Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for Your MS in Germany
This article explains the importance of writing a strong letter of recommendation for your German university applications. Learn about what to include, who to ask, and how to improve your LORs with the help of experts. Get started on your LOR today!
A Letter of Recommendation (LOR) may seem like a simple document, but it can make a significant impact on your study abroad application, especially for Germany. While it's easy to underestimate its value, a well-crafted LOR can be a crucial aspect of your academic and professional evaluation. It's time to dispel myths and understand the true significance of LORs in the German academic sphere.
Elevating Your Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
Beyond a mere formality, a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) assumes the role of a captivating narrative – an exclusive portrayal of your journey, akin to your Statement of Purpose (SOP). It stands as a professional or academic chronicle, artfully articulated by someone astute enough to recognize your true potential.
While some German universities simplify the LOR process, requesting your recommender's email for a prompt-driven questionnaire, other scenarios warrant a more intricate approach. In cases where your recommender might lack an in-depth grasp of your capabilities or time to craft an extensive LOR, they could ask for a draft. This preliminary draft serves as a scaffold, enabling them to build upon your foundation, ensuring a comprehensive LOR without starting from scratch.
The Preparation Stage
Before embarking on the drafting process of your Letter of Recommendation (LOR), conducting a preliminary exploration can prove highly beneficial.
Engage in a thorough review of the prerequisites for your selected university program, with particular attention to any explicit guidelines concerning the LOR's structure. Certain universities may even furnish a designated template, designed for your recommender's convenience.
Take heed of any prescribed length restrictions applicable to the LOR. These limitations could span from a stipulated word count to a defined page extent.
Ascertain the requisite quantity of LORs, as well as the preferred profile of your recommender. For instance, numerous German Technical Universities accord significant significance to endorsements provided by academic professors.
Equipping Your Recommender
To help your recommender paint a vivid and accurate picture of you, provide them with the following documents:
Your current resume or CV.
Your academic transcripts or grade reports.
A draft letter of recommendation, if required.
Your Roadmap to an Effective LOR
Identify your recommenders: Consider 2-3 individuals who can vouch for your qualifications and potential. These could be professors whose classes you've aced, or managers with whom you've worked closely.
Request politely: Once identified, reach out to them, humbly asking if they could provide a positive LOR. Sharing your academic transcripts or performance records might serve as a helpful reminder of your capabilities.
Clarify the context: Arrange a meeting with your recommenders to discuss any additional information they might need. Use this opportunity to explain your motivations for pursuing a specific course or applying to a particular university.
Empathize with your recommender: When drafting the LOR, maintain an appreciative tone, but be mindful of not overstepping boundaries. Include details such as the duration and context in which the recommender has known you.
Add weight with statistics: Mention relevant academic achievements, like ranking among the top 10% of your class. These facts can significantly impact the admission committee's perception of you.
Avoid repetition: If you need to prepare drafts for multiple recommenders, ensure each draft is distinct with minimal overlap.
Honesty is the best policy: While it's natural to want to present yourself in the best light, avoid exaggeration or false statements. This can be disrespectful to your recommender and potentially damaging to your relationship.
Wrap it up right: Once your recommender completes the LOR, check that it is stamped, signed, and sealed (if necessary). Express your gratitude for their effort and confirm if they're comfortable with you using their email address for online recommendations.
Note your recommender’s personal email address: This could be useful for future correspondence or for universities that might need to reach out to your recommender directly.
Points to Remember
Customize for University Type: Tailor your LORs to align with the ethos of the university you're applying to. German Technical Universities (TUs), renowned for their research emphasis, value LORs from academic professors. In contrast, the Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen - FH) prioritize recommendations from industry professionals due to their practical approach.
Prioritize Recent Recommendations: Recent LORs carry more weight, showcasing your current capabilities and achievements. LORs from your latest academic or professional involvements can provide a clearer picture of your potential and drive.
Maintain Formality and Professionalism: A well-crafted LOR should exude formality and professionalism. Ideally, it should be composed on your university’s official letterhead, endorsed by the relevant department, and authentically signed by your recommender.
Navigating the world of LORs for your Masters in Germany need not be daunting. Equipped with these insights, you're now ready to secure compelling LORs that underscore your potential and amplify your chances of acceptance. Let's embark on this journey to studying in Germany, one step at a time!
Checklist for LOR Preparation
Choose 2-3 individuals who can vouch for your abilities and potential.
Request for LOR
Write a polite request for a recommendation.
