candidate show confidence with humility?
I doubt my recommender would be able to write more than 100 words on this. Would that be sufficient in such questions?
There might be other questions like these where the school asks for particular behaviour? What are they expecting? Like 500 words essay?


Most letters of recommendation are 2-4 pages long. One page recommendations are usually too short to demonstrate and highlight the significant nature of the relationship. In most cases, the recommender has to answer specific questions in the school’s online recommendation system, where each question has a defined word limit (250-500). If you feel that your recommendation will be too short, consider choosing another recommender who has more to say about you, but also keep in mind that most powerful recommendations use specific and concrete examples, which serve to explain and illustrate the recommender’s assertions. Meaning, the content is more important then the length.
For more guidelines and tips for LORs, please visit: https://aringo.com/mba-recommendation-letter-process/
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Re: How long should recommendation answers be  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2018, 08:24
Hi-

Think about it this way- if your boss is addressing a "weakness question" that says "what was an important feedback that you gave to the applicant etc. etc. and how did he respond?" ( 500 words)

A recommender should easily take up more than 350 words for this( or may be touch 500). Why? Well, in the first half of the response, he will set the background for a layman( READER) who has no idea about the relationship between you and your boss. And in the second half, your boss will show how you took corrective actions, and how has he seen you improving on that weakness in the recent past.

The reader of this recommendation will not make any phone calls to you or your boss, and will NOT have any other means to complete the assessment other than that response. B-School applications are like- ONE Sided communications where the rule is- If I am not able to see the impact of an essay or a recommendation, I am not allowed to call up the writer and ask for MORE!

In this scenario, I will suggest that you use whatever space is given to you.
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Re: How long should recommendation answers be &nbs [#permalink] 27 Aug 2018, 08:24
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