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September 9, 2020


Top 3 tips for choosing a strong reference

Why it matters:

Your letter of recommendation is an opportunity to showcase your skills, goals, and work ethic through the eyes of someone who knows you well.  

Article Highlights

  • Choose a reference who knows you, your strengths, your professional potential and your goals.
  • Speak with your recommender about your application.
  • Avoid selecting family members or friends.

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Selecting a strong recommender is an important part of your application.  

While you are in control of the majority of your application materials, your reference letter is the admissions team's opportunity to hear from someone in your professional circle. A strong letter of recommendation can show the admissions committee how you will contribute to Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. 

But how do you select the best reference? We have included a few tips to help you consider who might be the right reference for your Carey Business School application:  

  • Choose a reference who knows you, your strengths, your professional potential, and your goals. This is not always the most senior person in your organization or university. Choose someone you have worked with or studied closely. 

  • Speak with your recommender about your application and any points you’d like them to highlight. Share your resume with them so that they are up to speed on all of your qualifications and experiences. Communication is important when asking someone to serve as your reference. 

  • Avoid selecting family members or friends. 

  • Don't forget! Within the application, you will provide the name and title of your reference as well as their contact information. The recommender will then receive an email with a personalized link to upload a letter to your application. Please make sure to let your recommender know to write on your behalf, to expect the link in their email inbox, and to give them plenty of time ahead of the application deadline.

What to Read Next

Letter of recommendation requirements: 

  • One letter of recommendation is required, and we will read up to two. 

  • For the MBA, a past or present supervisor who has worked with you for at least a year is best. 

  • For the specialized master’s programs, your recommender can be a professor or a current or previous supervisor from a job or internship.

Ready to take the next step? Start your application.


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