don't tell me, show me

Tips for Handling Recommendations - Part 1


Round 2 applicants, now is the time to reflect on the questions common to all letters of recommendation: strengths, as compared to those in a similar role, and a story about receiving constructive criticism. More and more programs are moving towards the Common Letter of Recommendation. Identify the stories you want to share and outline them in STAR format for the first 3 questions, then consider ideas your recommender might include for the “anything else” area.  


Execution: Show, Don’t Tell


1. Narrate a specific incident or moment in time for each question.


2. Use the STAR format for your stories, or if that doesn’t fit, at least make sure to have a beginning, middle, and end.


3. Model teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, innovation, persuasion, strategic thinking, etc. – things b-schools care about.


4. Make sure each recommender really champions you. They see your uniqueness and articulate that artfully in whatever language they speak (you can translate.)


5. Aim to make an emotional connection with the reader through your content so they will want to champion you to other members of adcom.


Part 2 - here.




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