This article outlines how to write motivational letters: step by step with examples. You have probably heard about motivational letters but never written one. Perhaps you are wondering whether a motivational letter is the same as a cover letter. Maybe you have heard some people refer to a motivational letter as a personal statement and wondered, ‘I thought cover letters were different from motivational letters?’ If you have all these questions and do not have anyone to tell you what is a motivation letter, whether it is the same as a cover letter, if your academic institutions require you to write a motivation letter, and any other questions that you might have regarding a motivational letter, you have come to the right before. By the end of this article, you will be able to write motivational letters that portray you as the perfect candidate for your dream job or any other job position you may desire to apply for in any given company.
A motivational letter, which some call a personal statement, is a brief piece of academic writing that tells potential employers about you. Although the letter of motivation is typical when a job applicant wants to prove to be the right person for a job position, some college admissions team may ask students to submit one. In particular, students who wish to pursue a master’s degree in a prestigious university may be asked to submit such letters if the admission process is competitive. However, remember that it is not always that an admissions team demands a motivation letter for an educational program. Later on, we shall be providing motivation letter examples so you can understand the topic better.
Newly graduated students often confuse a cover letter with a motivation letter. The confusion occurs because both letters are used during the job application process. When a graduate sees a job opening, the desire to land a dream job increases. Students rush to apply for the job position, failing to submit a motivation letter because they confused it with a cover letter. While cover letters and motivational letters are used in the job application process, they differ in specific ways.
First, the two letters do not convey the same message. A cover letter is meant to emphasize or explain the information contained in your resume. It is a way of making sure that the hiring manager sees some of the unique attributes or accomplishments in your CV. When writing a cover letter, your main focus is to prove how the details on your resume align or match the requirements for the advertised job. It is an important process because the hiring manager will want to know how the skills you indicate on your resume correspond with the job. In contrast, a motivational letter shows how your interests, ambitions, and motivations will help you perform better in your job. As mentioned earlier, an admissions team in an educational institution might ask you to write a motivation letter or a cover letter; in some cases, both letters may be needed. In such a case, ensure that your motivational letter talks about how your aspirations, interests, and motivations for your future career are compatible with the academic program that you are pursuing. So, always know why you want to write a motivational letter.
Second, the structure of a cover letter differs from that of a motivation letter. We will later provide several examples of motivation letters, but it suffices to say that cover letters and motivational letters take different structures. When you start writing any of the letters, you will notice a difference in the tone. A cover letter will be of emphasis on your resume, while a letter of motivation will be like a personal story.
The importance of a motivation letter really depends on where it is being applied. If you are writing a letter for a job application in a company, the purpose and importance of the motivational letter differ from the one you apply to in a university when you want to pursue an academic program. If you are applying to a company because you want to secure a job, the objective of motivation shifts to ensuring that the hiring manager sees your strengths and interests needed for the job. In the company setting, a motivation letter is important because it increases your chances of filling the job opening. Your chances increase because a motivation letter brings to the fore your skills, which a company could be looking for in a candidate. In essence, a motivation letter portrays you as the perfect candidate for a job opening.
In the case of applying to a university, a motivation letter comes in handy to show that your career aspirations and personal interests align with the course offered in the specific academic institutions you submit your motivational letter. The engaging pitch that characterizes a motivational letter convinces the admissions team that you are the right person for that position. Remember that a university can demand a motivation letter anytime, whether you are just applying to pursue a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Therefore, be prepared to have your letter of motivation, especially when you want to study abroad. The admissions team in most academic institutions in other countries may want to know where you come from and how admitting you to their school will affect their plans.
Let’s now shift focus to a motivation letter for a job. When you write a motivational letter for a job, you are essentially portraying yourself as the perfect candidate who deserves to be hired to fill a particular position in a company. Of course, you must have seen an advert somewhere before choosing to apply. In some cases you may write a motivation letter even when there is no job opening. Students do that all the time to gain experience and enhance their skills. Later in the article, we will give you motivation letter examples for a job so you can see how it is done. A motivation letter for a job should be as accurate and truthful as possible and devoid of made up stories because the employer in the company where you want to work will scrutinize you again. While made up stories may be accepted when writing a motivation letter for a degree or master’s degree program, the same may not work well for a job.
Whether you want to write a motivation letter for a university or in a company, you will need to know the major points and how to go about it. Human resource managers in every company and admissions teams in all universities can tell a bad motivation letter from afar. Get miles ahead of other applicants by learning how to structure a motivation letter.
Like other pieces of academic writing, a motivation letter has an introductory section, although the details are different. In your introduction, ensure that you reveal your personal details. In the following example, we show you how to write the first part.
