Letter of Recommendation
Date: November 2014
Students often need a so-called ‘Letter of Recommendation’ when they want to apply for a scholarship. Even for internships (e.g. big organizations) or for studying abroad you might be asked to attach one or two letters of recommendation to your application. Your lecturers at EcoS are happy to help you with that matter, but to make things easier for them and for you as well, it is important to be well prepared. So we put together some helpful guidelines for you:
- Think about what you need and provide all necessary information, e.g. until when you need the Letter of Recommendation.
- The file has to be a doc, no pdf, so it can still be changed.
- Write a nice email either to Prof. Frank, Dr. Gerstl or any other lecturer. Be professional and keep a polite tone. Not: “I need XYZ until tomorrow” but: “Would you please be so kind”, “would be of great help” etc.
- Re-read your email and look for spelling mistakes. Always keep in mind that you are asking a favor from someone and not the other way round.
- Allow the staff at least 3-5 working days (that is: Monday to Friday) to answer your email. If you do not get an answer after about a week, maybe look at the email you sent again and check for mistakes (name spelled correctly, greetings, and general spelling). If you cannot find any flaws, send a nice inquiry that you are not sure whether he/she really got your message.
- If you are short of time and need something fast do not send one email after another. Add something along the lines of “I know this is on short notice, but I have an appointment/deadline at XX.XX.XXXX and would be very grateful if you could…”
- Keep in mind that academic staff can be attending conferences in foreign countries with limited or no access to office infrastructure, on holidays or sick. Thus, send your email well in advance.
Always keep in mind: YOU know the requirements for the position/internship/summer course … best and should find the appropriate wording.
Following are some examples of a suitable header and phrases you could use and adjust. This is to give you a general idea on what to include in a letter of recommendation and by no means binding:
1. Header example
Univ.-Ass. Mag. Dr. Alfred Gerstl, MIR
Chair of East Asian Economy and Society (EcoS)
Department of East Asian Studies
Director of Studies EcoS
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3
Full address of the person who will get the letter (e.g. lecturer in Korea, boss at internship company, left-justified)
Letter of Recommendation for "your name"
Dear Mr/Ms "name of addressee",
2. Introduction of your person
- It is with great pleasure that I write to you a recommendation for "your name", born "your birthday", as a "year which term" (fall/winter, spring/summer) "intern/student" with "company/university you want to go to".
- Knowing "Mr/Ms" from my seminar “ABC” (term) which is part of the Master’s program East Asian Economy and Society (EcoS) at the University of Vienna, I am happy to provide "him/her" a letter of recommendation.
3. Your qualities as a student, language skills
- Having taught "your name" during the past year at the Chair of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna, I have come to know "her/him" as a hardworking and bright student.
- As our Master’s program is taught completely in English, "her/his" language skills are excellent.
- "He/she" has demonstrated "her/his" knowledge and skills as a well-rounded student of the MA East Asian Economy and Society.
- "Ms/Mr name" is a very ambitious student and has demonstrated "her/his" previous and newly gained knowledge on seminar in presentations and written assignments in my class.
- I am convinced that "Mr/Ms name" will be an excellent addition to your team/university.
- I therefore strongly endorse "her/his" application and wish "her/him" all the best for the future.
- I am therefore convinced that "Ms/Mr name" will be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained in our Master’s program and "her/his" previous studies at your company/institution.
- In particular as "he/she" aims to work in future in the field of "XX" this internship would also be a milestone for "her/his" further career.
5. Letter closing
In case you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.