Letters of recommendation may be submitted online by your recommenders at any time after you start your online application. It is strongly recommended that you waive or decline to waive your rights of access to your letters of recommendation (using the online application system) BEFORE you start inviting recommenders to submit their information for you.
Don’t exaggerate -- show where and how they can improve. Don’t put the candidate on a pedestal. Not only does it not look plausible, it will also set expectations for them that will be next to impossible to meet. If they have an Achille’s heel, don’t exaggerate it, but don’t hide it, either.