To: (University Name)
First Name, Last Name
Most students are quick to overlook the above details, with others rushing to write the first paragraph as soon as they mention the university name or the company name in the upper section. It is important to reveal your other details just in case the employer or admissions team decides to contact you.
After writing the first part, go to the introduction and explain your reason for choosing the university or company and how your qualifications, interests, and ambitions combine to align with the job or position. The following motivational letter example is created for application in academic institutions:
Dear Admissions Team.
My name is Martin Osborne, and I hereby express my interest in applying for a doctoral program at your exceptional institution. I have always perceived your university to be the only place to equip me with the quality of education needed to achieve my career as a doctor. I have a solid background in healthcare, having been a physician for the last two years. I could have chosen other academic institutions, but I do not see any other university that will help me better than yours. Learning from your school will place me miles ahead of my career.
If you check this introductory part, the writer uses an engaging speech to appeal to the admissions team. This approach is crucial, and it must appear in your first paragraph if you want to capture the attention of the team.
This is the body section of your motivation letter, and it must be bulky. Mention your passion and reveal all past experiences that are relevant to the program you are applying. Show how this course will help you move your career. Finally, mention how you are distinguished from other applications. See the following example for the continuation of the same motivation letter.
I developed my passion for joining your university following an advert I saw on various digital marketing channels. My interest in becoming a Ph.D. holder is informed by my ambition to have a small start up hospital in the future. Since my values are based on hard work, respect, and innovation, I will become the best doctor if you allow me to pursue this doctoral program at your institution. I know you will have other applicants, but I wish to tell you that I am exceptional in the sense that I uphold professionalism, hard work, and continuous learning. I believe I am qualified for this program, having obtained a distinction mark in my master’s degree. Moreover, I have satisfied all the other requirements for the program.
Write your conclusion
Once you write your first and second paragraphs, it is time to move on to the final part. Your conclusion summarize your major points and thank the reader. See this motivational letter example.
I believe my pursuit of becoming a doctor will be fulfilled here (university name), and the broader society will benefit from the skills and competencies that I will obtain from your institution. I look forward to a positive response. Thank you.
While it is important to learn the various ways of writing a motivation letter, there is no standard format. The important thing is to know how each detail fits in the letter. You could choose to have your personal details appear on the right or left side. However, some details must be written clearly. For example, the university name should be written officially. Additionally, avoid spelling mistakes in your letter. Also, you need to mention the course you are undertaking. Do not forget to highlight the interesting details that will capture the admission team’s attention. Reveal your interest in the course. Use the same principles when writing a motivation letter for a job. Use the conclusion section to leave a good impression. Enter the company name, clarify your education level, and go beyond stating your surface level experience. All these elements require research. Therefore, take time to research about a company or university. Note down the university name, courses offered, and all other interesting details you may need. Likewise, write down the company name and other information.
56th Avenue, 5T OH.
To Brian Osbourne,
The Hiring Manager,
My name is Chloe O’Brien, and I have been working with MissGuided (Compay Name) for the last two years. I have a bachelor’s degree in sales and marketing.
My exceptional knowledge of online marketing and influence on digital marketing platforms make me the ideal candidate for the marketer’s position you advertised recently. I have always perceived Boohoo LTD (Compay Name) as the best company to advance my career. I recently wrote an article on marketing, and I am sure the recommendations in it will be of great value to Boohoo LTD (Compay Name).
With my skills and interests, which include doing business research and exploring new concepts we can take Boohoo LTD (Compay Name) to the next level. I look forward to a positive response and joining your unique company.
I am available to discuss more about the position. Thank you very much.
In the above motivation letter example, you can see a few things worth pointing out. First, the company name is mentioned severally to elicit a positive response and to show that the writer is attached to the company. Second, the applicant emphasizes her uniqueness and suitability and does not dwell on personal details. Third, we can deduce the interests that make this applicant suitable for the job.
19th Avenue, CA.
To the Admissions Board,
My name is Frank Beasly, and I have an inexplicable zeal to join your institution. Before this application, I went through other academic institutions, but none seemed to uphold the academic standards and organizational values more than Harvard University.
Since I want to be as successful as Elon Musk, I believe that my goals are safe only if I study at your university. I love undertaking tasks that require problem-solving and innovation. Thus, my ambition to be a successful entrepreneur can only be realized here. I got
I got a distinction in my master’s degree, and I believe that you will consider this qualification when accepting my application. I am eager to join your institution.
I am available to discuss more about the position. Thank you very much.
As we come to the end of the article, we believe that the motivation letter examples provided in the preceding section will go a long way to help you. Use the following as the checklist when you write a motivation letter.
This article has outlined how to write motivational letters: step by step with examples.