How to Write a Motivation Letter | Easy Guide

Easy guide on how to write a Motivation Letter. What most people don’t understand is; a well-written and technically structured resume or curriculum vitae only gives you a 50% chance of getting that course of study, internship, scholarship, or volunteer job you applied for. I know no one has ever told you that.

Attached to a CV is a requirement known as a motivation letter. This requirement in addition to your CV gives you a 90% chance of getting that scholarship you desire.

In this article, we have carefully put together the necessary information you need to prepare a top-notch and eye-catchy motivation letter that will make your employer call you for an interview at one glance and subsequently employ you.

It’s that powerful!!!

As you continue reading, you will discover what a motivation letter is, the uses of the motivation letter, and most importantly how to write a motivation letter that will land you a scholarship, volunteer job, or nonprofit job.

This might be the reason why you’ve not gotten that scholarship or volunteer job yet, if you desire to get on the journey to land your dream scholarship, let’s get started.

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What Is A Motivation Letter?

How to write a motivation letter
A Motivation Letter Sample

A motivation letter is a one-page piece of writing attached to a resumè or CV describing why you’re the best candidate for the job, scholarship, or internship you just applied for. A motivation letter summarises your strengths and strong suit with respect to the job you applied for.

It goes beyond saying “Hey manager, I’m the best guy for this job, employ me”. If you write that as your motivation letter guess what you would get? A pretty smile from the manager or HR.

It’s usually pretty difficult to put down your strengths on paper, but as you read on, you will discover that it’s achievable in a matter of minutes.

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Does A Motivation Letter Matter?

You might be wondering, “My CV says it all, does a motivation letter really matter? ” If a motivation letter doesn’t matter then it wouldn’t be a requirement.

Think of a motivation letter as a powerful closing sales pitch you need to seal the deal, most employers read that first before venturing into your resumè.


“If a motivation letter is really that important how do I get started? How do I write my motivation letter?”

At we got that covered for you, keep reading to discover how you get yours ready in a few minutes.

What is Motivation Letter for Jobs Used for?

A motivation letter for a job application can be used to do things like

Explain Gaps in Your Work History – Maybe you took time off to take care of a sick relative or to hike across the Himalayas or just to find yourself. Any of these things could show up in a job application as something to avoid but a good motivation letter and explanation can actually make these strengths. They can make great stories and have great discussions in an interview. They can also make a recruiter or hiring manager curious to hear more.
Explain Why You Are Changing Careers – If you have been down one career path and are now exploring another, this is something you might need or want to explain more.
Describe Your Career Objectives – Showing your drive and ambition can be very exciting for a recruiter or hiring manager.
Highlight Personal and Professional Achievements – A great motivation letter can be a good opportunity to talk about accomplishments that can help you be a better candidate or that explain you as a person and your goals.

Don’t forget to watch this video

Is A Motivation Letter The Same As A Cover Letter?

No, a motivation letter is not the same as a cover letter. Most people get to misunderstand a motivation letter for a cover letter, a motivation letter is used when applying for a scholarship, volunteer job, internship, or non-profit job whereas a cover letter is attached to the CV when applying for a paid job.

Know when to use either of the two!!!

What is the Motivation Letter for Scholarship /Bursary Format?

A motivation letter for a bursary or scholarship should include your academic achievements.

It should explain: Why are you the ideal candidate? How do your skills and abilities contribute to the university or country? You should show the desire that you want to learn and contribute new knowledge.

motivation letter for scholarship format must include the following 7 elements:

  • Your name and contact details (best way to contact you)
  • The name of the company or university to which you are applying and its address
  • The date
  • Dear Sir / Madam (Directly to the person/manager/ hiring manager if known)
  • The body of the paper
  • Acknowledgment and dismissal
  • Signature (Handwritten)

Tips for Writing a Motivation Letter

Following these tips can help make your motivation letters stand out and convince decision-makers to consider your application further.

Follow any guidelines. Follow any formatting, length and content guidelines provided by your prospective school or non-profit organization. If the organization does not provide any details, write approximately 1/2 to one page of text with a basic 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
Write with personality. Your interests, feelings and perspectives are unique, so writing about them is a good way to separate your letter from others. Write in a natural voice that reflects how you would speak to your recipient if they were in a room with you. Include interesting details that help your motivation letter stand out from others. Humor can be misinterpreted, so opt for a more serious tone.
Use accessible language. Accessible language that readers can easily understand is best for motivation letters. Identify any unnecessarily complex terms or jargon when you are proofreading and replace them with simpler words. Write short, active sentences that cannot be misinterpreted.
Focus on your strengths. Write about your personal strengths, rather than your challenges or limitations. Writing about your strengths helps the recipients of your motivation letters understand your value to their organization and keeps your letter’s tone positive.

How to Write A Motivation Letter for Bursary, Scholarship or Job Application

To write a motivation letter for your scholarship, bursary, job, internship, you must first write out the outline which will give you an overview of the whole structure. Write an introduction, expand your outline and so many other ways to write a motivation letter for a bursary are found in this article.

