Harvard Recommendation Letter – Writing Guide 2023

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    Anjit.V.S founder of Infig Content Hub is a writer and an academic documentation expert. Over the years, he has written documents for thousands of students and hundreds of businesses and individuals worldwide.

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    Looking to make your Harvard application stand out in 2023? Look no further than the power of a strong recommendation letter. An impressive letter of recommendation can be the extra push that sets you apart from other applicants and makes all the difference. But what exactly makes a standout Harvard recommendation letter, and how do you go about securing one? This blog post will explain everything you need to know to submit a strong Recommendation Letter for Harvard

    Let’s Get Started!

    What is a Harvard Recommendation Letter? Why is it Important?

    A Harvard Recommendation Letter is an important document for students applying to Harvard. It provides evidence of their academic excellence and potential, and can help them gain admission into the prestigious university.

    Questions You Should Answer Before Writing a Harvard Letter of Recommendation

    What type of professional relationship does the recommender have with the applicant?

    Describe the relationship between the recommender and applicant at the beginning of the letter.

    How well does the recommender know the applicant?

    It is important that the recommender’s letter reflects their knowledge of the applicant, not just their opinions on them. It should be reflected through the recommender’s knowledge of the applicant’ academic history, extracurricular activities and other activities.

    Have you observed firsthand how this person has dealt with difficult situations?

    It is important that the recommender’s letter offers an inside look into the applicant’s character and ability to handle difficult situations. Include any anecdotes about times when they displayed admirable strength of character or resilience in adverse circumstances. 

    What Do Admission Officers Look for in Harvard Recommendation Letter?

    how to write a harvard recommendation letter

    Harvard Admission Officers look for three things in a harvard recommendation letter: writing ability, academic excellence, and character.

    Writing Ability: Harvard Admission Officers want letters of recommendation to be well-written and demonstrate superior writing skills. Your LORs should be free of spelling and grammar mistakes, demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic being discussed, and use strong rhetoric and spacing.

    Academic Excellence: Letters of recommendation are not only a measure of your writing ability; they should reflect the applicant’s academic record and achievements. Harvard Admission Officers want letters of recommendation to state that the applicant is an accomplished student who will thrive at Harvard. 

    Character: The last thing Harvard Admission Officers look for in letters of recommendation is evidence of good character. A quality LOR is one that reflects integrity, kindness, patience, and common sense. Showcase these qualities by describing how the recommender knows the applicant well enough to accurately reflect their character traits in a letter. 

    How Long Your Harvard LOR Should Be?

    Word Limit

    300 - 500 words

    Font Size

    10 - 13 is recommended

    Font color


    Font Family

    Use standard fonts like Calibri, Ariel, Times New Roman, Georgia, etc.

    Harvard Letter of Recommendation Example

    To whom it may concern,


    I am delighted to recommend the candidacy of Mr./Mrs. -XYZ(name)- for the academic program in -XYZ- at Harvard University. In my role as a -XYZ- in the Department of -XYZ at -XYZ University, -XYZ-, I taught -XYZ-, -XYZ-, and -XYZ- courses for four years. As I recall, he/she was very dedicated and enthusiastic in the class to learning and sharing his/her creative ideas that were out of the box and I can attest to his/her intelligence and capability.


    Mr./Mrs. -XYZ(Name)- is an extremely competent candidate who puts in the hard work to master whatever he/she sets out to do. From what I remember, he/she was always well-prepared for class and exhibited deep understanding in various topics related to the course material. His/her group presentations made even complex concepts accessible for other students and his/her research projects showed immense creativity and original thought beyond textbook learning abilities.


    Mr./Mrs. -XYZ- possesses a vast knowledge of the field of -XYZ, having published several articles in highly reputable academic journals and series. Further, I have personally witnessed his/her capacity for formulating sound arguments while leading discussions and debates on topics relating to our particular field. He/she has also demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills that allow him/her to interact successfully with peers who are studying the same program but hold different views or opinions. His/her ability to keep an open mind towards all ideas presented allows him/her to work efficiently without generating animosity among other students in our class’ environment. Mr./Mrs.-XYZ stands out as one of my most impressive students, who possesses both persistence and knowledge to meet challenges that come their way head-on with ambition and curiosity – qualities highly sought after by any successful applicant.


    In conclusion, I am confident that Mr./Mrs.-XYZ- will be an asset at Harvard University’s program as they possess all the necessary qualities required of an ideal student: intelligence, creativity, dedication and open-mindedness. I highly recommend Mr./Mrs.- XYZ’s candidacy for the academic program at Harvard University based upon my experience teaching him/her during his/her undergrad years here at our university. Thank you for your time and consideration.



    Name of the recommender

    Designation of the Recommender

    Guidelines for Using Harvard Letter of Recommendation Samples

    Make sure you pay attention when you read a sample Harvard University recommendation letter. Here are some things to consider:

    Write Your Harvard LORs in 6 steps?

    Choose your recommendations wisely

    Your Harvard recommendation letters should come from people you know and trust.

    Write about why this person is a good match for Harvard

    Your Harvard recommendation letters should come from people you know and trust.

    Summarize this person's strengths and how they relate to Harvard standards

    Include a few sentences describing how the applicant’s strengths match up with the requirements of Harvard.

    Explain how you became familiar with the applicant and their qualifications

    Be specific about when and where the recommender came into contact with the applicant, what kind of connection the recommender has with the applicant, and what motivated the recommender to recommend them for admission.


    Provide the applicant with the recommender’s approval for enrollment in the course after summarizing everything written in the letter.

    The letter of recommendation should be submitted with the rest of the Harvard University application materials.

    Who Is Eligible to Write LORs?

    Professors or people who are associated with the applicant in their academic career are mainly eligible to write recommendation letters for Harvard.

    Final Checklist

    Here’s a final checklist to ensure your Harvard University recommendation letter is as strong as possible:

    Do's and Don't in Your LOR for Harvard


    1. Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner.
    2. Use specific examples to explain your points.
    3. Try to be personal and positive.


    1. Avoid using fake information.
    2. Avoid fumbling with your words or use unprofessional language in your letter (e.g., using abbreviations, making incomplete statements, quoting out of context from sources).   
    3. Trying to dictate what your references should say instead of asking what they think about you – this shows insecurity and lack of trust in yourself as a writer.

    Tips for Writing a Harvard Recommendation Letter

    Writing a strong Harvard recommendation letter can be a daunting task, keep these tips in mind:


    A strong Harvard recommendation letter can go a long way in securing admission to the world’s most prestigious university. Though not an easy task, writing a stellar Harvard Recommendation Letter is definitely achievable with the help of this guide.  With the right steps and the help of these tips, you can create an impressive one that will surely be noticed by the admission committee. Good luck and we wish you every success!