Knowledge Base

Can I use LOR from a project or volunteer experience?

Recommendation letters from project or volunteer experiences can be valuable additions to your application for various programs or positions. Here’s why:

Demonstrate Transferable Skills: Volunteer and project work showcase skills applicable to professional settings. Your recommender can highlight your ability to work in a team, manage projects, take initiative, and solve problems – all highly sought-after qualities. 

Highlight Passion and Commitment:  These experiences demonstrate your dedication to a cause or field beyond simply fulfilling a job requirement. This can be particularly relevant for programs or positions seeking passionate and driven individuals.

Provide Context for Career Shifts: If you’re transitioning careers, project or volunteer experiences can bridge the gap between your previous work and your desired path. The recommendation letter can highlight relevant skills you developed during these experiences.

Maximizing the Impact:

  • Choose Relevant Projects: Select projects that align with your program or position of interest. The recommender should highlight skills and experiences directly applicable to your goals.
  • Strong Recommenders:  Choose someone who can provide a detailed and insightful perspective on your contributions to the project or volunteer work.
  • Context is Key: In your application materials, briefly explain the project or volunteer experience. This helps admissions committees understand the context of the recommendation letter.


Remember, while valuable, project or volunteer recommendation letters might be viewed as complementary to those from direct supervisors  If possible, consider a combination of both for a well-rounded application.

By strategically using recommendation letters from project and volunteer experiences, you can showcase valuable skills and commitment effectively, increasing your chances of success.

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