The contents of letters of recommendation are far more important than the titles of the people giving them. In other words, do not focus on trying to get an endorsement from a celebrity or somebody occupying a senior position within your company who does not know you at all. These types of letters would be far too general and do not explain who you are as a person. The admissions committees are inundated with these letters and are usually unimpressed by them. Instead you should focus on getting letters from people who know you very well and are able to talk about your work performance in depth. These include your direct supervisor, or clients with whom you work closely. If you know an alumnus from that school who can talk about your performance at work with conviction, that’s somebody to reach out to as well.

Check out: The Secret to Convincing MBA Recommendations

Time is of the essence. You need to give your recommenders as much warning as possible and you have to log on early to find out the rules of a particular school regarding letters of recommendation. That way you can provide direction to your would-be recommender and give them all the information ahead of time. Rushing this guarantees a poor letter of recommendation.

It’s only natural you would be concerned about involving your direct supervisor because this may adversely affect your remaining tenure at the company. So in these situations it is a good idea to go to a former boss who can also appraise your professional performance in the same way as your current supervisor. Sometimes a peer recommender also works very well, but again, only if they know you well enough to be able to evaluate your work in detail.

Check out: How to Receive Strong Recommendation Letters – Part 1