A recent post by mbaMission over at the GMAT Club, “Make Sure Recommendations are Personal,” reinforces the concept that applicants must put time into understanding the commitment level of those who are writing them MBA recommendations. They encourage you to make sure that your recommenders are not writing a single, standard letter to send to all schools.
With this type of standard letter, they say, “your recommender is not really helping you—in fact, this kind of approach could actually hurt you!”
They go as far to say, “If you cannot convince your recommender to write a personalized letter or to respond to your target school’s individual questions using specific examples, you will need to look elsewhere. A well-written personalized letter from an interested party is always far better than a poorly written letter from your supervisor.”
Of course, the more personal and “fitted” a recommendation can be, the better. But is all this true? Many of us don’t want to hear this. What if such nuance is not possible? How else can you ensure the best MBA recommendations are being written for you?
Accepted.com gives some pretty good additional advice: “Choose someone you know and trust. Do you know about your recommender’s family and what they like to do on the weekends? If not, get to know them well before you ask them to write you a recommendation.”
When you take the time to get to know the people who are writing your MBA recommendations, they are also getting the chance to know you.
“You want your recommender to fight for you and put in the time to write a great application. Make it easy for them by giving them a list of your reasons for wanting to go back to school and your recent accomplishments at work.”
They go on to say that a thank you gift after the fact can’t hurt, either.
If you want your MBA recommendations to MBA programs in DC to be personal, pointed, and influential, make sure you know the people writing them!