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# Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter

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Manager
Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 176
Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Feb 2019, 08:10
1
The person doing my rec needs some help about talking about my weaknesses. The question specifically asks for 3 weaknesses and the examples.

So should he give half BS answers that don't sound too bad. Or should he give some actual weaknesses that would put me in a bad light?

Half BS answer: He has a tendency to procrastinate on some of the tasks. Or takes on too much work and then asks for help.

Actual Weakness: He has very bad interpersonal skills or he is not a team player

Following are the Key points discussed in this topic...

• Discuss the weakness, show how you are aware of it and are actively working to address it, and note your improvement, while impressive, still requires additional work. - rhyme
• Showing self-awareness on your weaknesses is important. Your recommender can identify how you have made a conscious effort to the weakness he identified, and how you have started to make progress. These can also fit with what you have identified as the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from your target MBA program. - VeritasPrepEdison
• All weaknesses need to be spun in a positive light -- showcasing how you were once weak and how you addressed those weaknesses. - saturnring11
• It doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be something that you are mediocre at (maybe because of a lack of experience), something that's important, but also something that you can reasonably improve upon. Don't have your recommender write about something that makes your character look bad (not a team player), or something that will make it difficult for you to succeed or contribute in school (poor interpersonal or analytical skills). Do you have average time management skills? Are you just learning how to manage staff? Do you have a tendency to defer to more senior team members? What improvement opportunities show up on your reviews? Those are all legit things but "they don't put you in a bad light." - dukes

Other helpful articles/discussions on this topic..

Originally posted by homefry on 29 Nov 2006, 17:24.
Last edited by bb on 06 Feb 2019, 08:10, edited 2 times in total.
Discussion summary, links of relevant topics
Manager
Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 134
Location: Sunnyvale, California
Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2006, 17:49
2
If you mention "Poor Interpersonal Skills" as a weakness, you are a gonner. All weaknesses need to be spun in a positive light -- showcasing how you were once weak and how you addressed those weaknesses.

Example:

"XYZ is currently learning in the area of people management. Although he had little training in this area, he has made rapid strides and recently completed ABC project by involving peers he had no authority over. His potential while not fully realized appears to be promising."
Manager
Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 176
Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2006, 18:07
That's the thing. I read all the interview books about the weakness qeustion. If they ask me directly, then I could say what I've done to correct it or at least improve on.

It's hard for my boss to say something. Does he say a weakness and then say that I've improved and it is no longer a weakness?

Or does he flat out say a weakness that is not to damaging?
Manager
Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 134
Location: Sunnyvale, California
Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2006, 19:57
I think it is pretty clear from the example I gave what I think you should do.
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Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2006, 20:13
saturnring11 wrote:
I think it is pretty clear from the example I gave what I think you should do.

I'd agree w/ saturnring.

Discuss the weakness, show how you are aware of it and are actively working to address it, and note your improvement, while impressive, still requires additional work.
Director
Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 572
Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2006, 20:16
1
Quote:
So should he give half BS answers that don't sound too bad. Or should he give some actual weaknesses that would put me in a bad light?

It doesn't have to be one or the other. As the example by saturn showed, it can be something that you are mediocre at (maybe because of a lack of experience), something thatâ€™s important, but also something that you can reasonably improve upon. Don't have them write about something that makes your character look bad (not a team player), or something that will make it difficult for you to succeed or contribute in school (poor interpersonal or analytical skills). Do you have average time management skills? Are you just learning how to manage staff? Do you have a tendency to defer to more senior team members? What improvement opportunities show up on your reviews? Those are all legit things but they don't "put you in a bad light."
Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant
Joined: 24 Jan 2016
Posts: 508
Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2016, 16:38
Thanks for bumping this thread up.

Showing self-awareness on your weaknesses is important. Your recommender can identify how you have made a conscious effort to the weakness he identified, and how you have started to make progress. These can also fit with what you have identified as the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from your target MBA program.
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Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter  [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2019, 03:36
Hello GMAT Club,

We have revamped this topic: formatting the top post, adding a few links of relevant articles, and posting a summary of key/helpful comments posted by users in the subsequent conversation. Tell us what you feel about the new structure, anything we can include further, etc.
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Re: Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter   [#permalink] 06 Feb 2019, 03:36
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# Mentioning weaknesses in the recommendation letter

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