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How to write a Motivation letter

The Cover Letter (CL) is the document that accompanies your CV when you are applying
for a job. For academic purposes, the document used is typically called statement of
purpose, and is laid out after somewhat different rules. The CL is short (200-250 words),
with a quite rigid structure and has the layout of a letter. Its goal is to introduce the CV,
to bring to attention aspects of your activity that can help your application and are not
listed or not presented in the proper light in the CV. In short, its goal is to answer the
recruiter's question: "Why should I hire this person?".
Layout. The layout is that of a formal business letter: your address and contact details
come under your name, in the upper right corner of the page. Underneath, aligned left,
write the name, function, organisation and address of the person you are writing to. It is a
lot better to know the name of the person who is going to read your letter. You should
address the letter directly to him or her. In the case you do not know the name, an email,
a little digging in the net or a phone call should help you get that name, in case it is not
mentioned in the official announcement. Under the receiver's address, but aligned right,
write the date of the day when you are writing the letter. You should spell the name of the
month and use four digits for the year. You can put in front of the date the location, like
Sofia, 2nd December 2000.
If you do know the name of the addressee, start with Dear Mr (Mister), Ms (Miss), Mrs
(Mistress), Dr (Doctor), without the full stop that you might expect to follow the
abbreviation, and the surname of the addressee, followed by comma (Dear Dr Smith,). In
this case, you should end the letter with the salutation Yours sincerely. If you do not
know the name, start with Dear Sirs, or Dear Sir or Madam and close with Yours
faithfully. In American business correspondence, Yours truly is acceptable in both cases.
Do not start the body of the mail with a capital letter, since it follows a comma.
Structure. Ideally, a cover letter has no more than four paragraphs. The goal of the first is
to specify what you are applying for and how did you find out about that opportunity.
The last one outlines your availability for an interview, suggesting in this way a concrete
follow-up for your application.
The second paragraph should list your skills and qualifications that make you the right
person for the position you are applying for. Read carefully the announcement, identify
the requirements and see how your skills match those required. Do not simply state you
have them, prove it. Ideally, you should start from your experience and show how you
have developed those qualifications by doing what you have been doing/learning. Same
as in the case of your CV, the result should portrait you as an independent, creative
person that can take initiative and deal with responsibilities, apart from the specific skills
needed for the job. In short, the second paragraph should show why you are good for the
job.
The third should point out why you want it. You should outline your interest for the skills
you are going to learn if you get the job. The impression left should be that you can make
a genuine contribution to the company's operations, while simultaneously deriving
satisfaction from your work.
After the fourth paragraph leave a blank space, 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 and to sign the
letter in that space.
Enclosure. It is customary for formal letters to mention whether you have enclosed any
documents accompanying the letter. Simply mention enclosure, or write curriculum vitae
under the heading enclosure at the end of the letter.
Print the letter on A4 white paper same as that on which your CV was printed, and put
both documents in an A4 envelope of matching color. If you are emailing it request a
notification that your documents have been received. Wait at least two weeks since the
day you sent your application or after the deadline before writing again in the case you
did not get any answer.

Write a Cover Letter

WHAT SHOULD YOUR COVER LETTER DO FOR YOU?


It should answer the question - Why should I hire you? It should grab the employers
attention and point out why you, above all other applicants, should be contacted for a
personal interview.
YOUR ADDRESS (Do not put your name here)
TODAY'S DATE
Mr./Ms. EMPLOYER'S NAME (If you don't have one, get one!)
TITLE
COMPANY'S NAME
ADDRESS
DEAR Mr./Ms. EMPLOYER:
FIRST PARAGRAPH: This is the "why I'm writing to you" paragraph which
immediately tells the employer the position you want to be considered for. This is short -
usually 2-3 sentences. Points to cover:
Why you are writing and which position you are applying for.
How you heard about the position is irrelevant unless it is a mutual contact or recruiting
program. Do not write, "I learned of this opportunity through the Career Services Office."
Show from your research why you are interested in this position or organization. The
goal is to make a connection - do this Briefly and Specifically or leave it out; sweeping
statements will not work.