Writing a motivation letter can be nerve-racking, technical, strategic and takes quite some time.

So when writing your motivation letter, make sure you methodically work through the steps we provided below to make yours the best possible. Here is a tip you should have in mind “You’re not the only one applying for that scholarship, if there is a best get it”

To write a topnotch motivation letter, follow these steps

#1 Determine the Job Expectations

Any job description should have a list of the requirements for the job. Go through these and write them down in the upper left quadrant of your paper. We aren’t going to stop there.

When you read through the list of job duties, are there any other requirements or suggestions included? Write these down as well.

Lastly, go onto LinkedIn or just search the internet for people with similar positions at this or other companies. Look through their background and write down any education, job experiences, or other traits that you find common to them.

You now have a list of things that a hiring manager may be looking for.

#2 Which Traits Do You Have?

In the upper right-hand block, write down in a few words how you meet any of the requirements. These could be personality traits, education, job experience, or even personal or volunteer experiences.

Review your CV and look for accomplishments, projects, responsibilities, or other activities in your background that can help show that you are the right person for the job, scholarship, or bursary.  You want to make as long a list as possible.

In the bottom left, write down why you want this job and what you hope to achieve from it.

Lastly, in the bottom right, write down any additional things that you might need to include in your letter. These could be volunteer activities, missing work history, great experience, life goals just as some examples.

#3 Write an Outline

An outline gives an overview of what you are about to write. It should take into consideration why you want to study the course or volunteer with the program, your skills or qualities that will benefit the school or non-profit, why you are interested in the school or non-profit organization. Include all relevant details.

Cross-reference your outline with information from the school or non-profit organization to show you have the qualities and qualifications they are looking for. Assess your format and structure and determine whether moving points around would create a more logical flow.

#4 Write an Introduction

Write an introduction that introduces yourself to the recipient. When writing the introduction, get personal, address your recipient by name. Your introduction should capture your recipient’s attention and encourage them to read on, so include details about your achievements in this section.

#5 Expand Your Outline to Make a Body

Expand the points in your outline to form your motivation letter’s body. Take a new paragraph for every new topic. Remember, your motivation letter aims to convince your recipient of your value, so use compelling facts to be persuasive.

#6 Conclude Your Motivation Letter

In your conclusion, summarize your goal and leave a positive final impression. You should also thank your recipient for considering your application and encourage them to contact you if they have any questions. This call to action gives them a thought of reaching out to you, don’t miss that.

#7 Proofread Your Motivation Letter

Be sure to proofread your work as no HR has the time to read jargon. Make it more concise and professional. Correct any spelling and grammatical errors and awkward phrasing. Edit information already listed in your application form or resume to ensure your motivation letter contains only unique information. Proofread again and again to get the best work.

Consider these when writing a motivation letter

  • Do not lie
  • Show, don’t tell: Use experiences to show you could do this or have done this
  • Be specific
  • Be interesting
  • Get personal
  • Use accessible language
  • Focus on your strength

What NOT to Include When Writing a Motivation Letter For Scholarship, Job or Bursary

Your motivational letter for a scholarship, job, or bursary must be well written and not contain any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Use a professional tone and advanced phrasing (no familiar language). Give specific examples of your past, present, and future. Avoid vague generalizations. Indeterminacy indicates a lack of care or knowledge, which is not impressive for a scholarship or job review committee.

Why Do I need Motivation Letter for CSC Scholarship?

Letter of Motivation for the CSC Scholarship application helps you to convince a professor at a Chinese University to provide you with an acceptance letter. A motivation letter introduces you to the professor who may accept you to work in his laboratory. Therefore, it is necessary to write your motivation letter carefully and fill in all the necessary details in your Motivation Letter to impress the teacher.

For obvious reasons, a letter of motivation is recommended when applying for a CSC scholarship because it outlines your educational plan, objectives, and mission. Before you draft a motivation, you have to first secure admission into the university of you your choice. 

Motivation Letter for Undergraduate Scholarship

A motivation letter for an undergraduate scholarship can either support or ruin your application for University studies. A motivation letter for an undergraduate scholarship is required for every scholarship application and it should illustrate to the selection panel what distinguishes you from the other candidates and whether you are capable to complete the studies for which you will get financial aid.

Usually, the donors don’t have specific requirements when it comes to the layout of the motivation letter for undergraduate scholarship, which makes it even harder to compete with the other candidates. However, every good motivation letter for a scholarship should include:

Information about your educational achievements;
About your professional experience and endeavors;
Information about your financial situation and how this scholarship would benefit your studies/career.

Motivation Letter For Your Ph.D. Application

When you apply for a Ph.D., you will need to write not just a research proposal but also a letter of motivation. This letter describes why you wish to undertake a Ph.D. and why you would be well-suited to researching your proposed topic.

It should be mentioned that a European-style motivation letter focuses on your academic background, as opposed to the US-style personal statement which discusses your life experiences. A motivation letter should be professional and describe your previous research experience, without giving too much personal information.

