Tips for writing a solid motivation letter

Tips for writing a solid motivation letter

When applying for a new job, you are often asked to write a motivation letter. In this guide, we will take you step by step through the process of writing a motivation letter so that you can make a good first impression. It also includes multiple ready-to-use examples that you can copy. We provide you with all the information you need to write a good letter that will make you stand out for your potential internship or entry-level position.

So, what is a motivation letter exactly? That's probably the first question you ask yourself before you start writing. In essence, a motivation letter is a complementary document to your CV that provides additional information about your skills and work experience. Employers use a motivation letter for screening to determine who they should invite for an interview. A well-thought-out letter shows your effort in applying to the person who evaluates all applications. A motivation letter specifically describes why you would be a good match for the job or internship you are applying for. It also includes references to previous experiences or qualities you possess.

Who should you address the motivation letter to?

Your application letter has a better chance of reaching the right person if you address it to the appropriate individual. However, many internships, entry-level positions, or other vacancies do not specify a contact person. If it's not provided, you might wonder who you should address the letter to. The easiest way is to try to find out the person's name and if LinkedIn doesn't help, try checking the company's website. You can often find out if someone is responsible for receiving and handling applications (search for HR or recruitment).

Standard structure of a motivation letter

A motivation letter always begins with the same information, regardless of who the recipient is. Place your name and contact details at the top of the letter or in the top left corner of the page. Then, add a blank line and include the company's information you are writing to (more about this later). After that, add another blank line and include the place and date.

Couldn't determine who to address the motivation letter to? Use a general title. For instance, address the letter to Human Resources or the head of the department where you want to work. This still sounds professional. Make sure to include the company's address as well. If you're sending an unsolicited application or genuinely have no idea who to address the letter to, there's always that one trick: "To whom it may concern" (salutation), or "To the concerned party." We must mention that opinions on this matter vary because you could also simply use "Dear Sir/Madam." However, given the current gender discussion, we recommend being a bit cautious about it.


Your motivation letter should look like a business letter: one A4 page, relatively short. There is an exception: if asked for a list of personal information or a detailed list of skills. Sometimes, the selection is based on whether the applicant possesses all those skills in their brief letter. This often occurs when there's no other way to apply. In that case, your letter can be longer. However, even then, you should always remain concise and relevant.

1. Introduction

Introduce yourself! This is crucial. The recruiter or employer should understand who you are after reading the opening. In your introduction, explain why you are interested in working at this company as an intern or starter. If you're responding to a job posting on, mention where you saw the vacancy. This makes it clear to the recruiter or employer why they're reading your motivation letter. So, think carefully about how you would introduce yourself. You can mention your field of study or the university you attend.

2. Why this job?

Utilize your research in your letter, especially what you've learned about the company. For example, mention where you met employees at an event or talk about their company profile that you saw on This shows that you're engaged and have looked beyond just their corporate website. Lastly, be specific about the position you want and why that particular position appeals to you. Strengthen your story with examples, preferably from past experiences. You can also link it to your career plans or interests in that specific sector.

3. Why you?

State in your motivation letter why you are the perfect candidate for the vacancy. Discuss your background and highlight important points. This way, you build a strong narrative and avoid repeating the same sentences as in your CV.

Even if you think this position is a bit of a stretch, your goal is still to convince the recruiter or employer that you're the best candidate. Therefore, focus on what you've achieved (academic accomplishments, education, work experience). Explain what you've learned and how it applies to the position you're applying for. Explicitly mention why you think you're the suitable candidate for the job requirements. Support all your statements by referencing examples already mentioned in your CV.

4. Conclusion

Concluding your letter is just as important. Reiterate a few key points and express your desire to work with the organization. You can then write something like "I look forward to hearing from you" or "Awaiting your response." End your letter with "Yours sincerely" or "Kind regards."

What is the difference between a motivation letter and a job application letter?

The difference between these two is a tricky matter. In a motivation letter, as the name suggests, the emphasis is on your motivation for a specific position or company. In a job application letter, information mainly focuses on your CV. Besides writing a motivation letter, curious about how to write a job application letter? Then read the complete guide.

What should I mention or avoid in my job application letter?

When writing a job application letter, there are several essential things to mention. Additionally, there are various aspects that are not relevant and therefore not necessary to mention. Curious about what these things are? Read the blog about pitfalls and tips for writing a job application letter.


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