Good vs. Bad Business School Recommendation Letters

What Makes a Recommendation Letter Useful?

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What Is a Business School Recommendation?

A recommendation letter is a written reference. Recommendations many be used by job seekers, college applicants, and other people who are applying to an education, performance, or work program. A business school recommendation is specifically used by business school applicants who are trying to get into an undergraduate or graduate business school program.

Recommendation letters provide admission committees with information that may or may not be found in your business school application, including academic and work achievements, character references, and personal details.

These letters help admissions reps get to know you as a person, student, leader, and employee. See a list of frequently asked questions about recommendation letters.

How Many Business School Recommendations Do You Need?

Most business schools want to see at least two letters of recommendation during the application process. However, there are some schools that will ask for three letters. You should try to get at least four or five letters, no matter how many you really need, so that you have options and can choose the letters that will best supplement your business school application. 

Good Business School Recommendations

Good business recommendations are well-written and make well selected points about the applicant. For instance, the letter may highlight the applicant's strengths and provide specific examples of academic prowess, accomplishments, work/study ethic or leadership experience. These letters are in-depth and personal.


good recommendation letter will supplement your business school application by addressing things that may make you look bad. For example, if your undergraduate GPA is low, you might want to get a letter from a former undergraduate professor that talks about your dedication to learning and your ability to participate in class; this type of letter may help to offset your bad grades by showing that you are a motivated student when it really counts.


A good business school recommendation might also lend support to your application.For example, if your resume focuses on your leadership experience, a recommendation letter written by a former supervisor may help to provide specific examples about your leadership ability that will lend support to the things that you mentioned in your resume.

Bad Business School Recommendations

Business school recommendations that are poorly written can and will make you look bad. Before turning in your recommendation letter, make sure that it is up to par. Begin by checking basic things. For example, you may want to look for spelling and grammar errors.

Then, think about your business school application and essay(s). Does the content of the letter support what you said previously? It should. If there are any contradictions, fix them before turning in your documents.

Finally, evaluate the accuracy of the business school recommendation. Does it properly reflect your character and work ethic? If not, get letter from someone else. You should never turn in a business school recommendation unless you are completely satisfied with it.

Choosing the Right Person to Write a Recommendation Letter

​It is very important to choose the right person to write your business school recommendation.

Do not pick someone based on their name and title alone. It will hurt you in the long run.

You will be much better off choosing someone who knows you well. This person will be able to provide you with an honest, detailed, and heartfelt recommendation.

The best business school recommendations come from someone who writes well, speaks highly of you, and gives specifics that back up their claims. Get more tips on choosing a recommender.

Sample Recommendation Letters

Sample recommendation letters can give you ideas for your recommendation letter. They can help you determine what type of information should be included in a business school recommendation, which will in turn, help you choose a recommender who can provide the required information. You can read through these 10 sample recommendation letters to see how the recommenders highlighted the applicants' strengths.

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Your Citation
Schweitzer, Karen. "Good vs. Bad Business School Recommendation Letters." ThoughtCo, May. 15, 2016, Schweitzer, Karen. (2016, May 15). Good vs. Bad Business School Recommendation Letters. Retrieved from Schweitzer, Karen. "Good vs. Bad Business School Recommendation Letters." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 22, 2017).