Motivation Letter Writing Guide + Examples for 2020
Writing a motivational letter can be frustrating.
“Why would you want to be a part of this organization?” When presented with the question, you find yourself looking at a blank page, “I’m passionate about going to college, so I’m not starving.”
After two hours and three coffee, you browsed your Facebook news feed (twice), watched an episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, sent angry tweets to the creators, and donated to knee surgery on the two dogs. You turn to your Open Word document and you just managed to write: “This organization looks fun” or “I will definitely be very fit”.
You know you are not that general or simple. You are a talented man or woman with a lot to offer and there are real reasons behind your application decision.
It’s hard to put it into words… And we get it!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a motivation letter that will get you accepted everywhere.
We’re Going to Cover:
- What Is a Motivation Letter (And Why It Matters)
- How to Structure a Motivation Letter
- How to Write a Motivation Letter [+ Some Useful Tips to Get These Ideas Out of Your Mind and Put them on Paper]
- How (and Why) to Create a Motivation Letter with Novorésumé?
What is a Motivational Letter and Why it Matters?
Motivation letter is a one-page letter used to explain why you are the perfect candidate for a particular position. It is usually added to your resume.
You need to write a motivation letter in these 4 specific scenarios.
- You are applying for admission to an educational program at a college or university (undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate).
- You are applying to work in a nonprofit organization.
- You are applying as a volunteer in an organization.
- You are applying for an internship in a company.
The motivation letter should not be confused with a cover letter, which is to emphasize how certain information on your resume matches a job opening. Think of a cover letter as an introduction to your resume for a recruitment manager and your motivation letter as a strong closing sales speech for a university or nonprofit.
So why exactly is the motivation letter important? You are someone who does much more than a speaker: You have listed everything you need to know about you on your CV. That should be enough, right? False!
All organizations are looking for people who really want to be there and are excited about what they do. Intention should be your driving motivation!
Writing a good motivation letter can be an absolute game changer. It can provide a boost for your resume, but also make up for the lack of required skills.
>>> Download our 2020 Free Job-Search eBook Guide <<<
How to Structure a Motivational Letter
A good motivation letter is a one-page document in which you introduce yourself, your story, and show your interest in the position or organization you applied for.
There are two main ways to structure your motivation letter:
- Using the classic 3 main paragraph structure where your motivation letter has the introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Use the 5-7 paragraph structure where you break your main body paragraph into smaller 1-3-sentence paragraphs based on the main points.
Now, which one do you prefer? The rule of thumb is to choose the 7-paragraph structure if you want to be more realistic and accurate. That way, you can use each body paragraph to discuss specific achievements or points.
On the other hand, if you are going for a more storytelling approach, you would prefer the 3 paragraph option to avoid disrupting the flow of the story.
The Structure of a Motivational Letter
Whatever structure you choose, it should consist of 3 main parts: introduction, body and conclusion. Here’s what to include in each:
Introduction: A short, interesting presentation about yourself and why you are applying. Here you can add:
- Personal information. Who are you and what are you doing?
- What are you applying for? Where?
- An introduction to much of your article. State the general reason why you applied and then dive deep into most of your motivation letter.
And of course, don’t forget to mention the contact details at the top. How do I write a 2020 letter?,#How do I write a motivational letter for a job?,#How do I write a motivational letter for a training course?,#How do you end a motivational letter?,#What is a motivation statement?,#How do you begin a letter?,#How do I write a statement of qualifications?,#How do you format a letter?,#What makes a bad resume?,#How do I write a short application letter?,#What is the difference between bio data and application letter?,#How do you write a motivational essay?,#How many words should a motivation letter have?,#How do you write a motivational speech?,#How long should a PhD motivation letter be?,#How long is a formal letter?,#How Long Should letters be?,#What is formal letter example?,#What is the layout of a formal letter?,#What are the 3 types of letter?,#What are some examples of motivation?,#What are the four types of motivation?,#How do you show motivation?
To: School/Organization Name
First Name Last Name
Relevant Social Media (LinkedIn, Quora, GitHub, etc.)
Example of Introduction for Motivational Letter
Dear [Name of Contact Person],
I would like to state that I am interested in applying to the political science PhD program in my name [Your Name] and [Name of University]. I have always dreamed of being a politician and helping return to my country and I believe in a doctorate degree. It would take me miles ahead to reach my goal in politics from [University Name].
Body of Motivation Letter: This is the main part of your motivation letter. Where you really sell yourself, you’re talking about the stories behind your achievements, skills, and passion for everything you apply for.
Try to be as realistic as possible – anyone who reads motivational letters frequently can tell made-up stories from true stories. Whenever possible, you can also use metrics to back up your attributes.
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 __________.
Here’s a Practical Example:
During my internship at [Company name] company, I developed my passion for Online Marketing. Working from a small start gave me surface level experience in most digital marketing channels. Now I want to dive deeply and gain advanced knowledge by participating in the [university name] program in Digital Marketing.
Finally, you can collect and send the motivation letter. In this section you can:
- Briefly summarize your main points – “I believe I will be well suited to the program due to __________”
- Tell me about your overall goal – “I would love to be a part of _______ as it will allow me to _______.”
