Five advices on a recommendation letters

Skoltech Professor Dmitry Chudakov gives five reasons why you should not consider recommendation letters as a mereformality.

1. Obviously, the committee responsible for the final decisions gets acquainted with all documents that applicants send together with the application formitselfNobody makes serious decisions based on recommendation letters only. Yet, the recommendation letter far from being perfect will give you nothing at best and may even leave an unpleasant aftertaste at worst.
2. Some professors could be so meticulous that they maycheck for identical recommendation letters from one student and also check recommendation letters given by the student’s supervisor to make sure that the supervisor doesn’t write similar letters for all his students. Remember that all secrets are finally revealed and you may earn a lasting ill-fame at Skoltech.
3. Recommendation letters are neither short reports nor lengthy sagas. The recommendation letter is not supposed to be an overcomplicated ( a too complex) document. There are no special obligatory phrases, paragraphs and chapters, as well as no legally binding terms for recommendation letters.  The committee is unlikely to be impressed by verbosity.
4. The committee members should not be considered as celestial beings, or, in contrast, as spawns of the hell. They are still the human beings of flesh, blood and reason andwhat they really want is to get real and reliableinformation.
5. A lively recommendation letter providing sensibleinformation may increase your chances for success.