Have you ever applied for admission into a programme in another country but didn’t get selected because they didn’t like your name?
Truthfully, it might have been because you failed to impress with your Letter of Motivation/Statement of Purpose
When applying to universities/courses in UK, US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and even Africa, applicants are usually required to submit a Letter of Motivation (sometimes also called Statement of Purpose or Personal Letter or Personal Essay). This Letter of Motivation plays a very important role in the selection process. Regrettably, they often fail to convince any member of a selection committee.
With very popular questions from readers, Afterschoolafrica breaks down what is involved in writing a Letter of Motivation and why it is key in gaining admission to schools abroad.
What is a Letter of Motivation?
A Motivation Letter is a full view into the passion and aspirations, hopes and achievements of a candidate, sent alongside other application documents to convince a selection committee that he/she is the best for the programme.
The Motivation Letter is not a test of your grandiloquence but to know if you are balanced in the head inspite of background or physical disabilities. The Letter of Motivation is one of the most important parts of your entire application. It plays a decisive role in determining if you will be accepted or not.
Your Letter is not about flattering your desired school or extolling your qualities to make yourself similar to a demigod. Your Personal Letter sells YOU in such a way that is very easy for your desired school or programme to see that you have natural (or make it natural) and very enviable qualities fitting for the school’s existing culture. For some graduate schools, The Motivation Letter is the single most important document.
How do I show Enthusiasm and Resolve in my Letter of Motivation?
This sub-heading says one thing about Letters of Motivation: Show. “Show, don’t tell” Keep this phrase in mind as you read the rest of this post, and as you write your own essay.
A good Letter of Motivation depends not only on WHAT you write, but HOW you write it.
For example, anyone can write “I am highly motivated…” This statement is known to be the most repeated in the history of Motivation Letters. It shows up so often that it (and whatever is written beside it) becomes meaningless to application review committees. And while it may be true about you, if you write it like that you are unlikely to be accepted. Imagine if they have to read 30,000 letters with that same statement.
Therefore, you need to consider carefully how you can express this statement so that you can SHOW you are motivated, rather than TELLING that you are.
My Grades are not excellent. How do I make sure I stand out through my Letter of Motivation?
In selection processes, there are two kinds of candidates that are eventually chosen for a programme:
The excellent candidate is ambitious and smart, often belonging to the top 10% of achievers in her grade level. The excellent candidate has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to take part and be an exceptional student in the programme. She is more intelligent, confident, and goal oriented.
If you are not an excellent candidate, try being the dazzling candidate.
The dazzling candidate on the other hand will almost effortlessly describe their interests, experiences, and motivation in a way that indicates larger amount of creativity and intellectual integrity that is missing from the excellent student’s application. The words and phrases they choose demonstrate imagination, originality and an instinctive ability to think outside the box. Simply put, their curiosity outshines their academic ability (this is very important as well).
The best way to be the dazzling candidate is very simple. Show, don’t tell. Show. This word holds all the weapons not only when it comes to writing Letters of Motivation, but for writing just about anything. Again, apply this word to everything you read in this post.
What should be in my Letter of Motivation?
Bear in mind that these are just pointers to assist you in scoring with your programme’s application assessment team. The points listed here are not arranged and NOT ALL OF THESE POINTS are required in your Motivation Letter.
Now that we have that out of the way, the Letter of Motivation should be written with the following outlines:
For a scholarship/internship/fellowship/grant Motivation Letter, explain why your academic performance and reasons for applying to that university make you a suitable beneficiary of the so-so Scholarship. If you have achievements that you think make you fitting for the scholarship/internship/fellowship/grant etc or interests and ideas, this would be a great starting point in the Letter.
Your Letter of Motivation may answer the following questions:
For programmes in Europe and rarely-been-to areas:
How do I write my Letter of Motivation?
This post was last modified on August 4, 2022 7:24 pm