Motivation Letter Writing Guide + Examples for 2023
Writing a motivational letter can be nerve-wracking.
When presented with the question of “Why would you like to be part of this organization?” you find yourself staring at a blank page, thinking of how to correctly word “ I'm passionate about going to college so I don’t starve to death. ”
Two hours and three coffees in, you’ve scrolled through your Facebook newsfeed (twice), watched one episode of the last season of Game of Thrones, sent angry tweets to its creators, and donated for the knee surgery of two dogs. You go back to your open Word doc and you have only managed to write: “This organization seems like fun” or “I’ll totally be a great fit” .
You know you are not this generic or basic. You’re a capable guy or gal who has a lot to offer and there are genuine reasons behind your decision to apply.
It’s just hard to put it into words… And we get that!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a motivation letter that gets you accepted anywhere.
- What a Motivational Letter Is (And Why It Matters)
How to Structure a Motivational Letter
- How to Write a Motivational Letter [+Some Helpful Tips to Get Those Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the Paper]
- How (and Why) to Create a Motivational Letter With Novorésumé
What is a Motivational Letter and Why it Matters?
A motivational letter is a one-page letter that’s used to describe why you are the perfect candidate for a certain position . It is usually attached to your resume .
You are required to write a motivational letter in these 4 specific scenarios...
- You are applying to get admitted to an educational program at a college or university (undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate).
- You are applying to work at a non-profit organization.
- You are applying as a volunteer in an organization.
- You’re applying for an internship in a company.
The motivational letter shouldn’t be confused with a cover letter , the purpose of which is to highlight how specific information on your resume matches a job opening. Think of a cover letter as the introduction to your resume for a hiring manager and your motivational letter as the powerful closing sales pitch for a university or non-profit.
So why exactly does the motivational letter matter? You’re a doer more than a talker: you’ve listed everything there is to know about you on your resume. That should be enough, right? Wrong!
All organizations are looking for people who genuinely want to be there and are excited about what they do. The intent should be your driving motivation!
Writing a good motivational letter can be an absolute game-changer. It can provide a boost for your resume , but also make up for lacking required skills.
A good motivational letter is a one-pager where you introduce yourself, your story, and show your interest in the position or organization you are applying to.
There are two main ways to structure your motivational letter:
- Using the classic 3 main paragraphs structure , where your motivational letter has the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
- Using the 5-7 paragraph structure , where you divide your main body paragraph into smaller 1-3 sentence paragraphs according to the main points.
Now, which one do YOU go for? The rule of thumb is if you want to be more factual and to the point, go for the 7-paragraph structure. This way, you can use each body paragraph to discuss specific achievements or points.
If, on the other hand, you’re going for a more story-telling approach, you’d go for the 3 paragraph option, so as not to break the flow of the story.
The Structure of a Motivational Letter
Whichever structure you go for, it should consist of 3 main parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion. Here’s what to include in each one:
Introduction: A short, engaging pitch about yourself and why you are applying. Here, you can include:
- Personal information. Who are you and what do you do?
- What are you applying for? Where?
- An intro to the bulk of your essay. Mention the general reason on why you’re applying, and then deep-dive in the bulk of your motivational letter.
And of course, don’t forget to mention contact information on top.
To: School/Organization Name
First Name Last Name
Relevant Social Media (LinkedIn, Quora, GitHub, etc.)
Dear [Name of The Contact Person] ,
My name is [Your name] and I would like to express my interest in applying for the Doctoral program in political science at [University Name] . I’ve always dreamed of becoming a politician and helping give back to my country, and I believe that a Ph.D. in politics from [University Name] would set me miles ahead to reaching my goal.
Body of the Motivational Letter: this is the main bulk of your motivational letter. This is where you really sell yourself, mentioning stories behind your achievements, skills, and passion for whatever you’re applying for.
Try to be as factual as possible - anyone that frequently reads motivational letters can tell made-up stories from the real ones. When possible, you can also use metrics to back up your qualifications.
Things You Can Mention in Your Motivational Letter:
- My passion for ______ started when ______.
- I want to ______ because ______.
- I have been part of _________ for ___ months/years. It’s the best thing for me because _______.
- I remember once when I ________, which made me realize that I _______.
- _______ resonates with me because _________.
- What distinguishes me from my peers is __________.
I developed my passion for Online Marketing during my internship at [company name] . Working in a small startup allowed me to get surface-level experience in most digital marketing channels. Now, I would like to deep-dive and gain advanced know-how by attending the [university name] program in Digital Marketing.
Finally, you can wrap up the motivational letter and send it in. In this section, you can:
- Briefly summarize your main points - “ I believe I’d be a good fit for the program because of __________ ”
- Mention your overarching goal - “I’d love to be a part of _______, as it would allow me to ___________.”
- Thank the reader and conclude the motivational letter
Now that you know how to structure a motivational letter, let’s move on to the contents!
How to Write a Motivational Letter
So how do you write a motivational letter that stands out from the pool of applicants? The way to avoid generalizations and add depth to your motivational letter is by tailoring it to the specific organization and program/position you are applying to:
- When writing a motivational letter, you want to make sure you know what and where you are applying to. Find out who is in charge of deciding your fate and address them directly in your opening remarks as Dear Mrs. Smith .
- Look at the program requirements and the institution’s website. Find out the top three requirements for the position and explain how you are the best candidate.
- Demonstrate that you share the organization’s values or are exceptionally qualified through a short story or personal examples. Be specific.
- Your motivational letter should demonstrate that you really want to be there! There is a fine line between pleading and showing intelligent interest while also selling yourself. State specific reasons, demonstrate knowledge and express passion for applying to the institution or organization without showing off or begging.
- DO NOT LIE! If you write anything remotely untrue, your reader will sense it. Unconsciously, we inflate feelings and ideas when we lie. If you tell a fake story or inflate your excitement or achievements, you will be put into the “lying Pinnochio pile” . Consider your case rested and your application denied.
Questions to Answer in Your Motivational Letter [+Possible Answers]
- I would love to live in [ location of organization ], because ________.
- It is my dream to be part of [ name of program ], because _________.
- The values [ name of institution ] is based on are: [ three general values stated on their website ]. I have demonstrated _____ because I have ______ especially in ______. I also practice ______ in my professional or working life by __________.
- Requirement: Minimum 2 years of volunteering experience
I volunteered in Africa for three years. It’s one of my most fulfilling experiences because I am passionate about helping others and came out a better person. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
- Requirement: Passionate about research
I would pick a sleepless night conducting research instead of a night out anytime. I spend most of my mornings reading the last edition of the Journal of Marketing. I have worked on three separate research studies during my time at Colorado University.
- Requirement: 3,80 GPA
Achieving a Magna Cum Laude required a lot of hard work and dedication, but education has been my biggest passion in life, so there was more joy than pain in the process!
Answer some/all of these questions in a compelling way that’s true to you and your experience, then turn them into a cohesive text.
An Example of a Great Motivational Letter
We’ll demonstrate how to write an awesome and inspiring motivational letter through Jane’s letter to the admissions team of Harvard University below. She is applying for a Ph.D. in the department of Political Science.
The general requirements are : being research inclined, a demonstrated passion for Politics, and an above average performance during undergraduate studies.
The values of the university are integrity, education, respect, and accountability.
She’s using the three paragraph structuring method.
