Motivation letter structure – or how to structure good motivation letter?

As most of you already know motivation letter structure should be in line with formal business letter, implying that you should use proper address format, salutation and formal language. Even though motivation letter is more personal type of the letter than cover letter for example structure should remain formal.

0) Let’s start first with addressing. There are several rules for proper addressing.  When you know the name of the person who is going to read your letter, you should address the letter directly to him/her.

motivation letter

1) Salutation.

If you do know the name of the admission officer or recruiter, start with Dear Mr / Ms / Mrs / Dr, depending on the gender / title of the person, without the full stop that you might expect to follow the abbreviation, and the surname of this person, followed by comma (Dear Dr Sanchez,). In this case, you should end the letter with the salutation Yours sincerely.

If you not aware of the person that is going to read your motivation letter:  start with Dear Sirs, or Dear Sir or Madam and close with Yours faithfully.

Following Addressing and salutation, body (main part of motivation letter) should contain preferably 4 paragraphs. This is an average, while you should not go below three paragraphs to maintain proper motivation letter structure.

2) First paragraph.

The objective of this paragraph is to specify the position you are applying for and how did you heard about position/vacancy/program.

3) The second paragraph

should list your qualifications. Read carefully the Call, identify the requirements and see how your professional profile matches. Use examples to prove that you possess skills and other knowledge needed for the position. In the best case, you should start from your experience and show how you have developed those qualifications by doing what you have been doing or studying. Same as in the case of your resume, the result should portrait you as a creative, independent person with initiative and ability to deal with responsibilities, apart from the specific skills needed for the job. Briefly, the second paragraph should show why you are good for the job.

4) The third paragraph

is intended to demonstrate why you want this job. You should state your interest for the skills you are going to learn if you get the job. Moreover, you should leave the impression that you can make a contribution to the business/faculty, while simultaneously deriving satisfaction from your work.

5) The last – fourth paragraph

indicates your availability for an interview, suggesting in this way a concrete follow-up for your application.

After last paragraph leave a blank line, same as you should do in the beginning, after the salutation (Dear). Write the proper closing, as described above and your name. Do not forget to leave a blank space between the closing and your name personal signature.

Last, but not least before submitting the letter, make sure to check that your letter does not contain errors or typos. Also make sure you have listed all the attachments and that you have enclosed all the documents being required with the Call.

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