This is a guide. It will help you to ace your motivation letter the first time- yes, that is right! On the first attempt. Answering the questions honestly gives the opportunity of preparing a unique letter tailored to your specific strengths and outstanding qualities that will ensure your application gets a second look. With many writing tutors, the common advice is to write many times and some have advocated between twenty to thirty rewrites! Pheeew!! That is tough. Do you even have that time? So, answer these questions now and take the first step to your winning motivation letter.
* Be very specific while crafting your answers- no vagueness allowed!
* What can you say about yourself? Highlight any challenges you have overcome that show you as a resilient, self-motivated person.
* Why are you applying? What academic qualifications as well as character traits do you already have that makes you suitable for the position you are applying for? It is important to have a good knowledge of the school or organization (check websites and prospectus for information, meet or chat with alumni face to face or online if possible; find out details about current programmes and research focus of the Department you are applying to. It is acceptable practice to brag in this section… talk about leadership roles/offices held, awards, prizes and honours list you made in schoool.
* What are your future goals and/or career aspirations? How will your successful application help you to achieve these goals?
* What do you enjoy doing at your leisure? Highlight your extracurricular activities- even better if you are in clubs that have activities related to the course or position you are applying for.
* Read through your answers… Can a single experience you have had recently capture all the major points? If yes, tell us the story. Examples of this would be your experience as team lead in your local Amateur Astronomers club on a project that involved building a telescope from Scratch; A summer job as a library assistant in a Research Institute, Years of Waitressing experience/ babysitting experience etc. The glamour of the job or experience is not what matters but how you are able to highlight the skills you gained on the job/experience as being relevant to the position you are applying for (this is known as transferable skills).
With this guide you will not have to write 20 something attempts before you ace the motivation letter. Cheers.
Copyright- Abimbola Onaoluwa 2015