You can see how Jane highlights through personal stories:
- That she knows the history of the university and shares the same values
- That she’s genuinely excited and passionate about the program and the school
- What her qualifications are and how they’ll be a great fit for the program
- What she hopes to achieve if given the opportunity to study at Harvard
The same rules and spirit apply to non-university related motivational letters as well.
You can easily notice that Jane has essentially given a personal story of all his qualifications. After reading this letter, the admissions team will feel like they know Jane, and this is what you should also aim to do: communicate who you are through highlighting your story tailored to the institution and program you are applying for.
How (and why) to Create a Motivational Letter with Novorésumé
Now that you know how to write a motivational letter, you can decide on how it looks.
A black and white letter sheet with Times New Roman, 12-pt font size might be great for a formal document, but it does not make you stand out in the pile of grey applications.
How can you appear professional without being boring? Novorésumé's motivational letter templates and intuitive editor add the tinge of personality that you’d need to stand out from the rest.
So, let’s sum up everything we’ve covered in this post:
- A motivational letter is a formal letter which you need to write if you’re applying for university/college admissions, a non-profit, or a volunteering institution. Job applications usually require a cover letter instead.
- There are two ways to structure a motivational letter: in three paragraphs (introduction, body, conclusion) or in 5-7 paragraphs (where each paragraph highlights a different point).
- Introduce yourself and your intent in the introduction, describe and highlight your experiences in the body, and thank the reader for his/her consideration in the conclusion.
- Do your research, show genuine interest, and never, ever lie.
- If you want your motivational letter to stand out, Novorésumé takes the cake!
A motivational letter is always attached to a resume. Want to also make that stand out from the rest?
Read our guide on how to create an impressive resume and submit it with your awesome motivational letter to get accepted anywhere!
Our motivation letter templates are created to mirror the resume templates and CV templates , which is critical when creating a job application. Choosing the same templates, fonts, colors will improve your personal brand and increase your chances of being called for an interview.
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How to Write a Good Motivation Letter
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What is a motivation letter & a personal statement? What’s the difference?
A motivation letter explains why you, as an applicant, would be the perfect candidate for a university’s program/scholarship to which you are applying. It necessitates extensive research on the part of the student into the university’s general academic environment and various programs. In a motivation letter, the applicant would usually talk about his or her skills and accomplishments from the past few years.
In a personal statement, you have to show that you are more than a pile of transcripts and applications. You have to show that you are a real person. Consider yourself a contestant on a reality TV show, with the judges representing the admissions office at your preferred university. Often, the contestants will tell inspirational stories about themselves to impress the judges in order to have a chance to stay until the final round. Likewise, you need to describe to your university what kind of person you are and what happened in your life that led you to apply to this university. It also serves as an informal ’guarantee’ that you will not be a future detriment to your university and that you will fit into university life just fine.
To some extent, a well-written motivation letter and a personal statement are interchangeable since both serve the same purpose of maximizing the student’s chances of being admitted or considered a strong candidate.
However, the main focus of a motivation letter is relatively more “practical,” which requires the student to be more realistic while listing out his/her past achievements, qualifications, and goals. Meanwhile, a personal statement emphasizes more “vague” things such as personality, ambitions, and preferences.
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Analysis of sample motivation letter
Part 1. opening.
- The opening line of a motivation letter should always state your purpose of application along with a following line introducing yourself.
- You can also combine the two lines in the form of ‘I am a xxx-year xxx major student/graduate at xxx university and I am writing this to apply for xxx.’
- The final line can be in various forms, e.g. a brief summary of your current state, what intrigued you to apply or how is this application related to your current state.
Part 2. Main body ½
The second paragraph of your letter should focus on ‘selling yourself’.
- Subtly mention all of your past achievements, academic performances and positive attitudes at the early stage of paragraph
- If you have limited academic/professional experiences, try to bring up your intangible merits such as a can-do attitude, good language skills and people skills
Part 3. Main body 2/2
The third paragraph should emphasize on your understanding of your prospective study environment. The general purpose is to convince the admission office that you know what you’re getting yourself into and that you have your own academic goals to achieve.
- Add some personal tone at the latter half of the paragraph so that you can develop your persona a bit further
- You can choose to present your determination of application at either the final line, or the first line of the last paragraph
Part 4. Final statement
The main purpose of the final paragraph is to “ask” the admissions office to invite you for an interview. Depending on what you are applying to, it may not be a deciding factor in the success of your application.
- If an interview is mentioned in the admission criteria, you should ask for an interview in whichever way you are comfortable with, e.g. face-to-face, Skype and/or phone interview
- Remember to enclose your accurate contact information
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Quick tips on writing a motivation letter
- Keep it concise
Many websites say that you should list all of your academic accomplishments and work experiences to make your application stronger, but it’s not always necessary. During admission season, every university’s admission office would receive hundreds of applications per day. If your letter of motivation is too long and has too much information, the person in charge of admissions will probably just skim it and miss the main points you were trying to make. So, write about your most impressive accomplishments, use abbreviations when you can, and only give the most important information.
- A mixture of professional undertone and personal background
As was already said, a motivation letter and a personal statement can sometimes be used in place of each other because their content is so similar. So, when you write, try to think about both practical information and how well the text flows together. It will help prevent your writing from being too tedious or boastful.
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How to write a motivation letter for university admission
Motivation Letter (also called Cover Letter) is an important part of many university admission procedures. It’s meant to show your level of motivation, your writing skills and even your personality a little- all these to help admission officers decide if your motivations are pure and strong and you’d indeed be a good fit for the university. Let’s see the most imporant parts of a Motivation Letter.
This is how you start
- First, write your name and contact details to the top of the page, so universities can get in touch with you easily
- Decide on the structure. Most motivation letters have 3 parts: Introduction, Body and Conclusion. Decide what to write where.
- Greeting : If possible, use the name of a specific person (e.g. admission officer, Head of Department, etc.) If that’s not possible, use the name of the University or the Faculty. For example: “Dear Óbuda University, Kandó Kálmán Faculty of Electrical Engineering” or maybe: “Dear Budapest International College Admission Office”
- Introduction : Include some persional information, include where you are applying and WHY you are applying too.
- Body : Write your motivations and achievements & the story behind them. Try to be as factual as possible (don’t only use big and meaningless words, try to also give some proof for example “I won the Physics competition of my high school two years in a row.”, “I had a GPA of 5 and I also participated in a STEM summer school organized by our government in 2021.”)
- Conclusion : Conclude your thoughts, mention your future goals and dreams and thank the reader
- My passion for ______ started when ______.
- I want to ______ because ______.
- I have been part of _________ for ___ months/years. It’s the best thing for me because _______.
- I remember once when I ________, which made me realize that I _______.
- _______ resonates with me because _________.
- What distinguishes me from my peers is __________.
Don’t make these mistakes!
- Don’t write another university / study program name to your letter! – This is so awkward. Seeing someone applying to Budapest International College addressing a Motivation Letter to the University of Paris. Ouch! This a miserable mistake. It’ll immediately show that you are lazy and motivated enough- even to change the name of the institution in your Motivation Letter. There is a big chance that you won’t be accepted after such a mistake. Respect the institution you are applying to, and use their names (correctly) in your Motivation Letter.
- Don’t just repeat your CV! Describing your skills is important, but don’t just repeat your CV completely. Also write about your personal motivations, experiences, dreams and so on.
- Don’t stop after 3 sentences! This letter should show how motivated you are. If you cannot even write half a page, it shows that you are not motivated enough.
- Don’t use bad grammar. If your English is uncertain, ask a friend to help you correct your letter. The quality of the language of your letter is such a big indicator. Poor language just shows poor motivation.