Provide Necessary Documents
Share your CV, academic transcripts, and a draft LOR if necessary.
If necessary, prepare a distinct draft for each recommender, avoiding repetition.
Review Final LOR
Ensure the final LOR is stamped, signed, and sealed, if necessary.
Email Templates for requesting LORs
This section provides email templates for requesting a letter of recommendation (LOR) from either a college professor or a project manager. Keep in mind that you should always modify the templates to fit your specific situation and relationship with the recommender.
Email Template to Request LOR from a College Professor
Subject: Request for Letter of Recommendation for Masters Studies in Germany
Dear Professor [Last Name],
I trust this email finds you in good health and high spirits.
I am planning to pursue a Masters degree in Germany and I believe that a letter of recommendation from you, based on our time spent during the [course name], would greatly enhance my application. Your insights and expertise have always been a source of inspiration for me and I feel a recommendation from you would offer an accurate account of my academic capabilities.
Given your busy schedule, I thought it might be easier if I were to prepare a draft letter of recommendation, which could serve as a starting point. You could then modify, add, or delete any content as you see fit, ensuring the letter aligns with your perception of my work and capabilities.
If this sounds acceptable to you, could you kindly confirm so I can start preparing the draft? I would be immensely grateful for your support in this endeavor. The deadline for the submission is [deadline].
Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you.
Email Template to Request LOR from a Project Manager
Subject: Request for Letter of Recommendation for Masters Program in Germany
Dear [Manager’s Name],
I hope this message finds you well.
As I embark on my journey to pursue a Masters degree in Germany, I find myself in need of a letter of recommendation that speaks to my professional skills and experiences. Given the enriching experience I had working under your guidance at [Company Name], I believe that your recommendation would significantly bolster my application.
Understanding the demands on your time, I propose to draft a letter of recommendation, which you could then review, alter, or augment as you deem appropriate. This way, it would reflect an accurate representation of my performance and skills, without imposing too much on your schedule.
If you agree to this arrangement, could you please confirm so I can begin drafting the letter? I would be extremely grateful for your assistance in this matter. The submission deadline is [deadline].
Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.
We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the necessary insights to craft a compelling Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for your Masters application in Germany. Remember, an impactful LOR can be a crucial aspect of your academic and professional evaluation. Start by identifying your recommenders and providing them with the necessary documents. Clarify the context of your application and empathize with your recommender when drafting the LOR. Make sure to customize your LORs in accordance with the ethos of the university you're applying to. Always maintain formality and professionalism throughout the process. With these tips and tricks, you're now ready to secure impressive LORs that underscore your potential and amplify your chances of acceptance. Good luck with your MS in Germany application!
What is a Letter of Recommendation (LOR)?
A Letter of Recommendation is a document that provides an assessment of your academic or professional capabilities. It's typically written by a professor or a supervisor who can vouch for your abilities and potential, playing a crucial role in your application for further studies or employment.
2. Why are LORs important for studying in Germany?
German universities highly value LORs as they offer a comprehensive picture of your abilities, beyond your grades and test scores. They provide an insight into your character, work ethic, and suitability for the program you're applying to, making them an essential part of your application process.
3. How many LORs do I need for my application?
The number of LORs required can vary by university and program. It's best to check the specific requirements of the program you're applying to. Typically, most universities ask for two to three letters of recommendation.
4. Who should I ask for a Letter of Recommendation?
LORs should ideally be obtained from professors or supervisors who know you well and can provide an in-depth assessment of your abilities. If you're applying for a research-focused program, letters from academic professors are valued, while those applying for practical-oriented programs might benefit from letters written by industry professionals.
5. What should be included in the LOR?
The LOR should mention how long and in what capacity the recommender knows you. It should highlight your abilities, achievements, work ethics, and potential. Including specific instances or anecdotes where you demonstrated particular skills can be beneficial. It's also helpful to include a comparison statistic, such as how you stand in relation to your peers.
6. Can I draft my own LOR?
Yes, in some cases, the recommender may ask you to draft your own LOR due to time constraints or if they're unfamiliar with the process. However, remember to write honestly and respectfully about your achievements and capabilities. The recommender can then review, modify, and sign the letter.
7. How should the final LOR be presented?
The final LOR should ideally be printed on the letterhead of your university or company, signed by the recommender, and if necessary, stamped or sealed. Some universities might require a digital copy, in which case, it should be scanned and submitted as per the university's guidelines. Always check the specific requirements of each university.