Table of Contents
- What is a Letter of Recommendation?
- Why are letters of Recommendation important?
- Academic Letter of Recommendation
- Professional Letter of Recommendation
- How to choose your recommender
- LOR writing tips
- Formatting a Letter of Recommendation
When it comes to Computer Science, universities are looking for students who’re good at research and have some practical experience. And what better way to showcase this than on a Letter of Recommendation from your professor or manager? But they are not going to write it for you; you’ll have to draft it yourself. So where do you start? What points do you include? How long should your LOR be? Find the answers to all these questions, and more, in the LOR samples for MS in CS we have included in this blog. After that, it will be much easier to get started!
What is a Letter of Recommendation?
A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is a way for a university to evaluate your personality using a third person’s perspective.
To understand what others think of you, a university will ask you to share a recommendation from your professor, manager, or co-worker.
Who you get it from will speak volumes about what kind of connections you build, how others perceive you, and how much they respect you.
Why are letters of Recommendation important?
Universities have a standard admissions process, and LORs are a crucial aspect of this process. Many institutions need at least 2-3 academic, professional, or a mix of both the LORs to filter out the students for admissions. Here’s why it is important for them to have your LORs.
- A third-party opinion matters- An academic LOR would include your professors’ views about you. The way they talk about your abilities as a student is an essential factor for universities to consider. Similarly, a professional LOR would tell universities about your strengths and weaknesses in a professional capacity. Your employer’s views might help the university make the right decision about your admissions. Therefore, it is safe to say that LORs can make or break your chances of getting into your dream university.
- A document that validates your experience- A great LOR helps you validate your experience and skills. Not only this, the document can talk about your achievements in the professional and academic field, the projects you’ve worked on, and more. This is why you should do some research before choosing a recommender to write the LOR.
All in all, a good LOR will enhance your chances of getting into the university you’ve applied to.
Academic Letter of Recommendation
Before we start looking at LOR samples, let’s first understand that there are two types of Letters of Recommendation.
These include the Academic Letter of Recommendation and the Professional Letter of Recommendation.
The Academic LOR is a recommendation from the current or past teachers, professors, or project heads who have taught you or worked with you.
These letters focus solely on your academic personality – what kind of a student you are, if you were attentive in class, if you took initiative if you did any projects, or participated in competitions.
It’s a way for the university to understand how you would contribute to the school when you join as a student.
Now, coming to how Academic LOR samples for MS in CS are written-
Academic LOR samples for MS in CS
The Admission Committee,
I am pleased to write this letter in support of Mr. XYZ’s application for further studies at your reputed university. I have known XYZ for about two years, and I am currently his final year project guide. With his dedication and desire to learn, I can confidently assert that he will thrive in a challenging academic environment such as yours and excel in all the given tasks.
Being the Head of the Computer Department, I had always observed XYZ’s performance in academics and extra-curricular activities. I found him to be a sincere student and readily agreed to mentor him for his final year project when he approached me.
XYZ, along with his teammates, is working on a project based on the domains of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Image Processing. It is titled ‘Emotion Detection and Sentiment Analysis’ through the fusion of multimodal data.
The main idea of the project is to take an input of a person in the form of a video and process that video to give the emotion of the person and also the sentiment as to the context the person is talking in. This idea has a wide range of applications including but not limited to Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Psychoanalysis, which I hold in high regard.
To begin with, Image Processing was not a part of their curriculum, but I admired XYZ’s dedication to learn and step out of his comfort zone for the project. I taught them the basics, and they later researched thoroughly for the same. XYZ contributed significantly to the team’s efforts with his drive for research.
He borrowed and studied various books on Image Processing from the library as well as the other sources and learned MATLAB for the implementation. As an indispensable member of the team, he took charge of the entire group to go through with the idea of their project. I observed him co-ordinating well amongst the group, and dividing and allocating tasks to ensure timely progress of the team. Moreover, XYZ played a significant role in planning and executing the presentation in front of the department panel thereby demonstrating his excellent communication skills.