- No experiences? No problem! You might be thinking “What can I write about in my letter, I’m only 18!” Well, whether you are 18 or 80, you can have hopes, dreams and motivations. You can have achievements and skills. Just try to collect all your advantages and don’t be shy to boast a little.
- Don’t be afraid to show some personality (not attitude though!) . Want to use a little humor or emotional personal story? Sure thing! Don’t be afraid to show a part of your personality, as long as it’s professional, admission officers will appreciate originality.
Let’s see a short example (made by a Microsoft Word Template):
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How to write a motivational letter for university admission in Germany
The motivation letter (also knowne as “statement of purpose”) is a document where you describe your professional competence and personal motivation about choosing to study a particular study field at a particular university.
It’s the most personalized and important document you can create to send to a university during the application process. Very often the motivation letter will make the biggest difference between getting admission and getting rejected at the university you’re applying for.
How To Write Your Motivation Letter
In the letter, you can write relevant and interesting details about yourself which can prove to the admission officers that you are the right candidate to be selected to participate in their programme. That’s why it’s important to first choose a study programme that is a good fit for your academic background.
The motivation letter plays a decisive role in determining whether you will be accepted or not. It can be very challenging to present yourself in a way that would convince the study institution. Even if you are an outstanding student with the highest grades, many accomplishments, and are very motivated you may not secure your admission because of writing your motivational letter in a poor way.
It does not have to be personal in a way that makes you appear non-serious, rather focus on your intellectual personality . Be careful to not indulge a lot in your deficit side; always focus on your strengths and reasons why you are the right person for the university.
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*Suggestion: plan ahead before attempting your final draft writings. Firstly, plan the concept, then the layout, the structure and fine-tuning.
- The concept should contain all your thoughts on why you want to pursue the specific degree, the qualities you can bring to the programme, why the specific university is the best option for you. Then, bring these ideas to a draft.
- The layout is the way your document is formatted, and it should show your professionalism. If there are no specifications in the university’s description of the motivational letter, you should attempt at keeping it to a maximum length of two pages.
- The structure defines the flow of the letter, with a bright introduction leading smoothly to an intense body and a summary of the content. The conclusion should once more indicate to your personal advantages.
- Fine-tuning is about the word usage you have selected. You should avoid using complex words and constructions as they can a turn-off or irritating to the admission officers.Use rather eloquent, persuasive, smooth language, where you show why you are outstanding instead of telling. And, check grammar, spelling, and also get feedback from close people whose opinions you value.
Things to keep in mind when writing your motivation letter
- Do not repeat what is already written in the application form or CV – this one is very important to keep in mind as the admission officers will receive many motivational letters from many candidates and if you repeat yourself it will become tiresome.Try to place yourself in their position! You might notice that you need to be either more creative, interesting, or bold in your motivational letter.
- Write based on university specifics – while you are constructing your motivational letter be careful to prioritize interests that correlate with the programmes provided by the university. Think of how you will benefit from the programmes you are going after and why you are motivated to attend those courses. Usually, universities have very clear and informative requirements on their websites, as well as what qualities and qualifications in candidates they are looking forward to.
- Making a flat introduction – your introduction is the most important part of your letter. It will determine whether the admission officers will engage and continue reading through the whole letter.This is where they will decide if they are going to proceed with your file or dismiss it completely. Think of a way to not sound cliché and yet at the same time intelligent and engaging.
- Do not try to make too many points – another thing is that you might get very excited and wanting to show many of your important assets, and somehow on the road make a mess in the connection between interests.You may seem as if you are trying to say a lot in order to make them like you. You wouldn’t want to seem desperate or a show-off, in both cases you will not be a very attractive candidate, so be consistent!
- Share something about yourself – share your interests and your feelings when you take part in activities that correlate with the programme in question. Think of ways how it has manifested in your thought-patterns and motivation. Share a moment or a story where you understood the importance of the subject.
- Do not force the letter towards humor – sounding positive is very important, but trying to be very humorous in the motivational letter can turn out the wrong way, as you for one, cannot know the kind of things people find funny.What can be funny and interesting to you may not be the same for another person and the case may be that you are not on the same frequency as the personnel.Instead, try to keep humor on the side while all the time keeping positive and interesting. Humor can be overdone and it can be the one thing that will set you away from your dream programme.
- Do not be someone else – always bring forward your own voice, tone, and self. Do not try to be someone you are not and in this way cause yourself to fall out of selection. Tell them things that are true to you and in your truest voice! These things are easy to spot for the admission officers and you wouldn’t want to be spotted pretending you’re someone you’re not! You have very interesting things that have happened to you and your life is important and you surely have unique qualities, so think of those things and present them.If you think hard enough, you will see you are enough. There is no need to pretend. Sometimes, being very involved in our own lives may make us not believe we are interesting enough!
- Answer all questions – pay attention to answering all the questions that are asked of you. Do not neglect them since having been written in prospects, they must be important! Keep that in mind and try not to think less of any.
- Do not write your personal statement/motivational letter at the last minute – this one is very, very important. Give yourself enough time to write many drafts until you bring to life your personality. If you do it within a matter of a few or in the last days, you may forget valuable things and it will not have the consistency required. Start writing your motivational letter, at least, a month ahead. Be clear about your goals!
- Do your proofreading – proofreading is a must. When it’s time to proofread, after correcting all grammatical or punctuation, or line structuring mistakes, give your motivational letter to someone whose opinion you value and listen to their suggestions. Do not give it to a lot of people as you might lose your voice completely. After reading it too many times you may become unwary of the little mistakes. Also, because in your head you know exactly what you mean, you may not see the sentence inaccuracies. That’s why it is important that someone with a fresh sight gives it a good look!
What’s the difference between a cover letter and a motivational letter?
Both are pretty similar in terms of structure but have different purposes. The motivation letter is used mainly in education, therefore there are various motivation letters.
For example, you may need a letter of motivation for a scholarship, a letter of motivation for university admission, and so forth. Whereas, the cover letter is used mainly to apply for jobs.
This letter is supposed to come as a complimentary item to your CV where you only display your qualifications. On a motivation letter, you support the CV by offering additional reasons and experiences that make your qualifications worthy. Therefore, the motivation letter is a little bit more personal communication between you and the other party, at least in the way it is delivered.
To a certain degree, the motivation letter is the third most important document in your application behind your degree and your grades from your previous education. Naturally, when applying to a University there are numerous students with the same qualifications and grades as you and the only point that helps the admission committee filter out the best candidates is by looking at your motivation letter.
Universities are highly interested in selecting candidates who other than having higher qualifications, also have accompanying strengths. Most of the time they look for students who show great competency in leadership and communicative skills and know-how they are planning to use their university degree for the betterment of themselves and the community.
As such, never underestimate the role of the motivation letter in your application. But, while writing a common motivation letter may not be hard, writing an exceptional one (which is surely what you should aim for) is way harder. If you follow the above-mentioned strategies and tips it this won’t be the case for you.
There’s no standard format for letter of motivation
First, don’t expect to find a letter of motivation format where you will only have to type some common information for yourself and you’re good to go. There’s not a universal standard form of the motivation letter.
Otherwise, how you would be able to tell the university admission committee exactly what to hear from you? However, these tips and strategies you read above are some major points that make up the basic framework of every motivation letter.
Before leaving here are two other pieces of advice you should never neglect when writing a motivation letter.
