We all want to stand out from the crowd. When we are applying for something where we will be placed alongside a pool full of other applicants that are just as qualified, eager, and interested as we are, we want to put our best foot forward.
A motivation letter is attached to your resume or curriculum vitae when you are applying for a job, acceptance to a university, or a specific program. To help set you apart from the pack and increase your chances of being accepted or hired, let’s go over how to write a motivation letter in 6 simple steps.
Step 1: Create a letterhead
At the top of your motivation letter, create a letterhead with your full name, address, telephone number, and email address. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when constructing your letterhead:
- Make your name bigger and more recognizable than the rest of the letter by using a 14 or 16 point bolded font.
- Put your address and contact information in 12 point font.
- Keep the rest of your letter in a font that is professional looking and easy to read.
Step 2: Write your Recipient’s Name
Below the letterhead, write your recipient’s name and address. Make sure that this looks professional as well by using a 12-point font that is easy to read. Set your margins around one-inch apart and use single spacing. Do not use a font color other than black.
Step 3: Write the First Paragraph
The first paragraph should mention the job or position you are applying for and where you discovered the listing. The first paragraph should only be about 2 to 3 sentences in length.
Step 4: Body Paragraph (Qualifications)
The body paragraph of your motivation letter should have around 1 to 2 paragraphs in it. Remember, you do not want to go on a whole spiel that is going to overwhelm or tire the hiring manager or person reading the letter. In your body paragraph, aim to address and answer the following questions:
- Why do I want to work, go to school, or fill the desired position?
- What about this company or organization interests me?
- Why am I a qualified candidate for this position?
Your qualifications should be the meat of your middle paragraph. To help increase your chances of being hired and considered, try to match your qualifications with the requirements for the job, the school, or the position. Let the person know in your motivation letter how you are going to be able to contribute to the organization and what you are looking to get out of your experience there. This will show that you have done relevant research in regards to the position and the company to support the company’s background and the history. A few questions to consider when you are addressing your qualifications can be:
- What is the mission and goal of the place I am applying to? What differentiates them from other companies, schools, or businesses like them?
- What is the target audience of the school or business and what type of people are attracted to this place?
- What is the basic history? When was it started? How has it evolved? What are some highlights, milestones, or accomplishments that it has made over the past few years?
Step 5: Final Paragraph
The final paragraph of your motivation letter should be where you wrap up your letter and the positions you discussed. Address how you would like to proceed with the application and consider including the following points:
- Include a positive statement about yourself or a question that will motivate the employer, school, or business to want to follow through and contact you.
- Go over again why you feel that you are the perfect fit for the position you are applying for. If you are applying for acceptance to a school or program, then tell why you feel you would fit in perfectly there as well and what you can bring to the table.
- Disclose your next steps of action. For instance, you might want to follow up with the hiring manager or person in charge of the acceptance process in a week or two, and include when. If not, then simply state that you are looking forward to hearing from the company or school and are eager to further discuss your qualifications.
- Although it is included at the top, you will want to provide your contact information again in your final signature. Include your email address and phone number so that Human Resources or the hiring manager can easy get in touch with you.
- If you are providing a resume along with your motivation letter, mention that your resume and references (if applicable) are attached.
- Thank the person for their time in consideration in reviewing and reading your motivation letter.
Step 6: Proofread
As always, with anything you write, it is important to proofread and edit your final product to look for any possible spelling, grammar, or tense errors. It can be helpful to read your motivation letter out loud, or to have a friend or family member go over it for you.
What Not To Do In Your Motivation Letter
- Do not include any pictures or links within your motivation letter.
- Do not copy and paste a motivation letter template from a website and simply fill it in. Do your best to make your motivation letter personal, unique, and with your own added touch.
- Do not make your motivation letter too long. Around half a page to one full page is enough for the hiring manager or organizer to get to know: you, your qualifications, and your goal for applying. If your motivation letter is too long or winded, there is a good chance that they will not read all of it.
- If your motivation letter has a deadline, do not submit it at the last minute. This does not show very good time management, and you could run into other problems or technical difficulties if something may happen.
Write to Get What You Want
A motivation letter is a letter written to persuade someone that you are the best fit or the best person for this job or organization. For professional help in cover letter or motivational letter writing, this course right here will provide you with all the necessary tools that you need to know to get the job or position you want.