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Comprehensive Guide for Reference Letters

 

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Over the past several years, we have been overwhelmed by requests for additional information about reference letters for business school, medical school and law school. Ironically, the inquiries are not just from applicants, but from supervisors and faculty members who have been asked to write letters of recommendation on their behalf.

As the competition at top programs becomes increasingly intense, candidates have acknowledged the need to present persuasive references to support their applications. Unfortunately, they (and their reference writers) rarely have an organized "plan of attack" to generate compelling letters.

They want to know:

1. who should (and shouldn't) write a letter of recommendation
2. what strengths are most highly prized in the admissions process
3. how much detail to include (and what is considered "too much")
4. how to present a weakness without sabotaging the candidate
5. how to graciously decline a request to write a letter
6. how to "explain" a deficiency in a candidate's background in a convincing manner

From our perspective, smart candidates give their recommendations that same level of attention that they give to their essays and personal statements. They take the time to find the right people to highlight their personal and professional strengths in the appropriate level of detail. In a highly competitive applicant pool, the choice between two equally qualified candidates often comes down to the quality and depth of their recommendations. Choosing the wrong people to write your letters (or having them say the wrong things) can have devastating consequences.

IvyLeagueAdmission.com is proud to offer a comprehensive guide about references letters for:

1. the candidates who need them
2. the professionals who must write them

Ivy League Reference Letters: How to Write (and Get) Persuasive Recommendations for Law School, Medical School and Business School (ISBN 978-0-9773764-1-4) offers a comprehensive plan to write (and get) reference letters that highlight the specific qualities that admissions committees are seeking. It also provides 20 actual letters that have opened doors for candidates in highly competitive programs in law, medicine and business.

This valuable guide, which is in a convenient digital format, covers the following topics:


Chapter 1: How Academic References / Recommendations Are Used

What Makes a Great Letter
How Reference Letters are Used

Chapter 2: Who Should Write Your References

Academic References
Letters from Undergraduate Committees
Additional Reference Letters
Red Flags Regarding Your Choice of Reference Letter Writers
Challenges to Getting a Great Letter

Chapter 3: Using the Rating Scale as a Guide

Chapter 4: How to Ask for a Reference

Chapter 5: How to Write a Persuasive Reference Letter

Organizing the Letter
Writing Guidelines
Explaining Weaknesses
Common Problems In Reference Letters
Helpful Phrases for Reference Letters
General Traits To Emphasize

Chapter 6: Medical School Reference Letters

From Professor
From Employer
From Co-Worker or Peer
Documenting Volunteer Work
For an Older (Nontraditional) Candidate

Chapter 7: Law School Reference Letters

From Professor
From Employer
From Co-Worker or Peer
Documenting Volunteer Work
For an Older (Nontraditional) Candidate

Chapter 8: Business School / MBA Reference Letters

From Professor
From Employer
From Co-Worker or Peer
Documenting Volunteer Work
For an Older (Nontraditional) Candidate

Chapter 9: Recommendations for Special Circumstances

Explains Time Off From Work or School (Law School)
Candidate Who Overcame an Obstacle (MBA Program)
Explains Low MCAT Scores (Medical School)
Explains Low Grades from a Foreign University (Law School)
Candidates with Learning Disabilities (MBA Program)

Chapter 10: Hall of Shame: References That Do NOT Open Doors

Ambiguous Letter (MBA Program)
Ambivalent Letter (Medical School)
Nothing But the Facts (MBA Program)
Mild Sabotage (Law School)

Summary

Appendices

Appendix 1: College Dean's Evaluation Form (Law School)
Appendix 2: Request for Reference Letters
Appendix 3: Sample Rating Sheet
Appendix 4: Sample Match Points
Appendix 5: Sample Thank You Note for a Reference Letter
Appendix 6: Reference Letter Request Form

 

In the highly complex admissions process, recommendation letters are a candidate's ONLY chance to present third-party documentation of their essential character traits, such as humor, maturity and tenacity.

Ivy League Reference Letters: How to Write (and Get) Persuasive Recommendations for Law School, Medical School and Business School demonstrates how a well-crafted reference letter can explain a variety of personal strengths (and obstacles) better than any personal statement ever could.

After years of painstaking preparation for law school, medical school or business school, why leave your reference letters to chance?

To order the electronic (pdf) version of the guide for $29.99, please click the link below.

Ivy League Reference Letters: How to Write (and Get) Persuasive Recommendation Letters
for Law School, Medical School, and Business School

(Revised and Updated in September 2012)

Note: For security reasons, the electronic version of this product is no longer available for immediate download from our server. Instead, we will send it to you via email when we receive your order. Our delivery hours are 8 am - 8 pm (Eastern time), 7 days per week.

 

 

 

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