1. Know who you’re writing to
When writing a motivation letter, your starting point is to know to whom you’re writing to. By having in mind this, right at the beginning, you can adjust your writing accordingly and the flow of your writing will be just as required.
Writing a motivation letter for Bachelor’s degree is different from writing a motivation letter for PhD . Writing a motivation letter for a bachelor degree is academically less competent than the motivation letter for a Master’s degree and even less competent compared to motivation letter for a PhD degree.
Let say you’re applying for a Master’s degree program . From the very first sentence of your motivation letter you may have put a larger focus on the experiences that you had, trying to sound much more competent than you’re, you may forget to explain properly how these experiences make you the right candidate for the place you’re applying for.
If you would be writing a motivation letter for PhD , the admission committee would expect you to show more experiences that you had and is much more specific about what are your future plans after taking that degree. In other words, you will fail to adjust your writing to what is required from the admission committee and therefore you won’t take your place at the university.
Writing a motivation letter for study abroad may require you to ask yourself other questions. You must try to convince your university that your degree in your home country (for whom they may not have any idea at all) will add value to their community. Similar to this, if you are writing a motivation letter for exchange programmes they’re usually interested to know what qualities you think you can bring alongside.
If you’re not aware of these at the beginning you may fall off the course and miss the target of your motivation letter. In other words, the quality of your CV is equal to how well you deliver it.
2. Read many motivation letter examples
There is a saying:
“Example is the best definition”.
The final version of your motivation letter for university admission cannot (and should not) be done with your first shot.
You need to practice a lot in order to write a motivation letter that will make an effect on your application. The best strategy for practicing is by looking at different examples of motivational letters that are proven to be successful.
By looking at different examples you will get a general picture upon which major elements your motivation letter should be based on. Also, it will help you envision how you want to write down your motivation level.
Here’s a step-by-step editing guide on this strategy:
- First, write a raw version of your motivation letter
- Do a fast scanning
- Compare it with the motivation letter examples you have read
- Identify missing pieces and how you can improve
- Repeat the whole process until you see don’t see what you can change further.
Don’t look at too many motivation letter examples because you may end up trying to match every minor element and therefore remove the originality, which is a necessity. And, be patient. Practice as much as you can.
Don’t wait three days or a week before the deadline to write a motivation letter. Start way earlier than a week. A month would be just OK.
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Motivation Letter Sample: How to Write One for College & Jobs
Read on to view motivation letter samples, learn how a motivational letter is different from a cover letter, and get tips for how to write and format your own letter of motivation.
To write the best motivation letter possible, take a look at the sample letter of motivation below, and then keep scrolling to find:
- what a motivation letter is
- motivation letter examples for various application types
- how to write your motivation letter
- how to format your motivation letter
Motivation letter sample
Here’s a sample motivation letter that was written for a volunteer job:
Download Volunteer Motivation Letter Sample
What is a motivation letter?
A motivation letter is a type of cover letter written to explain your reasons for making an application. Motivation letters (also known as letters of motivation, motivational letters, and motivational statements) may be requested when you apply for:
- college admission or scholarships (but if the application requirements say to write an essay, follow instructions for writing a college essay or scholarship essay instructions instead of writing a motivation letter)
- jobs (especially volunteer and internship positions)
- research funding
- loans (such as a mortgage)
- visas to visit or study in another country
- participation in conferences
Now that you know what a letter of motivation is, scroll down to view three motivational letter examples for university and career applications. If you don’t see the type of letter you need for your specific application, you can still use them for inspiration (or skip to how to write a motivation letter for tips that apply to any type of motivational letter).
Letter of motivation examples & template
Below is a motivation letter template , and sample motivation letters for three different situations, including a:
- short motivational letter
- motivation letter for a university application
- motivation letter for an internship
Short motivational letter sample
Depending on what you’re applying for, you may be asked to write a brief motivation statement. Here’s an example of how to write a short motivation letter in an online application for a scholarship:
How does your background qualify you for this veterinary studies scholarship, and what do you plan to accomplish if you receive it (150 words or fewer)?
I grew up on a farm as part of a family that was fully dependent on animals for our livelihood. I’ve spent much of my free time playing with and caring for pet dogs, cats, rabbits, and ducks since I was a toddler. So I know from firsthand experience how important animal health is. And I’ve applied that understanding to volunteering at my local vet every weekend since I was in 6th grade.
My goal is to use this scholarship to help fund the undergraduate portion of my pursuit of a PhD in Veterinary Studies. I plan to spend the first part of my professional career building a successful private practice, and ultimately I hope to create a non-profit organization that provides free veterinary telemedicine access to rural communities around the world.
Thank you for taking the time to read my application. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Sample motivation letter for a university application
When you apply for college — whether you’re applying for undergraduate admissions or a post-graduate program — you maybe be required to submit a letter explaining what motivated you to apply.
Here’s a sample motivation letter for a graduate writing program admissions application:
Download University Motivation Letter Sample
Example motivation letter for an internship
Employers seek highly motivated people to fill their internship roles because they hope to develop interns into full-time staff members. Here’s an example of how to show why you’re applying in a motivation letter for an internship:
Download Internship Motivation Letter Sample
Motivation letter template
Download or copy/paste this motivation letter template into your preferred word processor, and replace the templated information with your own details:
[ Your Name ]
[ Your Street , City , State xxxxx | [email protected] | ( xxx ) xxx – xxxx ]
[ Today’s Date ] [ Contact Person’s Name ] [ Organization/School’s Street Address ] [ Organization/School’s City , State xxxxx ] [( xxx ) xxx – xxxx ] [ [email protected] ]
Dear [ Mr./Mx./Ms. ] [ Contact Person’s Last Name ],
My name is [ Your Name ], and I’m writing to express my interest in your [ opportunity you’re applying for ]. I’m excited to apply because [ main reason you’re applying ].
I believe I’m an ideal candidate due to my [ further explanation of the main reason you’re applying ]. Furthermore, my related areas of [ interest/experience ] include:
- [ interest or experience #1 ]
- [ interest or experience #2 ]
- [ interest or experience #3 ]
I’m truly grateful that you’ve taken the time to review my application. I look forward to [ discussing this position further in an interview/hearing from you regarding your decision ] soon. You can reach me at [ [email protected] ] or [ your phone number ].
How to write a motivation letter
Here’s how to write a motivation letter that gets you accepted or hired:
1. Do your research
To be successful, your motivation letter has to convince the reader that you’re the right type of person for the job or program you’re applying to. The requirements in the position ad or application instructions might give you enough information to go on, but you can set yourself apart from other applicants by doing some extra research.
Here’s how to research your target organization or program:
- read its mission statement on its website
- scroll through its social media feeds
- look for blogs written by current/former participants/employees
Then, take the information you find and tailor your letter to show how your motivations match their goals.
2. Write a catchy opening paragraph
Unsure how to start a motivation letter? Open with an attention-grabbing first paragraph that convinces the recruiter or hiring manager to read to the end of your letter. To write a catchy first paragraph try to figure out what about you will stand out most to the reader, based on their application requirements.
For example, let’s say you were responding to an internship ad that reads:
Seeking to fill a Journalist Intern role. Applicants must be undergraduate students who are majoring in broadcast journalism and are passionate about delivering local news in print and on camera.
Based on the above ad, a good opening paragraph for your letter of motivation would be:
I saw on LinkedIn that you’re looking for a journalist Intern, and I’m the undergraduate broadcast journalism major for the job. Since I was a child, I’ve been recording mock news broadcasts on tape and camera, submitting letters to the editor and news tips to my local news stations, and participating in every school news production possible. Now I’m finally studying to be a professional journalist, and I couldn’t be more excited to apply what I’ve learned so far in your open internship.
