Motivation Letter (also called Cover Letter) is an important part of many university admission procedures. It’s meant to show your level of motivation, your writing skills and even your personality a little- all these to help admission officers decide if your motivations are pure and strong and you’d indeed be a good fit for the university. Let’s see the most imporant parts of a Motivation Letter.
This is how you start
- First, write your name and contact details to the top of the page, so universities can get in touch with you easily
- Decide on the structure. Most motivation letters have 3 parts: Introduction, Body and Conclusion. Decide what to write where.
- Greeting: If possible, use the name of a specific person (e.g. admission officer, Head of Department, etc.) If that’s not possible, use the name of the University or the Faculty. For example: “Dear Óbuda University, Kandó Kálmán Faculty of Electrical Engineering” or maybe: “Dear Budapest International College Admission Office”
- Introduction: Include some persional information, include where you are applying and WHY you are applying too.
- Body: Write your motivations and achievements & the story behind them. Try to be as factual as possible (don’t only use big and meaningless words, try to also give some proof for example “I won the Physics competition of my high school two years in a row.”, “I had a GPA of 5 and I also participated in a STEM summer school organized by our government in 2021.”)
- Conclusion: Conclude your thoughts, mention your future goals and dreams and thank the reader
- 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 __________.
Don’t make these mistakes!
- Don’t write another university / study program name to your letter! – This is so awkward. Seeing someone applying to Budapest International College addressing a Motivation Letter to the University of Paris. Ouch! This a miserable mistake. It’ll immediately show that you are lazy and motivated enough- even to change the name of the institution in your Motivation Letter. There is a big chance that you won’t be accepted after such a mistake. Respect the institution you are applying to, and use their names (correctly) in your Motivation Letter.
- Don’t just repeat your CV! Describing your skills is important, but don’t just repeat your CV completely. Also write about your personal motivations, experiences, dreams and so on.
- Don’t stop after 3 sentences! This letter should show how motivated you are. If you cannot even write half a page, it shows that you are not motivated enough.
- Don’t use bad grammar. If your English is uncertain, ask a friend to help you correct your letter. The quality of the language of your letter is such a big indicator. Poor language just shows poor motivation.
- No experiences? No problem! You might be thinking “What can I write about in my letter, I’m only 18!” Well, whether you are 18 or 80, you can have hopes, dreams and motivations. You can have achievements and skills. Just try to collect all your advantages and don’t be shy to boast a little.
- Don’t be afraid to show some personality (not attitude though!). Want to use a little humor or emotional personal story? Sure thing! Don’t be afraid to show a part of your personality, as long as it’s professional, admission officers will appreciate originality.
Let’s see a short example (made by a Microsoft Word Template):