Also, XYZ has worked for the Students’ Council of the college. He served as the Treasurer and Marketing Head for the year 2015-2016 and then got selected as Deputy Cultural Secretary for the next year. He efficiently organized various events, workshops, seminars, cultural activities, and contingent competitions all year long while managing his coursework which is highly appreciable.
I would also like to add that he managed to secure huge sponsorships when he served as the Marketing Head, which is testimony to his sharp management acumen. Having known his caliber and sound technical knowledge, it came as no surprise to me when he apprised me of obtaining an internship with a multinational corporation ‘Holcim Services (South Asia) Limited’ as an Enterprise Architecture and Innovations trainee. I am sure he must have gained sufficient industrial exposure during his internship tenure of 2 months to develop the skills requisite for excelling at the graduate program.
To conclude, XYZ is one of the brightest students I have supervised. With his diligence and will to outperform at every task, he shall prove to be an invaluable addition to your program. I am confident that he will be an asset to the student organizations at your university just like he was to ours. The graduate program will be an ideal first step towards achieving his dreams, and I am confident that he will excel in it. Hence, I provide my highest recommendations for him as a candidate for the Master’s program at your University.
Dr. Harsh Sorad
Professor and Head of Department, Computer Engineering
Name of the engineering college
Professional Letter of Recommendation
Unlike the Academic LOR, a Professional Letter of Recommendation talks about your work ethic and performance as an employee.
This letter is usually given by your team leader, manager, senior manager, and if it’s a startup, your CEO. Do note that if you are an entrepreneur, your Professional LOR would come from a mentor or your co-founder.
Here, you can highlight the kind of projects you’ve worked on, any awards you’ve won, the CSR initiatives you participated in, or any other achievements from your workplace.
It would be a good way to showcase how you would qualify as a professional – an important factor when it comes to applying for internships and jobs when you’re studying abroad.
Coming to how Professional LOR samples for MS in CS are written-
Professional LOR samples for MS in CS
To The Admission Committee:
I am glad to endorse Mr. XYZ’s application for Master’s studies at your esteemed university. I have known him for the past six months in my capacity as the Head of the Department of Enterprise Architecture and Innovations Manager at Holcim Services (South Asia) Limited. Since its inception in 2007, Holcim Services (South Asia Limited) in India is a group company of LafargeHolcim which caters and delivers IT services and solutions to LafargeHolcim operating companies in South Asia. I have evaluated his performance as an intern in the organization, in which he had shown a temperate attitude with a persistent mindset of learning new concepts and technologies.
Innovativeness coupled with their excellent academic performance made him the ideal person to be selected from the candidate pool for the internship position. The primary focus of the internship program was to develop new skills. Being a part of the Enterprise Architecture and Innovations Department, he was assigned the task of finding a solution that can solve a real-time problem and that can be incorporated into the company. XYZ brainstormed and came up with the idea of a health and safety solution for employees to track their mental and physical health in the workplace by making use of the data collected concerning breaks availed by the employees.
He demonstrated impressive perseverance and technical adeptness to understand the type of data to be extracted and regarding the various network policies on the company server. He showed great learning skills in both the technical and functional areas and quickly established himself as a subject matter expert. There were occasions where he faced changes in connecting 100 workstations, to and fro, to a server for updating data and also to implement a cross-platform application with two modes.
I found him to be composed and self-assured, dealing with these problems with swift decision-making. He never restricted himself to working on only particular modules assigned to him but showed an inclination towards understanding the entire application flow. With his impeccable dedication and proficiency in the concepts of AngularJS, JSON, and Servlets, a working implementation of the said solution was ready and was well accepted by the department.
XYZ continues to polish his skills, and that helps him to perform better every day. He possesses excellent aptitude, an analytical mindset, and a solution-oriented approach. His technical expertise includes commendable coding skills and an in-depth understanding of databases. Aside from his technical expertise, he also possesses excellent communication and presentation skills, being able to express his thoughts and ideas during team discussions.