Whatever you’re applying for, start your motivation letter with your most relevant information . If you bury your top selling point at the end of your letter, the reader may never even see it.
After you write a good opening statement, continue describing your motivations for applying in 2–3 more paragraphs. And consider adding a bulleted list to make your motivation letter easier to read.
3. Close strong
End your letter of motivation with a paragraph that:
- thanks the reader for going through your letter
- restates your desire to get the job, program acceptance, or scholarship
- includes your phone number and email address (if applicable)
- closes with a sentence about how you’re looking forward to hearing from the reader regarding your application
Here’s an example of how to end a motivation letter written for a volunteer opportunity at an animal shelter:
Thank you for taking the time to read through my motives for applying for your open Shelter Volunteer role. I relish the chance to discuss with you in person how my unconditional love for animals of all kinds makes me an ideal candidate. You can reach me at (123) 456-7890 or [email protected], and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
How to format a motivation letter
Usually, you should use business letter formatting for your motivation letter, which includes:
- your name and contact information in a cover letter header
- the contact person’s name and contact information in a left-aligned list
- a salutation that addresses the contact person by name (e.g., “ Dear Mrs. Johnson, ”)
- 3–4 paragraphs explaining your motivation
- a polite sign-off (we suggest “ Sincerely, ”)
- your name (either typed or both typed and signed)
However, if you’re writing your motivational letter in a box on an application form, you can just type a few paragraphs. The form you’re filling out will have other areas for your name and contact information.
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Written by Aaron Case, CPRW
Aaron Case is a Content Specialist & Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) at Resume Genius, where he loves writing resume and cover letter tips that give job... more
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How to write a successful motivational letter - Easy to use guide with free templates
Most university courses, from undergraduate degrees onwards, expect a fair bit from applicants. Not only does each course have set academic requirements and forms to fill out; most applicants will also be asked to provide examples of their work, a CV, and even undertake special course-specific preparatory exams. Many masters courses – especially some very competitive ones, like the top MBA s – encourage applicants to obtain letters of recommendation from senior colleagues or academic supervisors. Atop this sheaf of papers sits the most intimidating prospect of all: the motivational letter.
Free Motivation letter templates for your first job application
Free Motivation letter templates for an internship application
A motivational letter, also known as a personal statement or a cover letter, is a short piece of writing all about you; your past, your ambitions, your personality, and your interests. While completing CVs and forms can be a little dry and boring, motivational letters can be hard to write . The combination of needing to produce such an intimate piece of writing, worded in such a way that it comes across as both authentic and professional, and then using it to sell yourself to a university, creates the perfect recipe for social awkwardness and writer’s block.
Despite the difficulty of writing a decent motivational letter, it’s a fundamental skill in today’s jobs market – once you leave full-time education, you’ll need to write motivational letters to potential employers . With this in mind, writing a motivational letter for a masters degree is excellent practice. Below, we’ve prepared a couple of fail-safe techniques you can apply to writing a motivational letter so that it won’t either sound sterile or arrogant, and will help you stand out from the crowd.
Cover the basics: The central function of a motivational letter is to convince the admissions team at the university of your choice to offer you a place, or invite you to interview. Make sure that the letter is structured in such a way that it serves this purpose – it is usual to conclude a motivational letter by asking directly that you be admitted or invited for interview, depending upon what the next step of the admissions process is. Equally important is the calibre of your written language; if your motivational letter is riddled with grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, or doesn’t make sense, the university will almost certainly refuse to admit you. A great starting point is to look at some templates for motivational letters in your chosen field, to see how they are structured, and what key points you need to cover.
Get personal: A standard for all cover letters – including those for job-seekers – is that you must address your letter to a specific person. For your masters course, it could be the Head of Department, or the academic staff member responsible for your masters study programme . If you will be working closely with an academic supervisor – as with most research degrees – your cover-letter should be addressed to the academic you’d prefer to supervise you. Use the university’s website to figure out who the right person is, and address the letter to them using their name and title.
Show, don’t tell: This is true of CVs, and is true of motivational letters too. “I am a good leader” sounds a lot weaker than “I led a group of my fellow students on a week long climbing expedition, where we successfully…”. Avoid any overly ambiguous statements, as these can diminish the confidence the admissions team may have in your motivations. Also, make sure not to show things twice – if you’ve discussed something extensively in your CV, don’t dwell on it in your motivational letter.
Do your research: Academic institutions often have a lot to say about their values, priorities and vision. What’s your target institution’s motto? Do they prioritise sports , arts , or something else? Do they have a statement of values? How do you reflect these things? The most important question to think about in relation to these things – why is it that you want to go here? Weaving your knowledge of these things into your letter is a great way to assure admissions tutors that your choice to study at their institution is an informed one.
Be specific: One of the biggest problems at application is that candidates don’t adequately explain why it is they want to study what they’ve applied for. Remember, you’ve got to explain your choice of subject, and your choice of institution. Not just “Why Biology ?” but “Why Biology at this university?” If you don’t yet have answers to this question, then it is well worth going through the University’s website again, to work out what inspired you to take the next step, and apply for your chosen course.
Write a story: People love stories. They like to be taken on a journey, and brought to a satisfying conclusion. A list of superlatives or accomplishments is nowhere near as compelling as an epic story that weaves all that you’ve done into a coherent account, that supports the choice you’ve made to apply. Like all stories, make sure your motivational letter has a clear beginning, a middle, and an end . These should all follow logically on from one another, so that the reader is left feeling convinced of the suitability of your chosen course and institution, to your skills, experience, and goals.
Be interesting: This is without doubt the most important feature of a motivational letter – you absolutely must capture the reader’s interest. If you come across as boring (or worse, bored) on paper, it’s much less likely that you’ll get a positive reply. But furthermore, the interest you express has got to be personal, and it must relate directly to your motives . It’s absolutely no use whatever to produce some bland, boring page or two about hard work and how interested you are in your subject. This is exactly what every other candidate will write, and for the most competitive courses, you will want to stand out. But the best way to do this is not to try to be someone else; be yourself. Mention the fact that you like juggling. Talk about how you felt when your father was laid off work. Begin from your earliest memory. So long as what you say relates to what makes you the person you are, and then why that person has chosen to apply for this course, it deserves to be there.
What underscores all these points is a simple, and very ancient, piece of advice; know thyself . Nobody expects you to have everything figured out when you apply for a masters, but they will at least expect you to have a firm grasp of what you want out of the degree you’ve chosen to apply for. It’s in nobody’s interests for students to undertake courses for which they are ill-prepared, or that they haven’t really thought through – all you need to do is show your chosen university that this doesn’t apply to you.
And let’s face it; a masters degree is a fantastic opportunity, that will allow you to gain an expert understanding of a field about which you are passionate, and will build a bridge to a career that excites you – what could be easier to write about than that? But if you prefer to get some guidance, have a look at our motivational letter templates below.
Example 1: Motivation Letter for a Masters of Science Degree (MSc)
Dear sir /Madam,
My name is [name] and most recently I have been working as a [job title] at [company name]. I hold a B.Sc degree in [subject] from [university name].
The undergraduate curriculum in [subject], [university name], introduced me to a wide variety of subjects in the field of [subject]. Various courses like [course 1], [course 2], [course 3] (name all relevant courses) provided me with a strong footing in [subject of the masters degree].