Scholarship or Bursary Motivation Letter Template

Below is a sample motivation letter template. You can customize this template based on your circumstances:

Dear Mr/Ms. [recipient’s surname],

My name is [your name] and I am a [position/qualification/area of study]. I am writing to apply for a [Bursary/scholarship/volunteer opportunity/place] at [name of organization].

I would love to [study/volunteer] with you because [reasons for wanting to study course or volunteer]. I am especially interested in your [school/non-profit organization] because [reasons for choosing a particular organization].

I feel I would be an asset to your organization because I am [list of positive qualities]. I am also skilled in [list of positive skills] which I developed through [experiences or courses that taught you skills].

In conclusion, I hope to get the opportunity to [study/volunteer] with you at [name of organization]. Thank you for taking the time to review my application. Please contact me at [preferred contact details] if you have any questions for me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

This template provides space for the basic information your motivation letter requires. However, the best motivation letters have a personal touch. Customize this template by adding extra details and taking several sentences to explain your reasons for writing and personal assets. Personal anecdotes can help your motivation letter stand out.

Motivation Letter Examples

Here are some examples of motivation letters that could accompany university and volunteer job applications. You can use a motivation letter sample as a guide for your own letters by substituting your own details.

  • College application self-motivation letter sample
  • Scholarship application motivation letter example
  • Volunteer employment motivation letter example

College Application Self-Motivation Letter Sample

Dear Mr. Gabriel,

My name is Peter Henry, and I am a high school student at Seattle City High School with a keen interest in computer studies and visual art. I am writing to apply for the multimedia design and communication degree at Seattle University.

I hope to become a web designer, so I would like to learn more about multimedia design. I feel your course would help me understand the digital design process and the way websites and their visual imagery can help businesses present an image to consumers.

I love the way different colors and images can evoke emotions in viewers. I enjoy experimenting with the power of color and imagery and think I have a natural creative flair. I am confident that I will be able to apply this flair to new projects at your school and increase my design abilities with you.

I respect Seattle University’s reputation for academic and sporting excellence. I appreciate that yours is a school that encourages students to achieve their potential in the classroom and outside it. As a social person who has participated in several extracurricular activities, including the school band and softball team, I feel my diverse interests would make me a great fit for your school.

Studying at your school would help me develop my aptitude for design while having fun, whether it is on the sporting field or in another arena. I am open to whatever experiences life at Seattle University would bring me and hope I could achieve them through your multimedia design and communication degree. Thank you very much for considering my request. Please email me at if you have any questions about my application.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Henry

Scholarship application motivation letter example

To Mr. Bradman,

My name is Zoe Hooper, and I am writing to show my interest in a scholarship for your Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. I have a passion for helping people, and I hope my financial limitations will not hold me back in harnessing this passion in my career.

I grew up in a lower-class family with a single mother who worked three jobs to provide for my brothers and I. My mother taught me the value of hard work and the importance of taking care of others who cannot take care of themselves. She also stressed the importance of education to us, teaching us that it would help us access an easier life. Her encouragement along with my own determination helped me earn some of the best grades in my high school class.

As my mother worked long hours, I spent a lot of time caring for my youngest brother who has cerebral palsy. I feel the time I spent caring for him sparked interest in nursing. I learned to be compassionate and patient and was rewarded by his smiles. I hope to make my own patients smile in the face of their own health concerns in the future.

I feel my natural work ethic and drive to succeed would make me an asset to Los Angeles University. I know your school has an excellent nursing program, and feel it would give me the perfect environment to gain the degree I need to secure my dream job and give back to the community. Rest assured that I would make the most of the scholarship opportunity and make you and my mother proud.

I am very grateful for the time you have taken to consider my application and look forward to hearing from you soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions about my application.

Kind regards,

Zoe Hooper

Volunteer employment motivation letter example

Dear Ms. Carnaby,

My name is Tony Iyer, and I am a veterinary science student at Washington University. I am responding to the call for volunteers posted on the All Paws Animal Shelter website. This opportunity attracted me because I have a natural passion for animal welfare, which I am furthering in my studies.

I grew up around animals living on a farm in rural Wyoming. During this time, I was involved in many aspects of animal care, including training our dogs, grooming our horses and milking cows. I loved spending time with our animals and discovered how wonderful their companionship can be. I also learned the importance of the less-glamorous sides of animal care, including cleaning waste and pens to keep our creatures comfortable.

Through my veterinary science studies, I have learned even more about animal care, including how to diagnose and treat animal diseases and how to help animals give birth. I believe these skills, along with the experience I acquired on the farm, would be invaluable to you at All Paws Animal Shelter. I also believe I could learn a lot more to complement my schooling at your organization.

I am especially interested in working at All Paws Animal Shelter as you accept a diverse range of animals. I also appreciate your shelter’s no-kill policy and commitment to ongoing care for senior animals. These policies align with my own belief that all animals deserve the chance to live a long life and find a forever home, no matter how long that takes.

In conclusion, I feel I would be an asset to All Paws Animal Shelter and hope you will accept my application for volunteer work. Please contact me at if you have any questions about my application.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Iyer

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