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ERAS Letter of Recommendation Writing Guide 2024

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It is estimated that the number of students applying for residency programs in the USA through ERAS for the 2024-25 cycle will double. Despite the recent changes in the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) regarding the application procedure, the key requirements remain the same. Letter of recommendation ERAS, for instance, is the most important one since a lot of applications are rejected on grounds of unconvincing LORs. 

We have designed this blog keeping in mind the importance of ERAS recommendation letter. We have given clear explanations as to:

  • How to write an ERAS recommendation letter? 
  • ERAS letter of recommendation guidelines 
  • ERAS letter of recommendation FAQ
  • How to start writing the LOR referring to ERAS letter of recommendation sample?

What Is ERAS LOR for Residency Application?

ERAS letter of recommendation is the recommendation letter you are supposed to submit when you apply for a residency program in the United States through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Why Is ERAS LOR Important?

Given the huge number of applications processed through ERAS and the strict screening in place, it is mandatory to include a strong and customized ERAS recommendation letter for residency program in your application.

  • It supplies useful information regarding an applicant’s personal and professional qualities 
  • It highlights how closely the applicants meet the requirements of the specific residency program being applied 
  • Since application through ERAS does not get initiated without submitting all documents including the LOR, filing the ERAS LOR is essential
  • ERAS recommendation letter gives an objective assessment of a candidate by a third person (usually a previous faculty)
Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

8 Questions That Will Help You Describe the Candidate Better in ERAS LOR?

If you are asked to write an ERAS recommendation letter and are not sure what to write in it, the following questions should help you with the right information.

Why is this recommendation letter being asked?

Find out the purpose of the recommendation that you are requested to write. The exact residency program, the institute being applied and the details of the course requirements.

In what capacity do you know or associate with the applicant?

Describe the nature of your association with the candidate.

How long did you associate with the applicant?

Point out the duration of your association with the candidate. The duration of your relationship shows how closely you know the candidate.

What qualities or characteristics did you see in the applicant that makes him/her suitable for this residency program?

Go through the specific requirements, the institute’s mission, and vision etc. and compare the same with the applicant. Show how suitable the candidate is in that light in the letter of recommendation for ERAS.

What are the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses?

Give a balanced opinion about the candidate showing both their strengths and any weakness that you think the candidate should work on. Try to sound positive and optimistic though.

What specific experiences of yours with the candidate will establish his/her qualities and strengths?

Mention any shared experiences you had with the candidate where you could witness some of his/her strengths and qualities.

How did the applicant compare with his/her peers as per your observation?

Mention quantitative information regarding the candidate, for instance, where he ranked in the class, to show how he compared with his peers.

Why do you think the candidate has the potential to succeed in his chosen career field?

Share any point to solidify your recommendation for the candidate and to show that he will succeed in the chosen Residency program.

Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

8 Questions That Will Help You Describe the Candidate Better in ERAS LOR?

More than just a letter that recommends you to a higher study program, the admission panels will try to seek information from it. Here is what they look for.

  • Provable examples of your strengths
  • Quantifiable data showing how you are distinguished from other applicants 
  • Objective evaluation that you have the potential to succeed in the residency program 
  • Engaging content that looks 100% genuine and passionate to recommend you 
  • Whether there has been a legit association between you and the referee

How Long Should Your ERAS LOR Be?

It is important to write your recommendation letter for residency application meeting the recommended word count. Neither exceeding the word count nor failing to meet it would be accepted. Here are some figures to keep in mind.

  • Recommended word count: Between 400 and 500 words 
  • Recommended character count: Between 2000 and 2500 characters 
  • Number of pages: 1 to 2

ERAS Letter of Recommendation Example

We are excited to share a couple of letter of recommendation ERAS samples with you and show you how it would look in a real-life scenario. Go through the samples carefully and note down all the important points you wish to.

Dear Program Director

I am extremely delighted to write this letter to offer my strong support for XXXX as she applies for your residency program. I have known XXXX since 2017 when she joined XXXX for her MBBS program. As a professor of Pharmacology, I have been thoroughly impressed by her dedication to the subject, academic growth and commitment to patient care.

Throughout the training period in Pharmacology, XXXX displayed consistent growth and competency. She was very keen on the subject and developed a strong foundation in it during the formation time itself. Besides learning new concepts and showing curiosity to uncover related concepts, she insisted on sorting out how her knowledge can be applied in a clinical setting. For instance, she realized it was important to develop skills like critical thinking, diagnostic acumen and attention to detail in order to deliver timely and efficient patient care. Hence, there was a sincere effort from her side to develop these qualities from the very beginning.

Another great quality I observed in XXXX was her strong communication skills. It is a quality that every medical student must possess. She took a deliberate effort to develop it and utilized the skill efficiently while interacting with patients and their families. She talked to them showing a high level of respect, empathy and clarity. I remember many patients mentioning her name while praising the quality of healthcare offered at XXXX.

XXXX made use of every opportunity she got to evolve her social skills and strengths. She exhibited a genuine passion for wielding leadership roles. Most of the time, her strong communication and transferability skills allowed her to assume significant leadership roles, for instance as a student representative at intercollege programs. The institute also identified her natural aptitude for teaching. In her fourth year, she was invited to provide academic assistance to junior students.