Blessed with a rare blend of good problem-solving skills and strong technical knowledge is what distinguishes XYZ from others. His eye for detail and adeptness to learn makes him one of the best interns in his batch. I strongly believe that his integrity and dedication will make him a treasured asset to your university and the student body. I am sure that he would excel in the Master’s Program at your esteemed university and hence, I strongly support his application and wish him good luck for a successful career.
Mr. Kabir Thapad
Name of the company
How to choose your recommender
There are three important factors to consider when you’re choosing a recommender-
- How long you have known them
Ideally, your recommender is someone who should know you for at least a year.
Because this amount of time is enough for any teacher or manager to completely understand and talk about your personality.
- What they have worked on with you
The university will be looking for a recommender to talk about your academic and professional behaviour. So the fact that your recommender actually guided your work on a project or a research paper would mean that the recommendation isn’t just being given by a bystander; it’s from a person who has seen you in action. And that matters.
- Their qualifications
Although this should not be a high priority (unless you’re applying for a research program), a letter from a highly qualified recommender with a Ph.D., or a manager at a higher position, will speak volumes about your networking and intellectual skills.
As long as you keep these factors in mind while shortlisting your recommender, you should be able to find the right mentor with ease.
I hope this answers your question on how to choose a recommender. Moving on…
LOR writing tips
Everyone has their own writing style. But when it comes to drafting a LOR, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. So get started only after you have read through these LOR writing tips-
- Each LOR you write should have a different writing style since it needs to look like different people have written all these letters.
- Your Letter of Recommendation should not exceed one page.
- The structure of your LOR should be something like this –
A. Start by talking about how the recommender met you and how long he or she has known you.
B. Mention a string of your academic/professional accomplishments your mentor has watched you achieve. Divide these pieces of information between 3 small paragraphs.
C. Next, move on to extracurricular activities. Dedicate one paragraph to it.
D. End by saying that the recommender believes in you and would always be available to answer any questions about you.
- Add a few lines here and there about your soft skills; highlight your social personality.
- Don’t repeat yourself.
- In every other part of your application, it is advisable not to brag. But when it comes to the Letter of Recommendation, you can definitely boast about your accomplishments. Take advantage of that fact.
I will surely add any more tips that come to my mind.
But these are a great place to start!
Once you’ve typed out the entire letter, follow the standard formatting rules for your LOR-
- Use the most acceptable fonts – Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Verdana. Don’t stray away from these in an attempt to make your letter look super-fancy.
- Use a minimum font size of 12.
- Leave a 1-inch margin all around the letter.
- Add a header of your institution or organization.
- Leave enough room for your recommenders signature.
- After saving the file, delete its properties and send it to your mentor for a review.
Once they get back to you, make the final edits, get their signatures, and keep a copy with yourself. Just in case you require it in the future.
A word before signing off – ideally, your recommender should be the one who writes this letter. So if you find your mentor willing to draft their own LOR for you, you’re lucky. That doesn’t mean you don’t need the information on this blog, though. You can always keep these things in mind when going through the LOR your recommender sent you.
If you’re looking for more information about writing/assessing a Letter of Recommendation, we suggest you read this blog. And in case you can’t find what you’re looking for, drop a comment here or reach out to us. We’d be happy to help!
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Q1. What should be written in a Letter of Recommendation?
Your LOR should mention how the recommender knows you and what they’ve seen you work on. It should also showcase their opinion of your work ethics and personality.
Q2. Who is the best person to get a Letter of Recommendation from?
The answer depends on your career trajectory. If you’re a fresher with no experience, get 2 LORs from your teachers/professors. If you have some experience, get one LOR from your teacher and one from the organization you most recently with. But if you have 3+ years of experience, get both your LORs from superiors at the organizations you have worked.
Q3. How many LORs are needed for an MS?
The exact requirement will depend on the university you’re applying to. While most of them need you to share 2 LORs, some might just ask for one, and others for 3.