- Thank the reader and complete the motivation letter
Now that you know how to structure a motivation letter, let’s move on to the content!
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 motivation letter is to tailor your letter to the specific organization and program / position you are applying for:
- When writing a motivation letter, you want to make sure you know what and where you are applying. Find out who is responsible for deciding your fate and address them directly as Mr.Smith in your keynote speeches.
- See program requirements and institution website. Find out the top three requirements for the position and explain how you are the best candidate.
- Show with a short story or personal examples that you share the organization’s values or are highly qualified. Be clear.
- Your motivation letter should show that you really want to be there! There is a fine line between begging while selling yourself and showing wise interest.
- State specific reasons, show your knowledge, and express a passion for applying to or to the institution without showing off or begging.
- DO NOT LIE! If you remotely type something that is not true, your reader will sense it. Unconsciously, when we lie, we inflate our feelings and ideas. If you tell a fake story or inflate your excitement or achievements, you’ll end up in the “lying Pinnochio pile”. Imagine your case being heard and your application rejected.
Questions to Answer in Your Motivational Letter [+Possible Answers]
What attracted you to this specific organization or program?
- I would love to live [where the organization is] because it is ________.
- My dream is to be a part of [program name] because _________.
What are the values the institution is based on and how do you share them?
- 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 __________.
What kind of applicants are usually admitted to the program and why do you fulfill the requirements?
- Requirement: Minimum 2 years of volunteering experience
I volunteered for three years in Africa. It’s one of my most fulfilling experiences as I am passionate about helping others and being a better person. I would do this again with a heartbeat.
- Requirement: Passionate about research
I would always choose a sleepless night doing research rather than a night out. I spend most of my mornings reading the latest issue of Journal of Marketing. During my time at Colorado University, I conducted three separate research studies.
- Requirement: 3,80 GPA
It took a lot of work and dedication to get a Magna Cum Laude, but education was my greatest passion in life, so there was more joy in the process than pain!
Answer some / all of these questions in a persuasive way that suits you and your experience, then translate them into a coherent text.
An Example of a Great Motivational Letter
Below, we’ll show you how to write a great and inspiring motivational letter from Jane’s letter to the Harvard University admissions team. Applying for the doctor. In the Department of Political Science.
The general requirements are: research orientation, a proven passion for politics and an above-average performance during undergraduate study.
The university’s values are honesty, education, respect and accountability. How do I write a 2020 letter?,#How do I write a motivational letter for a job?,#How do I write a motivational letter for a training course?,#How do you end a motivational letter?,#What is a motivation statement?,#How do you begin a letter?,#How do I write a statement of qualifications?,#How do you format a letter?,#What makes a bad resume?,#How do I write a short application letter?,#What is the difference between bio data and application letter?,#How do you write a motivational essay?,#How many words should a motivation letter have?,#How do you write a motivational speech?,#How long should a PhD motivation letter be?,#How long is a formal letter?,#How Long Should letters be?,#What is formal letter example?,#What is the layout of a formal letter?,#What are the 3 types of letter?,#What are some examples of motivation?,#What are the four types of motivation?,#How do you show motivation?
It uses the three paragraph configuration method.
You can see how Jane highlights with her personal stories:
- Knows the history of the university and shares the same values
- Really passionate and excited about the program and school
- What are their qualifications and how will they fit well into the program?
- What he hopes to get if given the opportunity to study at Harvard
The same rules and spirit apply to motivational letters not related to the university.
You can easily notice that Jane essentially gives a personal story of all her qualities. After reading this letter, the admissions team will feel like they know Jane, and what you should aim to do: tell who you are by highlighting your story tailored to your institution and program.
How (and why) to Create a Motivational Letter with Novorésumé
Now that you know how to write a motivation letter, you can decide how it will look.
Times New Roman, a black and white letter sheet with 12 pt font size might be great for an official document, but it won’t make you stand out in the pile of gray apps.
How can you look professional without being boring? Novorésumé’s motivational letter templates and intuitive editor add the tone of personality you need to stand out from the rest.
So let’s summarize everything we’ve covered in this post:
- A motivation letter is an official letter you must write if you are applying for university / college admission, a nonprofit organization or a voluntary organization. Job applications often require a cover letter instead.
- There are two ways to structure a motivating letter: in three paragraphs (introduction, body, conclusion) or 5-7 paragraphs (where each paragraph emphasizes a different point).
- In the introduction, introduce yourself and your purpose, describe and highlight your experiences in the body, and ultimately thank the reader he considers.
- Do your research, show genuine interest and never lie.
If you want your motivation letter to stand out, Novorésumé gets the cake!
A motivation letter is always attached to a resume. Would you like to separate this from the others?
Read our guide on how to create an impressive resume and send it with your awesome motivational letter to be accepted everywhere!
Our motivation letter templates are created to reflect the resume templates and CV templates that are critical when creating a job application. Choosing the same templates, fonts, colors will improve your personal brand and increase your chances of being invited for an interview.