Before you move overseas to study, you need to curate two documents from the very scratch- Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LOR).

These are documents that define your purpose of receiving a foreign education and outline the reasons behind why you wish to do a particular course from the university that you have applied to.

They also bear testament to your capabilities as a student and point towards areas that could boost your chances of getting a seat at your desired university.

The Statement of Purpose is crafted by you while a Letter of Recommendation needs to be written by some other authority who is in a position to assess you like a College Professor or an ex employer.

Let us get into the details of what both are and their significance so that you do not remain puzzled by both and their utilities when you need them.


A Statement of Purpose is required at the time of submission of documents. The authorities of a University, Graduate school , business school etc read these SOPs carefully before taking in someone.

They should contain the goals of an individual who wishes to pursue a course from a particular university.  It is a very personal statement of one’s career-related goals and objectives. It is supposed to be written by the person who will be studying so that his/ her ideology becomes clearer via this document. An ideal SOP consists of a student’s analytical and descriptive skills and bolsters their chances of being admitted into the institution. It needs to be crisp, relevant and informative instead of being wordy.

These are the goals of an SOP:

  • Outlining your career and future objectives
  • Helps define your personality
  • Helps the authorities take a call on whether you are the right fit for a particular institution
  • Highlights your accomplishments
  • Distinguishes you from many other candidates
  • Is a window into your mindset
  • Helps evaluate written communication skills


A Letter of Recommendation is a document that an ex employer or a University authority provides. It evaluates the characteristics of the person who is being recommended  in terms of his/ her ability to perform a certain task.

You can obtain them from professors who have believed in you, organizations where you’ve displayed exemplary service, workplaces that have depended on your deliveries.

Anyone who has closely observed you during your student days or working days is eligible to write a letter of recommendation for you.

There are two kinds of LORs- Academic and Professional.

Academic LORs are written by Teachers and Professors who have known you for a long period and have interacted closely with you.

Professional LORs are written by your previous employers who have seen you work diligently and during challenging times. Skills such as leadership traits , interpersonal skills, management skills are considered.

Stated below are the goals of an LOR:

  • LORs validate your resume. All those accomplishments listed can be tallied and your chances of studying at your preferred university improves.
  • They provide deep insights into your caliber and the range of work you’re capable of doing
  • Outlines areas that need a bit of work
  • It offers a perspective that is unbiased and transparent

Both the SOP as well as the LOR remain equally important. You must create both documents with utter care and precision since they will serve as gateways for your admission.

Being able to convince the university or the immigration authorities of your credibility will improve your chances of relocating there


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