SECOND PARAGRAPH: This is the "why I'm qualified" paragraph. Highlight some of
your most relevant experiences and qualities as they relate to the position for which you
are applying. Choose 2 - 3 points you want to make about Specific
experiences/accomplishments or about general qualities you have exhibited, and provide
Specific examples to support those points. This paragraph will change according to the
job/employer for which you are applying. This is usually the longest paragraph of the
letter. You may break this paragraph into two if it looks too lengthy or if your points
work best in separate paragraphs. Points to ponder:
The first sentence should be a hard-hitting opener. It is a quick introduction, which is
accomplishment-oriented and directed at the skills and qualifications needed for the
job/industry.
The body of the paragraph should provide evidence to back up what you've just claimed.
Cite specific jobs/internships/activities/projects and accomplishments associated with
those experiences. Use your resume to come up with some specifics, but NEVER
reiterate passages from your resume word for word. Discuss why what you did is to the
employer- relate the facts to the job. Strong examples are important!
The final sentence is a summary of what you've discussed above. It's a good idea to
mention the position title and company name to bring the reader back to the specific job
in question.

FINAL PARAGRAPH: This is a short 2-4 sentences paragraph. You should refer to the
enclosed resume, request an interview and let the reader know what will happen next
(Contact them within specific period of time unless it is a recruiting program). It is vital
that you thank the reader for his/her time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Your Signature
Your Name

Enclosure(s)

Tips to Make Your Letter Professional

Research the company and the specifics about the position so you can tailor your letter to
the needs of the organization.

Avoid using too many sentences that start with "I" or writing in the passive voice (ex.
"This experience enabled me to..." or "Through my internship, I was responsible for...");
instead, make yourself the subject of each sentence and use active descriptions (ex., "In
this internship, I demonstrated sound judgment and problem-solving skills on a daily
basis.").
Do not use contractions (I'd, didn't, it's).
Spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes are out of the question! Cover letters are a
reflection of your writing skills, so make each cover letter an example of your best work.
Be sure to sign your letters. (Black ink is suggested)
Keep your letter short and simple. This is not the time to tell your whole life's story.
Have a Career Specialist review your cover letters during drop-in hours: Monday-Friday
1:30 – 4:30 and Wednesday 8:30am – 11:30am OR you can make an appointment
anytime.
Use good quality paper that matches your resume paper and envelopes.
Sample Cover Letters

Elicia Delombard
286 North 75th St. – Apt 5L
New York, NY 10021
212-555-9988

March 21, 1998


Mr. Ralph Cantor
Executive Vice President
Republican Young, Inc.
321 Marzio Rd.
Mohaonk, NY 12561

Dear Mr. Cantor:


I would like to be considered for the Legal Assistant position offered at White, Case &
Bothalemule. I learned of this opportunity through the New York Recruiting Consortium
at Trinity College.
My high level of concentration and excellent organizational skills have helped me
achieve a strong academic record at Trinity College which reflects my diligence and
commitment to success. Rigorous liberal arts courses and a concentration in psychology
have provided me with a first rate writing ability as well as sharp analytical, problem-
solving and research skills. In my International Politics and Clinical Psychology courses,
I have written papers involving in-depth research and analysis in order to prove a specific
thesis. I have also developed research skills in a different capacity by compiling and
analyzing data in a Research Design and Analysis class. In addition, my studying in
England and France as well as taking French and Spanish classes, has greatly expanded
my knowledge of different cultures and languages. My language proficiency will be an
asset to a law firm with global interests.
Through challenging leadership positions, I have developed a strong sense of
responsibility, effective interpersonal skills and the ability to contribute to teamwork,
even in high-pressure environments. As a Resident Assistant, I successfully resolved
conflicts among residents, planned social and educational programs while serving as a
positive role model for my peers. With my background in liberal arts, business and
leadership, I am confident that I can make a profound contribution to White, Case and
Bothalemule.
Enclosed is my resume for your review. I am enthusiastic about the position and look
forward to meeting with you at the Consortium in January. Thank you for your time and
consideration.

