Are you looking for how to write a good motivation letter? Do you need the steps to write a proper motivation letter for university or college? This article explains a motivation letter and the areas you need to touch when writing it. Let’s get started.
It is common for colleges and universities to ask for a Motivation Letter as part of applying to an undergraduate or graduate degree – a document called a cover letter, Personal essay, or even a Motivational Letter. The letter is an almost mandatory item on the checklist for those going to apply for a scholarship. It can be the difference between the success and failure of your application.
That’s because the Motivation Letter is probably the most personalized document of your application — a unique chance to introduce reviewers to who you are in addition to your resume and academic record.
By requesting a motivation letter, recruiters at the university or institution offering the scholarship give the candidate a chance to provide relevant insights into their trajectory. They also allow the candidate to prove that they are the right and most motivated person among all the other candidates and perhaps even make up for poor grades in their academic record.
Writing a letter of this importance already gives many candidates butterflies in their stomachs. But the challenge is even more significant.
How to Start a Good Motivation Letter?
Below are things you need to consider before start writing a letter of motivation:
- What must it contain?
- What shouldn’t it include?
- How to be persuasive enough without sounding arrogant?
It is easy to find models or structures of motivation letters on different websites. However, it is useless to copy someone’s letter telling a story that is not yours, with skills and dreams that are not yours.
Therefore, what we will bring here are not samples but some fundamental points that you should reflect on when telling your own story. In other words, you need to touch areas when writing a letter of motivation for a college application. Next is tips to write a catchy motivational letter.
Tips for Writing a Proper Motivation Letter
Do Your Homework
Before starting your motivation letter, it is essential to research as much as possible about the university and the program you want. In general, the institutions’ websites are self-explanatory and even offer information about the curriculum of subjects and the course’s professors. In addition, you can find all the prerequisites and the expectations for candidates.
Knowing a little about the course requirements and projects and even the university’s philosophy will help you know which aspects of your trajectory should receive more emphasis in the letter. Demonstrating that you identify with the university’s interests will help to start the rapprochement well.
Synthesize Ideas and Main Points
Start by writing some of the primary ideas – essential points of your trajectory and personality that you can’t help but address in the letter. Then you can develop the text from them. Want to see some examples?
- What is your goal? Make it clear upfront and then offer a summary of what’s in the rest of the letter.
- Why do you think this university and this course are engaging and appropriate for you?
- Which are your strong characteristics? The experiences that set you apart? Organize the middle paragraphs by talking about your most important qualifications for the program.
- How will the course help you reach your goal (same as in the first paragraph)? Conclude by reinforcing your interest in the course and thank them for the chance to introduce yourself in the letter.
This is an early skeleton of motivation letters. Feel free to rearrange them in the structure that makes the most sense for your story.
Customize Your Text
Offer insights into who you are as an individual. Remember that this is a very personal document. You are expected to demonstrate that you are different from other applicants and prove that your qualities, skills, and qualifications are suitable for participating in the program.
Examples can be helpful as a reference, but never copy motivation letters from other people. Try to be authentic! Also, don’t brag too much. Nobody expects you to be a superhero but a cohesive, objective, and realistic person.
Take Care of the First Impression
The first impression is also important when it comes to a written document. So, make sure your letter is written in an appropriate font (avoid Comic Sans and other far-fetched ones), that the font size is legible, that the paragraphs are neither too small nor too big, and that the letter is within the limit of characters.
Also, check for grammar and typos, don’t change fonts as you go through the text, and ensure that all abbreviations are used in the same way. Leave comfortable margins in the document (especially if it is printed), avoid very long sentences or paragraphs, and be careful with punctuation.
Ask (and accept) Opinions About Your Motivation Letter
It will be best to ask friends, a teacher, or someone through a similar selection process for advice. You can also get in touch with students who are currently taking your chosen program or course. They will be able to give you valuable tips about the institution and what to include in your Letter of Motivation. And be humble. It will be best you take any feedback as an attempt to help you improve, not a personal attack.
These tips can help you have more peace of mind when writing your motivation letter. Your personal touch and reflection are what matters and what will make the difference in your candidacy. A good Motivation Letter will succeed if the candidate is genuinely interested and willing to spend time and thought on their application.
As it should have become clear, a very important aspect of writing a motivation letter is knowing yourself: your strengths, goals, and weaknesses. However, if your motivations are clear in your mind, it will be easier to put them down on paper.
Good luck with your application!
Related Questions on Letter of Motivation
What is a motivation letter?
It is a document that universities in the US and abroad usually ask for as part of applying for an undergraduate or graduate degree. It is also sometimes called a Personal Essay, Cover Letter, or even Motivational Letter
What should a good motivation letter contain?
The motivation letter should briefly state who you are, why you want to study at that university, and what you hope to build the knowledge you will acquire there. To talk about this, you must mention as much as possible the concrete achievements you have already had and explain how they led you to that opportunity.
Why is the motivation letter important?
By requesting a motivation letter, recruiters at the college or university offering the scholarship give the candidate a chance to share the strengths of their trajectory. They also allow you to prove that you are the right and most motivated person among all the other candidates and maybe even make up for bad grades in your academic record.
Can I use a motivation letter template?
It is not a proper idea to copy a letter with a story that is not yours, with achievements and dreams that are not yours. On the other hand, many universities usually publish motivation letters written by students who entered the previous class. Looking at these letters can help you understand what that university expects, and in that sense, they can serve as inspiration.