XXXX is a highly motivated person who can work under pressure and multitask effectively. She is hardworking, practical and dedicated. I am totally confident that she will be an outstanding candidate to be considered for your residency program. She will continue to live up to your expectation and contribute to your institute, the program and the student community in all possible ways.

I strongly recommend XXXX to the program and wish her the best of luck with her future endeavours. Should you wish to verify anything about her, feel free to get in touch with me on my phone or email.

Yours sincerely

[Your Name]

[Your Position]

[Your Institution/Organization]

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Guidelines for Using ERAS Letter Of Recommendation Sample

  • Collect your samples from trusted sources. Not all samples found online are helpful 
  • Read at least a couple of samples and try to see how each one differs in perspective
  • Note down the ERAS LOR format and structure used in the sample you review 
  • Do not copy any point from the ERAS sample you review. Brainstorm for your own points instead
  • Read the sample to boost your confidence to write a unique ERAS LOR

How Write Your Letter of Recommendation ERAS In 6 Steps?

Here are six simple steps to write your ERAS LOR. Complete each step before moving to the next.

  • Get details from the applicant: Get details about the residency program from the candidate. It is important to tailor your LOR to the residency program being applied. 
  • Understand specific LOR requirements: Check if there are any specific LOR requirements like word count, format, structure etc and if there are, adhere to all when you draft the letter. 
  • Read a couple of samples: Read a couple of ERAS recommendation letter samples to get clarity about the LOR expectations and to help you brainstorm. You may also check your own records. 
  • Write the first draft of the LOR: After gathering sufficient points and getting familiar with the writing process, write the first draft including all relevant points in a logical order. 
  • Proofread your LOR: Go through your first draft carefully spotting all the mistakes. Rectify them one by one. Repeat this process a few times until you have a perfect ERAS LOR.  
  • Submit as per the instructions: Check the ERAS letter of recommendation deadline 2023 and submit it on time.
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Who Should Write an ERAS LOR?

You should get your ERAS LOR from someone who knows you personally from a clinical or research setting and can vouch for your skills, strengths, and character. The following persons can be considered for writing your ERAS application letter of recommendation.

  • Residency program directors: This will be applicable to you if you have done any residency fellowship program. The directors of such programs can write your LOR. 
  • Healthcare professionals: Any healthcare professional with whom you have associated as part of your job or internship, or research can write your ERAS LOR. 
  • Nursing supervisor: LOR from nursing supervisors is accepted for the Electronic Residency Application Service. 
  • Research mentors: The mentors who guided you during research would know about your skills and strengths and career aspirations. Therefore, they can write your LOR for ERAS. 
  • Attending physicians: Attending physicians are the professionals you are most likely to meet as part of your clinical research or studies. Hence, the LOR from them is given much value.

Final Checklist

Got ready with the ERAS residency letter of recommendation? Wait a minute. Before you head to submit it, validate it against the following details. 

  • Does the LOR sound positive and enthusiastic to recommend you to the residency program? 
  • Does the LOR meet the recommended word count, format, and structure? 
  • Has the LOR been proofread at least three times? 
  • Does the LOR supply relevant information about you and your suitability for the residency program? 
  • Does the LOR agree with all other documents being included in the application – SOP, GPA etc? 

If your answer to these questions is yes, you are good to proceed with your LOR submission.

Need Help In Writing a Letter of Recommendation? Contact Us

Do’s and Don’ts in Writing ERAS LOR

Abide by the following dos and don’ts while writing the LOR for ERAS letter of recommendation portal. 

Dos

  • Choose a referee who is willing to write a positive recommendation letter for you
  • Meet your referee in person and discuss your requirements if possible 
  • Get ready with your LOR at least two weeks before the deadline to submit
  • Choose a diverse range of referees for your ERAS Recommendation letter 
  • Be grateful to your referees for sparing their valuable time to write an LOR for you

Don’ts 

  • Do not add any skill or strength just for the sake of it. Write it only if you are convinced 
  • Do not use boilerplate content in your LOR. Come up with a unique letter 
  • Do not try to stuff in too many points in the recommendation letter. Choose one or two points you can most authentically vouch for
  • Do not fall short of the length. Make sure that the letter is at least 400 words long
  • Do not write a flattering LOR. Discuss both strengths and weaknesses in a positive shade

Conclusion

With a powerful and customized ERAS letter of recommendation, your application for the residency program in the USA will look more appealing to the selection panel. 

The instructions, tips and samples provided in this blog will help you write the LOR as expected. 

Have you got any further questions or doubts regarding any point discussed in this blog? 

Feel free to write to us in the comments below.

ANJIT V.S

ANJIT V.S

I am Anjit.V.S, a freelance writer, overseas education consultant and an academic documentation expert. Over the years, I have written documents for thousands of students and hundreds of businesses and individuals worldwide. Many of the prominent study abroad counsellors in India refer me to their students for SOP, LOR, admission essays. personal statements and other similar documents. Not just the academic documents but whatever content needs you have, stay assured. Perfectly impeccable services are delivered.

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