How to write a motivational letter



How to write a motivational letter

Most applications will ask you for a motivational letter. It is the most important part; however, many leave it till the last minute because it takes the longest to complete and can be daunting. Hopefully, this will make it a little easier for you to write.

Despite the name being self-explanatory, writing it can be confusing when deciding what you should include and what you should leave out of your motivational letter. Generally speaking, you should describe what your motivations are for applying. To do this, your motivational letter should introduce you to the selection committee and explain to them what characteristics you have that make you the ideal candidate. This is your chance to sell yourself. 

Some questions to get you started with writing are:
•    Why have you chosen to apply to this programme?
•    Why does your background make you a suitable candidate?
•    How will this programme help you to achieve your goals?

Q: Why have you chosen to apply to this programme?
First, you should highlight in your opening paragraph what you are applying for.
You could do this by answering the question above using an anecdote. 
For example, “My inspiration to study medicine came in 2005, when I witnessed the 
poor medical attention my father received after a sports injury.”
There may also be other things that were influential in your decision to apply. This should also be included in your opening.
You could continue the paragraph by saying, “Shortly after that, in 2007, I became acquainted with a 5-year-old girl in need of open-heart surgery. Having a love for helping people, I organized fundraisers to assist with the costs of her medical treatment.”

Next, you want to write your body. In the body, you should answer the next question, 
Q: Why does your background make you a suitable candidate?
Here, you should include any relevant experiences that qualify you and support your application. 
For example, “Choosing to study here has only enhanced my organization and time management skills, as I have had to balance between class, study time, relaxation, and being an International Student Ambassador of the University.”
You should also include any volunteering or work experiences. Additionally, you may want to talk about any other relatable extracurricular activities you participated in. Be sure to mention how these impacted you and describe what skills you learnt or were able to develop. I would recommend you keep this in chronological order to make it easier for the reader to follow along.

To finish, you want to have a paragraph that answers the final question,
Q: How will this programme help you to achieve your goals?
To answer this, you should mention in a few sentences describing what you hope to gain from the programme. If it’s for a university application, maybe you want to achieve a degree in your chosen career field. Or if it’s for an internship perhaps you would like some work experience in your chosen field of study.
A sample paragraph could be, “It is my dream to practice medicine as a doctor in the Cayman Islands and my participation in this internship will provide the practical training necessary for the next phase of my journey. I truly hope that with my commitment and aspirations to become a medical doctor, the selection committee finds that I am a good fit for the internship at...”

Now, you are all done writing. Make sure to read over your work, sometimes doing this out loud is best, and have a parent or friend read it over to help you catch any spelling or grammatical errors you may have missed. Once you’ve done that you are all set and all you have to do is submit your application!

Good luck writing your motivation letter!

Written by Amber Martinez
International Student Ambassador from Cayman Islands
General Medicine
University of Pécs, Medical School​
Study in Pécs, Hungary - Cayman Islands