A well-written motivation letter can convince hiring and admissions managers to invite you for an interview or approve your application. In this article, we discuss how to write a motivation letter for study or employment and provide some examples to help you craft your own.
What is a motivation letter?
A “motivation letter” is a document that details your professional qualifications and motivation for applying to a course of study, a scholarship, or a volunteer position.
This letter goes with your application and any supporting materials you may have, such as a transcript of your grades or a resume.
A “statement of purpose” or a “motivational letter” is another name for a motivation letter. For paid job applications, motivation letters are rarely utilized and are usually accompanied by cover letters.
How to write a motivation letter
Writing a good motivation letter takes time, so make sure you methodically work through the steps to make yours the best possible.
Allowing plenty of time to write your motivation letter ensures you include all the necessary content and follow each important step, including the following:
- Write an outline.
- Write an introduction.
- Expand your outline for your body.
- Conclude your motivation letter.
- Proofread your motivation letter.
1. Write an outline
Write a point-form outline noting the content of your motivation letter and its order. Write points covering the following topics:
- Why are you interested in taking the course or volunteering with the programme?
- Your abilities or attributes that will be beneficial to the school or non-profit organisation
- What drew you to the school or non-profit organisation in the first place?
Consider whether you’ve included all of the necessary information. A motivation letter for a Ph.D. program, for example, will require more information about your past experiences and specific future ambitions than a letter for a bachelor’s program.
Compare and contrast your outline with material from the school or non-profit organization to demonstrate that you possess the qualities and qualifications they need. Examine your format and structure to see whether rearranging points would result in a more logical flow.
Revise your outline until you are satisfied with it. You can reference your completed outline when writing your polished motivation letter to stay on track.
2. Write an introduction
Write an introduction that introduces yourself to the recipient. Address your recipient by name, if possible, to give your motivation letter a personal touch.
Your introduction should capture your recipient’s attention and encourage them to read on, so include details about your achievements in this section.
3. Expand your outline for your body
Expand the points in your outline to form your motivation letter’s body. Take a new paragraph for every new topic. Remember, your motivation letter aims to convince your recipient of your value, so use compelling facts to be persuasive.
4. Conclude your motivation letter
Write a conclusion to your motivation letter that summarizes your goal and leaves a positive final impression. You should also thank your recipient for considering your application and encourage them to contact you if they have any questions.
5. Proofread your motivation letter
Proofread your motivation letter to make it more concise and professional. Correct any spelling and grammatical errors and awkward phrasing. Edit information already listed in your application form or resume to ensure your motivation letter contains only unique information.
You may need to proofread your motivation letter several times to identify all problem areas. If time permits, complete this step two days or more after writing your motivation letter, as time away from your work allows you to view it more objectively.
To help ensure your letter has professional grammar and spelling, ask a trusted friend or colleague to proofread your motivation letter after you.
What is the Difference Between a Motivational Letter and Cover Letter?
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. Many students get confused between a cover letter and a motivational letter.
It is important to remember 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.
Simply said, a cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume to the hiring authority, whereas a motivational letter is primarily used to demonstrate how your interests, goals, and objectives align with the academic program you want to pursue or the job profile you want to pursue.
All of the elite organizations are on the lookout for people who can contribute to the company’s success. As a result, it should fulfill your expectations.
Every document requested by a university or recruiter has a specific purpose. Candidates frequently mistake the two documents – the Cover Letter and the Motivation Letter. A cover letter is a professional letter that is sent with a resume or CV to an employer or recruiter.
Companies, employers, and recruiters typically use cover letters, whereas university entrance offices, educational institutes, and internships typically utilise motivation letters.
Both letters are meant to describe why you are the ideal candidate to a recruiter or educational officer, and to give candidates the opportunity to elaborate on their motivation, interests, hobbies, accomplishments, and career/academic future.
Tips for writing a motivation letter
Following these tips can help make your motivation letters stand out and convince decision-makers to consider your application further.
- Any guidelines should be followed. Follow your potential school’s or non-profit organization’s formatting, length, and content criteria. If the organisation doesn’t supply any information, write 1/2 to 1 page of text in a simple 12-point typeface like Times New Roman or Arial.
- Personalize your writing. Because your interests, feelings, and viewpoints are unique, mentioning them in your letter is a fantastic approach to set it apart from others. Write in a conversational tone that mirrors how you would address your recipient if you were in the same room. Include unique details that can help your motivation letter stand out. Because humour can be misunderstood, use a more serious tone.
- Use terminology that is easy to understand. For inspiration letters, it’s best to use simple language that readers can understand. When proofreading, look for any too complicated terminology or jargon and replace them with simpler language. Make brief, energetic sentences that aren’t easily misunderstood.
- Concentrate on your assets. Rather than focusing on your issues or limits, write about your personal qualities. Writing on your strengths in motivation letters helps readers comprehend your importance to their organisation and keeps the tone of the letter positive.
Motivation letter template
A sample motivation letter template is provided below. This template can be tailored to your specific needs:
Mr. or Ms. [recipient’s last name] ,
My name is [your name], and I work in the field of [position/qualification/study area]. I’m writing to express my interest in a [scholarship/volunteer opportunity/position] at [name of organization].
Because [reasons for wanting to study or volunteer] I would love to [study/volunteer] with you. Because [reasons for picking a certain organization], I am particularly interested in your [school/non-profit organization].