Sincerely,
Elicia Delombard

Enclosure
Sample Cover Letters

300 Summit St.


Hartford, CT 06106-3100
August 17, 1998

Ms. Arianna Rikic


Director of Recruiting
Eastern Arbor
225 East 72nd Street
New York, NY 10098

Dear Ms. Rikic:


Laura Flannigan suggested I contact you concerning the Marketing position available at
Eastern Arbor. I am inspired to pursue my marketing interests at Eastern Arbor due to its
reputation as a prestigious, innovative and growing company in liability policies.
My diverse and intense academic, professional, and leadership experiences would make
me a valuable asset to Eastern PG Arbor. Currently, as a professional Student Admissions
Associate, I assist in promoting Trinity College to prospective students and parents. I am
responsible for interviewing and evaluating students as well as leading group information
sessions. Since I work with people every day in a business setting, I have developed
strong interpersonal and communication skills.
My leadership experience, particularly with the President’s Special Council on Women,
is another example of my strong sense of responsibility and motivation. As a council
member concerned with the rights of women, I have brought fierce new ideas onto the
agenda, such as bringing student leaders together to discuss how to create a more active
community at Trinity. As a result of this idea, the council along with other student leaders
has begun planning a leadership forum for next semester. In all of my business
experiences, my motivation and energy has ignited me to work hard and accomplish
goals.
My resume and transcript are enclosed for your evaluation. I will contact you on the week
of Augustl 30th to schedule a time in which I may further discuss my qualifications for
the Marketing position. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Marty E. Spruce

Enclosures
Cover Letter Format Guidelines:

Your Street Address


City, State Zip Code
Telephone Number
Email Address Month, Day, Year
Mr./Ms./Dr. Name
Title
Name of Organization
Street or P. O. Box Address
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr.:
Opening paragraph: State why you are writing; how you learned of the organization or
position, and basic information about yourself.
2nd paragraph: Tell why you are interested in the employer or type of work the employer
does (Simply stating that you are interested does not tell why, and can sound like a form
letter). Demonstrate that you know enough about the employer or position to relate your
background to the employer or position. Mention specific qualifications which make you
a good fit for the employer’s needs. This is an opportunity to explain in more detail
relevant items in your resume. Refer to the fact that your resume is enclosed. Mention
other enclosures if such are required to apply for a position.
3rd paragraph: Indicate that you would like the opportunity to interview for a position or
to talk with the employer to learn more about their opportunities or hiring plans. State
what you will do to follow up, such as telephone the employer within two weeks. If you
will be in the employer’s location and could offer to schedule a visit, indicate when. State
that you would be glad to provide the employer with any additional information needed.
Thank the employer for her/his consideration.
Sincerely,
(Your handwritten signature)
Your name typed
Enclosure(s) (refers to resume, etc.)
(Note: the contents of your letter might best be arranged into four paragraphs. Consider
what you need to say and use good writing style. See the following examples for
variations in organization and layout.)
Covering letter sample

Name and Adress


e-mail adress
date

Dear Mr/Ms,

I am writing in response to the vacancy for project manager advertised in today's edition
of the Coventry Herald. I have recently completed a BA in History at the University of
Warwick, and am keen to enter the world of heritage management.

I would welcome the opportunity to utilise the knowledge and experience I have gained
from my formal studies and through my responsibilities for the university history society.
My work experience over the past few summers at The Georgian House and Whithorn
Priory Visitor Centre has reaffirmed my interest in this field of work and helped me to
develop an ability to communicate historical knowledge with enthusiasm.

During the last four years at university I have planned and managed my time to achieve a
good balance between my studies and maintaining other interests. A four-day course on
project management held by my department, enabled me to develop my leadership skills
and increased my awareness of the dynamics of small and medium-sized businesses.

A year abroad, and my extensive travelling experiences, have offered me opportunities to


adapt to new environments. I have learned how important it is to be flexible and make
use of my own resources.
I am available for interview at any time in the coming weeks, and am available for work
from the end of June. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,