While offering both depth and breadth across this field, these courses put into perspective the importance and relevance of [subject] and the application of its fundamentals to the problems faced by the real world.
I am much eager to adopt and know new technologies. I am really enthusiastic to attend a Master of [subject] at [university name] in order to understand different [subject] concepts and its applications to more complex real life situations. The good reputation of high-quality education standards, an extremely distinguished faculty members, and research facilities are the factors which have motivated me to apply for my masters studies at [university name].
Moreover, I feel I am responsible for making a big move in this field and this scholarship will give me a big chance to be one day someone who is remembered for his innovations. I think it is our duty as people sharing life in this world to make our future better because the future is not only ours. The next generation should be proud of us one day when they look back and find how hard we worked to make the world a better place. I believe my qualification and your needs would be an excellent fit. I will be happy to provide any further information or documents if required. I look forward to your positive response. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Example 2: Motivation Letter for a Masters of Art Degree (M.A.)
Dear Prof. [name],
I am writing to inform you of my interest in the Masters of Arts [name] program at [university name].
I currently hold my Bachelor’s of Arts in Art History [subject] from the University of [name], having graduated with cum laude with a GPA of 3.82 [grade]. After attending the University of [name], I completed a 3 month internship at the National Gallery in London (GB) followed by a 6 months internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (USA).
During my studies and internships I developed a deep interest in Italian Art, with a particular focus on artists form the 17th century. Having worked under the supervision of Prof. [name] at the National Gallery enabled me to get a very deep understanding of [specific subject] and I see the Masters of Arts [name] program at [university name] as a unique opportunity to intensify my knowledge and continue my studies.
Given my education and experience from [university name], National Gallery and Museum of Modern Art, I am confident that I am an excellent fit for the Masters of Arts [name] program at [university name]. I have researched the program and determined that the coursework and research profile of the college are a strong match. I’m particularly impressed by the volumes of [name] books in the university’s library, which are of particular interest for me and which I would love to study in great detail.
If you have any further questions, please contact me using the information at the top of this letter.
Did you know that most students apply to 5-7 different masters programs? The reasons for that are very simple: the more programs you apply to, the more options will you have to choose from in the end. You should therefore always apply to multiple programs. The best way to find alternative programs is to just search for them here on mastersavenue . It's free and super fast. Why don't you give it a go?
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MOTIVATIONAL LETTER TO THE UNIVERSITY
Writing a motivational essay for studying abroad at a university often confuses students. What to write in a motivation letter? How to write a motivation letter according to all the rules?
Below we will tell you all about the rules for writing an excellent motivation letter, the contents of which will be to the taste of the admissions committee of any foreign university.
What is a motivation letter?
A motivation letter is an essay 1 page A4 long that a student attaches to other documents when entering a higher education institution. Depending on the university, the presentation of a motivation letter may be needed at the undergraduate, graduate and even doctoral levels. Depending on the institution, the list of entry requirements may also be referred to as “statement of purpose” or “personal statement”.
In the essay, the student should write about himself, talk about his merits, talents and why he should be enrolled in the course. It is on the basis of a motivation letter that the selection committee can judge the identity of the applicant, its goals and its advantages.
When submitting documents to a university for the first time, most students are faced with the need to write an essay about themselves, so they often make mistakes. In this article, we will talk about the basic principles of writing a motivation letter and how to maintain the desired style and semantic balance in our text.
Motivation letter structure
The classic motivation letter is divided into three parts – the introduction, the main part and the conclusion.
Pay special attention to writing the introduction and conclusion, they will remain in the memory of the host committee and help you make the right first impression.
All three parts of a motivational essay should be clearly structured. In order for your letter to be interesting and informative, it may contain answers to the following questions:
- How and why did you become interested in the selected subject or course?
- How can you demonstrate this interest?
- Why did you choose this particular institution?
- Why did you choose to study abroad?
- What career prospects are you considering?
- Have you had to overcome difficult situations and obstacles (financial, social, physical) to achieve your goals?
- What skills and personal qualities do you have?
- What are your achievements and experiences?
- How do you show the strengths of your personality in life?
- What should make a person who reads hundreds of such texts daily remember and distinguish you?
Samples of motivation letters to the university
As we have already noted, a good motivational letter for a university must meet several criteria at once, so it is important to pay attention to the competent preparation of this document. On the one hand, the letter should reflect your motivation, and on the other hand, motivate the university to accept you for study.
We suggest you study a sample of a motivation letter to a foreign university:
Dear Sir or Madam, With this letter, I would like to express my interest in studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at ABC University. I am interested in beginning a career in design and I am certain that this degree will help me to fulfil myself in both professional and personal contexts. Currently, I am finishing my last year of high school, where I have spent a lot of time and effort learning arts and drawing, among other subjects. While studying in high school, I also attended art and design school courses, which clearly reflects my preferences and interests. In recent years, with the support of my school, I participated in a number of cities and regional design competitions where I often ended up in prize-winning places. Examples of my prize-winning works are presented in my portfolio. My current goal is to start my career in design. After doing some research I realised that a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at ABC University is the best choice for me for a number of reasons. First of all, this program covers a number of topics that interest me the most, such as Interior Design, Art History, Contemporary Design Concepts, Design Software, etc. As a future designer, I must be an expert in these fields. I am certain that the numerous traineeships and workshops I will take part in during my studies will help me to gain the necessary knowledge and skills. Secondly, my attention was attracted by a highly international environment of ABC University. Looking at my future, I understand that I want to become a successful designer working in an international context. At your university, one of the most international universities, I will learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds to achieve the best results which I believe will be the next big step in my development. Thirdly, studying at ABC University will significantly improve my English skills. As one of the most important languages in the world, English will help me to form new connections and expand my social network to a global level. Finally, a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at ABC University will help me to develop myself as a team player. The program will help me to establish strong international relations and to meet a lot of famous and influential people from the global design industry. Besides, I am attracted by the possibility of doing an internship during my studies. This great opportunity will give me the valuable professional experience necessary to build a successful career in modern competitive conditions. Overall, I believe I will make the most of the knowledge and experience gained through the study program at ABC University. I hope to contribute my talents and efforts to your university and become a worthy member of the team. Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response. Yours faithfully, Sasha Petrov
As you can see, a good motivational letter to the university is by no means a short text, which consists of several thematic parts. The above sample contains both the student’s story about himself and his strengths, as well as an explanation of why he chose this particular curriculum and university.
Tips for writing a motivation letter
So, here is a monitor with a clean sheet of Word and the need to write an essay. Follow our tips, and your letter of motivation will certainly be successful and will attract the attention of the university admissions committee!
Make an essay informative
Before writing a motivation letter, collect all the information about yourself that is worth knowing the admissions committee. Remember that your essay should be as informative as possible, otherwise it may seem superficial, and you – a person who is inattentive to details. Do not forget to carefully select the information, because you should cause positive emotions in people who do not know you personally.
Meet the interests of the institution
Some universities publish questions on their websites that students are asked to answer in a motivational essay. Do not ignore them! In your letter of motivation, try to give the admissions committee all the information that it wants to receive.
Take into account the requirements of the university
A number of educational institutions have specific requirements for students’ motivation letters. For example, you may be asked to send a handwritten essay, mentioning even the ink (black or blue) with which it should be written. Follow the recommendations of the university!
Place accents correctly
Correct semantic accents are the key to a successful motivational essay. Regardless of the requirements of the institution, in your text focus on three critical issues:
- Why do you want to study on this course?