Because I am [list of positive traits], I believe I would be an asset to your organization. I also have [a list of good skills] that I gained from [experiences or courses that taught you skills].
Finally, I hope to have the opportunity to study at [name of organization] alongside you. Thank you for taking the time to look over my resume. If you have any questions, please contact me at [preferred contact details]. I want to hear from you as soon as possible.
[Your name here]
This template provides space for the basic information your motivation letter requires. However, the best motivational letters have a personal touch.
Customize this template by adding extra details and taking several sentences to explain your reasons for writing and personal assets. Personal anecdotes can help your motivation letter stand out.
Motivation letter examples
Here are some examples of motivation letters that could accompany university and volunteer job applications. You can use a motivation letter sample as a guide for your own letters by substituting your own details.
- College application self-motivation letter sample
- Scholarship application motivation letter example
- Volunteer employment motivation letter example
College application self-motivation letter sample
Dear Mr. Thomas,
My name is Stephanie Ruiz, and I am a senior at Seattle City High School who is passionate about computer science and visual arts. I’m writing to apply to Seattle University’s multimedia design and communication program.
I want to learn more about multimedia design since I want to be a web designer. I believe your course will assist me in better understanding the digital design process and how websites and their visual images can assist businesses in projecting a positive image to customers.
I’m fascinated by how different colors and imagery may elicit different feelings in viewers. I enjoy experimenting with the impact of color and imagery, and I consider myself to be naturally creative.
I am convinced that by working with you, I will be able to apply this flair to new projects at your institution and improve my design skills.
I admire Seattle University’s academic and athletic accomplishments. I admire how your school pushes children to reach their full potential both inside and outside of the classroom.
I believe that my various interests, as a social person who has participated in several extracurricular activities, including the school band and softball team, would make me a perfect fit for your school.
Studying at your institution would allow me to further develop my design skills while having fun, whether on the sports field or in another setting.
I am open to whatever experiences life at Seattle University would bring me and hope I could achieve them through your multimedia design and communication degree.
Thank you very much for considering my request. Please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions about my application.
Scholarship application motivation letter example
To Mr. Bradman,
My name is Zoe Hooper, and I’m writing to express my interest in a scholarship for your bachelor’s degree program in nursing. I have a strong desire to help people, and I hope that my financial constraints will not prevent me from pursuing this goal in my profession.
I was raised in a lower-middle-class family by a single mother who worked three jobs to support my brothers and me. My mother instilled in me the value of hard work and the importance of looking after people who are unable to look for themselves.
She also emphasized the value of education in our lives, reminding us that it would enable us to live a better life. Her support, combined with my own determination, helped me make some money.
I spent a lot of time caring for my youngest brother, who has cerebral palsy because my mother worked long hours. I believe that caring for him piqued my interest in nursing. His grins rewarded me for learning to be sensitive and patient. In the future, I aspire to make my own patients smile in the face of their own health difficulties.
My inherent work ethic and desire to succeed make me believe I would be a valuable contributor to Los Angeles University. I know your school offers a great nursing program, and I believe it would be the ideal setting for me to earn the degree I need to land my dream profession while also giving back to the community.
Rest assured that I would make the most of the scholarship opportunity and make you and my mother proud. I am very grateful for the time you have taken to consider my application and look forward to hearing from you soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions about my application.
Volunteer employment motivation letter example
Dear Ms. Carnaby,
My name is Tony Iyer, and I am a Washington University veterinary science student. I’m replying to the All Paws Animal Shelter’s volunteer request on their website. This opportunity piqued my interest because I have a natural interest in animal welfare, which I am pursuing via my studies.
I grew up on a farm in rural Wyoming, surrounded by animals. I was active in many facets of animal care during this time, including dog training, horse grooming, and cow milking. I enjoyed spending time with our pets and learned how rewarding their company can be.
I also learned the value of animal care’s less glamorous aspects, such as cleaning trash and pens to make our animals comfortable.
I’ve learned even more about animal care as a result of my veterinary science courses, such as how to identify and cure animal ailments and how to assist animals in giving birth.
I believe these abilities, combined with my agricultural expertise, would be extremely beneficial to you at All Paws Animal Shelter. I also believe I could learn a lot more at your company to supplement my education.
I’m particularly interested in working at All Paws Animal Shelter because you take in such a wide variety of animals. I particularly admire your shelter’s no-kill policy and dedication to providing long-term care for senior animals. These policies reflect my personal view that all animals, regardless of species, deserve the opportunity to live a long and happy life in a loving home.
In conclusion, I feel I would be an asset to All Paws Animal Shelter and hope you will accept my application for volunteer work. Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions about my application.
So, let’s sum up everything we’ve covered in this post:
- If you’re applying for university/college admissions, a non-profit, or a volunteer organisation, you’ll need to compose a motivational letter. Instead, most job applications demand a cover letter.
- A motivating letter can be written in three paragraphs (introduction, body, and conclusion) or in 5-7 paragraphs (where each paragraph highlights a different point).
- In the opening, introduce yourself and your purpose; in the body, describe and highlight your experiences; and in the conclusion, thank the reader for their time and consideration.
- Do your homework, exhibit genuine interest, and never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,
- Novorésumé is the way to go if you want your motivating letter to stand out.
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 and CV templates, which is critical when creating a job application. Choosing the same templates, fonts, and colors will improve your personal brand and increase your chances of being called for an interview.