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5 Tips for Formatting Your MBA LOR [With Template]

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Applying for an MBA program is always a daunting process! It involves applying to several programs, perfecting the test scores and then trying to secure a scholarship. That is why it’s important to know the correct formatting Your MBA LOR. Acceptance to prestigious MBA institutions like Harvard Business School or Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is also based on the Letter of recommendation (LOR).

The LOR provides insight into the candidate’s character, achievements, and potential. These are typically provided by a candidate’s employer or academic mentor. A quick google search will show numerous blogs on the content of a LOR. But most of them don’t talk about formatting. The formatting of the LOR creates a positive impression on the admission committee.

In this blog, we will discuss tips and tricks for formatting MBA recommendation letters. We will also reveal a handy template that will help you write the perfect MBA LOR quickly.

Why is Formatting Important for MBA Recommendation Letters?

Formatting Your MBA LOR

Formatting is crucial in MBA recommendation letters because it makes the letter more readable, organized, and professional. A poorly formatted LOR is simply challenging to read! The admissions committee might miss reading all the painstakingly written content.

It also shows them that the writer lacks attention to detail. A good LOR should establish that the writer knows you well, personally and professionally. This builds credibility and improves the candidate’s chances of being accepted.

Understanding the Standard Format for Recommendation Letter

MBA recommendation letters typically follow a standard format, which includes the following components:

  • Header: The header should include the name, address, phone number, and email address of the person writing the LOR.
  • Date: The date should be included below the header.
  • Salutation: The salutation should include the name of the person receiving the LOR.
  • Introduction: The introduction should provide an overview of your relationship with the candidate and their qualifications to provide a recommendation.
  • Body: The body should include specific examples of the candidate’s achievements, character, and potential. It should also explain why you believe the candidate is an excellent fit for the MBA program.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize your recommendation and reiterate why the candidate would be an asset to the MBA program.
  • Signature: Your signature should be included at the bottom of the letter.

Basic Components of an MBA Recommendation Letter

It’s widely believed that a glowing recommendation letter might not guarantee you admission, but a lackluster one can absolutely slam the door shut. Think of the LOR as an independent validation of the strengths mentioned in the rest of the candidate’s application. That’s the reason they are highly valued by the admissions committee.

When writing an MBA Letter of Recommendation, you should include the following basic components:

  • An introduction that explains the writer’s relationship with the candidate and their qualifications to provide a recommendation.
  • Specific examples of the candidate’s achievements, character, and potential.
  • An explanation of why the writer believes the candidate is an excellent fit for the MBA program.
  • A summary of the writer’s recommendation and a reiteration of why the candidate would be an asset to the MBA program.

5 Tips for Formatting Your MBA Recommendation Letter

Formatting Your MBA LOR

Now it’s time to dive into action and learn the five tips for formatting your MBA LOR:

Pick the right font and font size

A LOR is a business document. So, stick with traditional fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. The font size should be 10 or 12 points.

Use headings and subheadings for formatting Your MBA LOR

Breaking long chunks of text into headings and subheadings can make the letter more organized. It also makes it easier to read and enhances the letter. Most readers prefer skimming through the content before deciding to read it word-by-word. You could use traditional headings such as “Introduction,” “Body,” and “Conclusion.”

Stick with the standard business letter format

While there is no one standard business letter format, there are common formatting standards. These include sentence case capitalization, plain white background, portrait layout, and black font. LOR should always be written on professional or corporate letterhead.

Keep the letter to one page

MBA Letter of Recommendation should be one page or less. Make sure to include all necessary information within this space. Typically, the LOR contains an introduction paragraph, two or three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Use bullet points for formatting your MBA LOR

Using bullet points can make the letter more organized and easier to read. For example, you could use bullet points to highlight specific achievements of the candidate. This will draw the admission committee’s attention to the most important points- maybe their work ethic, problem-solving abilities, or leadership skills.

MBA Recommendation Letter Template

To make formatting your MBA recommendation letter easier, we have provided the perfect MBA Recommendation Letter Template below. You can simply copy-paste it into a word doc and start crafting the letter.

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]


[Recipient’s Name]

[Recipient’s Address]

[City, State ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],


The introduction should begin with a brief statement that explains your relationship with the candidate and how long you have known them. You should also briefly describe your qualifications to provide a recommendation.

For example:

My name is [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Your Organization]. I had the pleasure of working with [Applicant Name] for [Length of Time/Capacity] while [Explain how you worked together].

Of all the [Type of People] I’ve worked with, [Applicant Name] is among the [Specific Superlative]. As a [your professional title], I have had the pleasure of working with [Candidate’s Name] on several projects, and I have been continually impressed with their [Adjective 1, Adjective 2, and Adjective 3].


The body of the letter should provide specific examples of:

  1. a) 2 or 3 of the candidate’s achievements,
  2. b) their character, and
  3. c) their future potential.

You should also relate these to why you believe the candidate would be an excellent fit for this particular MBA program.

Here are a few tips for formatting the body of the letter:

  • Use short paragraphs and simple sentences.
  • Use headings or subheadings to organize your thoughts.
  • Use bullet points to highlight specific achievements or skills.

For example:

During our time together, [Applicant Name] proved to be [Adjective, Adjective, and Adjective].

His/her/their expertise in [Specific Subject] was a huge asset that led to [Specific Achievement].

I can personally vouch for his/her [Character Trait]. A recent example would be when [Include a Personal Anecdote that illustrates a skill or qualification].


The conclusion should summarize your recommendation and reiterate why you believe the candidate would be an asset to the MBA program.

For example:

In conclusion, I highly recommend [Candidate’s Name] for admission to your MBA program. They have consistently demonstrated [skill 1], [skill 2], and [skill 3].

Please feel free to contact me at [Phone Number] or [Email Address] if you have any questions. I would like to elaborate further on [Applicant Name]’s talents and achievements.

Thank you for considering my recommendation.


[Your Name]

[Your Position] at [Your Organization]

[Your Signature]


Formatting the MBA Letter of Recommendation might be the last thing on your mind! But this seemingly small detail can make or break the candidate’s chances. A properly formatted LOR can have a significant impact on the reader’s perception of the candidate.

By following the formatting your MBA LOR tips we’ve outlined in this article and using our MBA recommendation letter template, you can help the candidate stand out in a competitive applicant pool.

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