- Why do you want to study at this university?
- Why do you want to live and study in this country/city?
- Your answers will demonstrate your personal and academic goals and help the commission understand why it is worth accepting for your studies.
Do not be afraid to praise yourself
In fact, your main goal when writing an essay is to show your candidacy in a favourable light. Do not hesitate to praise yourself, tell about your merits and talents, but do not be boring and monotonous! Tell us about your advantages, as well as how you would like to improve, and how the chosen course will help you with this.
Write in a beautiful and fairly simple language
Without being a native speaker, writing on it can be quite difficult. A motivational essay should be written in a competent, but relatively simple language. Do not overload him with long sentences and abstruse words, avoid conversational vocabulary and do not try to demonstrate on one sheet your knowledge of all revolutions of a foreign language! Remember that everything written by you should be clear and appropriate in meaning.
Be careful with your personality.
Each student, due to his motivation letter, seeks to stand out from hundreds of other applicants. You can do this by maximally showing your personality. However, do not overdo it – do not add pictures, photos, videos and graphics to the essay if this is not required. Do not try to joke or come up with an original format, all this may be inappropriate. A much better recommendation will be given to you by a structured and competent essay containing important information and written in the correct style.
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Practical guide: how to write an effective motivation letter
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Are you required to write a motivation letter but don't know where to start? It’s a document that might be difficult to tackle at first, but you'll soon find that, with a little practice and a few easy techniques, it can be a tool that helps you stand out over other candidates .
In fact, knowing how to write an effective motivation letter is a key step in the various types of selection process , and on many occasions, it often means the difference between a yes and a no. Ultimately, it's a matter of method, clearly-defined goals and a sprinkling of creativity . If you're looking to learn about the basic structure, pick up a few tips and find out which mistakes to avoid when writing a motivation letter , let us explain all.
Tips to write a motivation letter: mistakes to avoid
If you're wondering how to write a motivation letter, the first thing to bear in mind is that the aim of the document is to catch the reader's attention and convince them. To do this, you'll have to explain —both on a personal and professional level— exactly why you're applying for this job, scholarship, place on a course, etc. The point is to demonstrate you have a genuine interest, that your journey is aligned with what they're looking for, and that you know how to convey as much.
Before you get down to writing, you need to be very clear about your reasons . Note down everything you think should be included in your motivation letter. Consider key points such as academic achievements, ambitions, goals and, above all, the reasons why you want to apply for the specific course or job.
Once you've clarified that, it's time to begin. When it comes to drafting your motivation letter, we recommend the following:
Pay attention to the form, content, order of ideas and structure. Don't beat around the bush or you will lose your reader's precious attention. So, make sure you include only the necessary details and avoid elaborating on points that are irrelevant.
Use a clear, legible font of a size between 10 - 12, with line spacing and margins of 2.5cm.
Clear and concise wording is always a winner. Don't get bogged down in technicalities that divert attention away from what matters. But do make the most of compelling techniques such as storytelling .
Watch out for tone. Make sure it’s in line with the place you're applying to and keep it consistent from start to finish.
Research the institution, course and its values. One you are clear on that, align your objectives with those of the scholarship or job you're interested in.
Make your motivation letter one of a kind —just as the opportunity you're applying for is to you. To make the task easier, ask yourself a few questions such as: what would you do if you got it? Why do you want to be at that specific organisation or institution? What can you offer them?
Craft a conclusion that grabs the reader's attention and makes your motivation letter memorable. Exploit devices such as empathy and talk about how your life experience has brought you here or how this opportunity would help you to fulfil a personal goal.
Length matters: don't make it too brief, but don't write a lengthy essay either. One page should suffice, although it depends what you're applying for. A length of around 400 to 600 words is ideal.
Read it over several times, and even leave it overnight, if possible, to give yourself perspective on what you've written. Another useful technique is to read it out loud. This will help you to identify problems in the draft, spelling mistakes, inconsistencies and errors that might do some damage.
Whether you're writing or proofreading, there are a few things that you need to avoid. Some of the most common errors are:
Writing long paragraphs: avoid long, drawn-out paragraphs as they make reading more difficult and distract the reader's attention. Ideally, paragraphs should be no more than six lines each.
Using sentences with 'I': try not to use 'I' in sentences and avoid pompous descriptions of your skills. It's also a bad idea to use negatively-framed sentences.
Writing your letter using a template: don't copy an example letter word for word. One of the fundamentals of a motivation letter is to be natural and original.
Structuring a motivation letter for a scholarship, university or change of job
Besides following this advice to add clarity and a persuasive tone to your text, you should consider the standard structure of a motivation letter —although the content also needs to be original, in other words, a personal text that conveys who you are. In general, it will comprise the following elements:
A greeting , which varies depending on how formal the institution or company is that your letter of motivation is being sent to, in application for a scholarship or job. Start with a "Dear Mr/ Ms...", "To whom it may concern", "Dear Sir/Madam", or "Dear [job title/ position]".
An introduction paragraph that includes the reason for your letter and application. Get straight down to how you found out about the vacancy or opportunity, and your interest in applying. It is common to start with a stock phrase such as: "I am contacting you to...", "With this letter, I would like to express my interest...".
The body of your letter should consist of one or two paragraphs where you outline your talents, abilities, qualifications and interests that are directly related to the Master's, course or job you're applying for. Describe these points in a compelling way, persuading the reader to read on and learn more about you, your background and ambitions.
Then write a conclusion . If your motivation letter is for a scholarship, then here, emphasise why you're interested and indicate why you've chosen this specific course or programme. If it's for a job, underscore your hopes for a job interview .
Lastly, say thanks and add a formal closing , such as "Yours sincerely," and your full name.
Motivation letters: a tool to help you stand out
It is important to make the most of your motivation letter and stand out from the other candidates so, if there's anything missing or your letter fails to convince, ask your family or friends to read it over and share their opinion. A different perspective can help to change the focus.
However, if you follow these tips and methods, you should be able to craft a motivation letter that grabs the recipient's attention and helps you to secure the scholarship or job you want. After all, it's a key tool to boost your employability.
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If you would like to keep growing personally and professionally, head over to the Santander Scholarships website, where you'll find 100s of opportunities to train together with internationally renowned institutions. Access training in technology, languages, research, investigation, soft skills, internships and female leadership, which will help you to improve your employability or refocus your career.
Do you want to become a lifelong learner and increase your job opportunities? The Santander Scholarships website offers you lots of options to help you achieve your goals. Check out the website and remember: you can sign up for as many courses as you like. Make the most of this opportunity!
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How to Write a Motivation Letter?
- Updated on
- Oct 11, 2022
Your resume represents your qualifications, achievements as well as strengths and weaknesses . Applying merely through a resume may reflect the general academic and professional information about you but it can also be seen as the lack of influential representation of the motivation and dedication you possess. This is where a Motivation Letter comes to the rescue as it is usually asked by academic institutions as well as organizations from the applicants. Through a motivational letter, you can convincingly transmit your passion, eagerness and diligence regarding how your dream course can enlighten your career path along with the benefits you wish to bring out to the institution or organization (whether as a student or an employee). Let’s explore how to write a motivational letter with the help of samples/examples for university, job application, internship and more!
This Blog Includes:
What is a letter of motivation/motivation letter , what is the difference between a motivational letter and cover letter, how to structure your motivation letter, motivation letter template/example, introduction, motivation letter example, dos and don’ts, sample motivation letter for university, sample motivation letter for internship, sample motivation letter for scholarship application, sample motivation letter for job application, sample motivation letter for job- 2, motivation letter for study abroad.
