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Motivation Letter: How do You Make the Right One?

What is a motivation letter?

Several universities across Europe, which offer a Masters degree to aspiring international students, request the applicants to send in several documents at the start of the admission procedure.

Some of these are the academic transcripts, language proficiency tests, CV and one of the most popular documents nowadays that can make or break your admission - a motivation letter.

A motivation letter is one in which you get the opportunity to give the admission faculty a chance to understand you better and know what shaped you into the individual that you have finally become. You give them some valuable and unique aspects of your personality that convince them that you are the right person for the course.

Why is it important?

Think about it, a motivation letter is an extremely important document in your admission process. Your marks and grades can be exact as a few other students, that is not a measure of your individuality. However, a well-written motivation letter can help you overcome this disadvantage. Think this letter through and spend enough time carving out a crisp and precise motivation letter, so that not only do you come across as a mature and focused individual, but also help the admissions team connect with you on a personal basis; not all of them might, but some may be reminded of a younger version of themselves that will draw them towards choosing you to be a student at the esteemed institution.

How to write a motivation letter?

Below is the basic structure of any motivation letter:

Some tips and tricks to writing a better motivation letter

What you should do:

What you should NOT do

Motivation letter vs Personal Statement

Several universities also ask for a personal statement along with other documents and transcripts. You must not confuse the two at all.

A personal statement is generally about your past and the experiences that have made you the person that you are. You get a chance to talk more about who you are and this is your chance to be more honest and open about yourself. While, just like in a motivation letter, you are expected to mention your plans and motivation, you cannot place too much emphasis on them in this document as it is more about you. This is also the more creative document among the two that allows you to get as creative as you want. However, don’t get carried away and make it sound too far-fetched.

When it comes to a motivation letter, you still do throw light on your past experiences, but this letter is more focused on your future goals and what you plan on doing with the degree that you are planning on getting.

You are explaining why you decided to opt for that specific course and why you should be chosen. While the personal statement is more introductory in nature, this document is more target oriented.

In both the motivation letter and personal statement you are expected to give more information about yourself; something that couldn’t fit into your CV. However, just like we mentioned above, the two are completely different documents and you should never substitute one for the other.

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