Similar to the cover letter, the letter of motivation is part of the application that is required by some companies or sponsorships. As the name implies, in your letter of motivation you describe in detail the reasons why you want to work for this company or why you consider yourself the right recipient of a scholarship. The requirements for writing are usually very open and less well defined, such as the CV. You can give yourself creative freedom in designing the writing and find your own way to answer the question of your motivation.

What is the difference between a letter of motivation and a cover letter when applying?

The motivation letter is a less integral part of an application, such as the cover letter. In most cases, applying for jobs only requires a cover letter, but some companies expect both motivation and cover letters. The biggest difference is certainly the design and the structure. While you always follow certain forms in the cover letter, the letter of motivation is completely freely designable. The task of writing is merely to make it clear to the employer why you are the right person for the job.

In terms of content, both differ significantly

For example, the cover letter mentions a lot of basic information about you and your application, while you write more about your strengths and personal traits in your motivation letter. For example, in a cover letter you describe how you became aware of the position and which degree you qualify. In the letter of motivation you have to deal more with what human qualities you expect. What unites them both is the description and presentation of your professional skills and knowledge, which you qualify for the respective job. In the letter of motivation, it is useful to combine personal with professional and academic knowledge. For example, you can justify your preference for teamwork.

What should be considered when writing motivation?

The important thing when writing a letter of motivation is, above all, that you correctly understand its purpose and, accordingly, write down your letter. Less in demand are lists of academic achievements or professional stations. Much more important here are creative statements on what distinguishes you from a professional point of view.

Describe in detail, but not too long, what distinguishes you from all other applicants and why you want to work for this company. The length of the letter should not be too long. After all, HR professionals do not have the time to read pages and pages about their person. It takes a short, to the point formulated statement to create your person. This is no easy task and should take some time!

In addition, you should make sure that the text does not sound analytical, but contains a personal touch. For this reason, certain companies require a letter of motivation in addition to or even in writing. They want to get an impression of the personality and not just a list of qualifications to decide.

The letter of motivation for the application to a university

In addition to applying for a job, the motivation letter also plays an important role in another context. A large number of universities require a letter of motivation as part of their application to a master’s program. Here, compared to applying for a job, you can assume that only the letter of motivation and no additional cover letter is needed.

The best tip for a letter of motivation is always to put yourself in the position of the university. What makes an applicant attractive for this university? Apply to a very science-oriented university with a focus on research. Focus more on your academic skills and experience by describing projects or referring to any scientific papers you have written and published. If the chosen college is more practical and does a lot for your relationships with the business community, this will be more important for the selection of applicants. You should focus on your practical skills and experience and talk about your future career.

Pay attention to the spelling and avoid typical mistakes

Something else you should pay attention to, especially if you apply to study at a university or to a sponsor for a scholarship, are the classic mistakes. Although a good spelling and grammar should be a matter of course, especially in the university environment, it is often too imprecise.

Not only are you annoyed about avoidable mistakes, but they are extremely important in an academic context. If you are applying for a job in a creative industry, a spelling mistake may not be so important if your motivation letter is very compelling. In a university, however, you disqualify yourself directly with a non-flawless spelling and grammar. The same applies to typical phrases or too many filler words.

Mention the most important

A typical example is the introduction of motivation letter. Many applicants highlight the fact that they are applying for the respective study or fellowship with this letter.

However, with the application itself, this is completely obvious and does not have to be mentioned again. If your letter lacks persuasiveness, the reader quickly loses the pleasure of reading and you leave the application in the early stages.

Your motivation counts

In the end, a letter of motivation only depends on one thing: your motivation. Would you like to work for this company or visit this particular university? If so, you will note this in your letter. But do not let yourself be confused by habits of writing applications or restricting their design.

The letter of motivation begins with the statement “Why I want to work in your company or study at your university”. Everything that follows is up to you! When spelling you should make an effort to follow the rules, in order not to annoy you because of trifles in the end.