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Important things to be mentioned in your LOR - Letter of Recommendation

Arth      May 12, 2024

About this article

In the competitive landscape of 2024, a compelling Letter of Recommendation (LOR) remains a pivotal component of any university or job application. As institutions increasingly value diverse and authentic insights into candidates' capabilities, understanding what makes a LOR stand out is more crucial than ever. This guide delves into the essential elements that should be included in your LOR to maximize its impact.


Current Trends in LOR Content


With the ongoing emphasis on personalized education and individual achievements, LORs have evolved from mere formalities to detailed narratives that highlight a candidate's unique contributions and potential. Recommenders need to focus on specific instances where the applicant demonstrated exceptional skills or growth. For instance, rather than simply stating that a student is hardworking, a professor could describe a situation where the student delivered a complex project under tight deadlines, showcasing resilience and dedication.


Emphasize the Relationship


A robust LOR begins by clarifying the relationship between the recommender and the applicant. It’s vital to establish the authority and relevance of the recommender. For example, a university professor should outline their academic relationship with the student, perhaps noting how many courses the student has taken with them. This sets the stage for the reader to understand the context and depth of the observations shared.


Duration of Association


The length of time the recommender has known the applicant adds weight to their endorsement. An effective LOR mentions this duration clearly, giving more credibility to the recommender’s insights. For instance, a manager might note, "In the five years of supervising Jane's work, I've observed significant growth in her strategic thinking and leadership skills."


Detailing the Nature of Association


Detailing how the recommender knows the applicant provides authenticity. This could be through direct supervision, academic advising, or collaborative projects. If a recommender managed the applicant during a critical company project, mentioning this specific interaction can highlight the applicant’s skills more vividly than general statements.


Highlighting Accomplishments


A standout LOR not only lists accomplishments but also contextualizes them in a way that emphasizes the applicant’s exceptional qualities. If the applicant pioneered a successful community service initiative, the recommender should detail this achievement and its impact, rather than merely listing it among other activities.


Comparative Performance


To differentiate the applicant from their peers, recommenders should include comparative analyses. If writing for a top-performing student, a professor might compare their academic achievements or intellectual curiosity to peers from similar cohorts, underscoring their top percentile ranking or unique contributions to class discussions.




As we navigate the complexities of application processes in 2024, the role of a detailed and personalized LOR has never been more significant. By incorporating these key elements—relationship clarity, duration of association, nature of interaction, detailed accomplishments, and comparative performance—an LOR can dramatically enhance an applicant's profile, offering a holistic view of their capabilities and potential.


For more insights into crafting effective letters of recommendation, consider consulting resources like [The Princeton Review’s guide on LORs]( or [Harvard’s advice on recommendation letters](


Content Manager

Art Bante is a passionate and dynamic content manager with a flair for creativity and a keen eye for detail. With a background in both art and digital media, Art brings a unique perspective to content creation and curation.

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