A motivation letter describes why you are a perfect candidate for a certain program/position. It is usually a one-page document that gets attached alongside your resume. Commonly there are 4 purposes for which one is required to draft it:
- For Admission: If you are applying to a university or college to get enrolled in an educational program for any level ( undergraduate or postgraduate ).
- For Training/Internship: If you want to get into a full-time internship with an organization.
- For Employment: When you want to apply for a job profile at an organisation.
- For Jobs in Social Sector especially NGOs: Non-profit organisations generally demand motivation letter to analyse the interests and intentions of job aspirants.
Must Read: How to Write An SOP?
Often students get confused between a cover letter and a motivational letter, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of a cover letter is to accentuate some specific information mentioned on your resume and align it with the job requirements as well as the company profile. To put it simply, a cover letter is more of an introductory letter to your resume to the hiring authority whereas a motivational letter is mainly utilised as how your interests, motivations and aspirations match the academic program you want to study or a job profile you want to apply for. All the elite organizations are in search of individuals who would prove out to be an asset to the company. Thus, it should deliver your intent and excitement using the key feature as your motivation.
Every document a university or recruiter asks for serves a special purpose. Often than not, candidates are confused between the two such documents – Cover Letter and Motivation Letter. A cover letter is a professional letter given to an employer/recruiter along with a resume or CV. Cover Letters are generally used by companies, employers and recruiters as opposed to motivation letters that are used by university admission offices, educational institutes and internships. Both letters are intended to inform the recruiter or educational officer of why you are the perfect candidate and allow candidates to explain at length about their motivation, interests, hobbies, achievements and career/academic future.
Related Read: Cover Letter for Fresher
If you are targeting your dream institution or organization, presenting your motivation in a fascinating way can be a total game-changer. Ideally, the motivation letter should be on 1 page only in which you have to introduce yourself, describe your qualifications and achievement and highlight your interests as per the course/position you are applying to. Knowing the structure of your letter is pivotal towards comprehending the key elements that you need to add. Generally, the structure of a motivation letter can be any of the following:
- Either you can opt for a traditional methodology of a 3-paragraph motivation letter wherein there will be an introductory paragraph, body of content and conclusion.
- You can also use the 5-7 paragraph structure. Where you can divide the body of the letter in pointers elucidating 1-3 sentences paragraphs.
Coming to the discussion of choosing the format, if you want to go more factual and possess a varied number of achievements, you can select the 5-7 paragraph style through which you can individually emphasise upon each achievement by framing it into a single point. On the other hand, if you prefer the storytelling method you can choose the 3 paragraph format without giving many breaks to your letter.
Related Read: Career Objective For Internship
Format of a Letter of Motivation
Now that you know the two main structures you can choose from, let’s have a look at the major inclusions in the format of motivation letter:
A crisp, engaging pitch about yourself explaining why you want to apply. Some mandatory mentions are:
- Personal details (Name, Address, Email, Profile, Work Experience if any)
- Write about the course, internship or job profile you are applying for and also mention why,
- Start by putting down the general reasons explaining why you are applying to the course, internship or job position. Afterwards, dive into the main body of it.
For Example, the introduction for a motivation letter for a PhD application at a university is given below:
Sometimes conveying your zeal to enter an academic program or an organization could not be absolutely done by a resume as it restricts you to put forward only the facts and figures instead of the inspirations and motivation that urged you to pursue it. This is where a motivation letter comes into the view to ensure that your application should shine out from the hoard of other documents. Below mentioned are some quick tips and tricks to draft your motivation letter:
- While writing the letter, make sure you know the concerned person to whom you are applying. Research about the name and designation of the concerned individual and address them accordingly.
- Gauge the requirements of the program/profile and explain how you are the right fit for it.
- Mention how your beliefs and interests align with the organisation/university’s vision and mission
Are you planning to study abroad, have a look at our blog on Sponsorship Letter for Visa
Motivation letter is written for different purpose such as for internship, job application, university etc. Now that you know about a motivation letter, you should learn about how to write one. The best way to write it is by creating a genuine letter.
This is the main body of the letter. Describe your achievements, academic and professional journey and career aspirations. Elaborate on your skills and passions elucidating your zeal for your chosen course or job profile. Keep it factual and concise. Most of the time, the made-up stories get easily caught by the professionals who examine a variety of letters every day. It is strongly advised to maintain precision in your story. To cite the authenticity of your qualifications, you can also use metrics.
Have a quick example for motivation letter at some major add ones:
- My passion for ____ began when ______.
- I aspire to _____ because ______.
- I have been a part of _____ for _____ months/years. It’s the best thing for me because of ______.
- I remember once when I______ which made me realize that I_____.
- _______ resonates with me because ______.
- What distinguishes me from my peers is _______.
Motivation Letter Example:
Finally, to conclude, you can wrap up your letter and read it thoroughly before sending. Here are some of the points to help you with the concluding paragraph of the Motivation letter.
- Summarize your major points: “ I believe that I would be an appropriate fit for the program because of _____ ”
- Mention your long term goals: “ I would be obliged to be a part of _____, as it would allow me to _____ ”
- Finally, pay regards to the reader with a ‘thank you’.
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Once you are familiarized with the structure and elements of a motivation letter, let’s provide you with a motivation letter examples and samples to help you understand the tone and style as well.
The best way to write a motivation letter to write down all your ideas, experiences and achievements align them with your future career goals and then craft a creative and thoughtful essay to impress your employers or university admissions, officer.
A motivation letter is designed to help the employer gain an insight into why you are the perfect candidate for the position. Following the proper structure, writing short sentences and talking about your experiences, skills, education is essential for a motivation letter.
‘Yours Sincerely’ or ‘Best Regards’ or ‘Thank you for your time’ are perfect sentences to end a motivation letter.
You can begin a motivation letter with Dear Sir/Madam or if you are aware of the person you are addressing then you can mention their name and designation.
Thus, we hope that this blog has familiarized you with the key features of a motivation letter with the help of examples and samples for job, internship, university and more! If you are planning to apply for an academic program abroad, our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you throughout the admission process of your chosen university while also helping you craft impressive SOP and LOR s as well as motivation letters to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted and fulfil your dream to study abroad!
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The motivation letter is a way for you to explain why you would be a good fit for the Master's degree and the university you are applying for.
My name is [Your name] and I would like to express my interest in applying for the Doctoral program in political science at [University Name]. I
A motivation letter explains why you, as an applicant, would be the perfect candidate for a university's program/scholarship to which you are applying.
Ready-to-use sentences · My passion for ______ started when ______. · I want to ______ because ______. · I have been part of ______ for ___ months/
The motivation letter (also knowne as “statement of purpose”) is a document where you describe your professional competence and personal motivation about
Motivation letter template ; [Your Name], and I'm writing to express my interest in your [ ; [opportunity you're applying for]. I'm excited to apply
Dear sir /Madam,. My name is [name] and most recently I have been working as a [job title] at [company name]. I hold a B.Sc degree in [subject] from [university
Motivation letter structure · How and why did you become interested in the selected subject or course? · How can you demonstrate this interest? · Why did you
A greeting, which varies depending on how formal the institution or company is that your letter of motivation is being sent to, in application
This is the main body of the letter. Describe your achievements, academic and professional journey and career aspirations. Elaborate on your skills and passions