HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER FOR UNIVERSITY ADMISSION APPLICATION PART I

A letter of motivation/motivation letter for masters is often required for getting admission to institutions of higher learning. This post will be your go-to guide to cover letter writing and will provide you with a sample cover letter.

A cover letter is also called a “letter of motivation”, a “statement of purpose” and a “motivation letter”.

ATTENTION

Before we proceed on informing you about the best way to write a motivation letter it must be noted that a lot of information is available on internet about this topic and you can find a lot of sample motivation letters very easily by typing “how to write a statement of purpose” in Google search bar.

Application committees recognize the content of these sample cover letters and can identify the plagiarized content very easily.

Our advice would be to use the examples given in this article as inspiration, but not to copy the content word for word.

BASIC GUIDELINES FOR WRITING A LETTER OF MOTIVATION

  • The letter of motivation for a bachelors or masters application should be longer than a typical cover letter for an internship/job application.

  • If the university does not provide detailed specifications, 500 words are good enough.

  • More than 500 words are also acceptable, but you should not use more than 750 words.

  • Your cover letter should not exceed 2 pages.

  • Be aware that admission committee members often read hundreds of resumes/letters: An applicant who is exaggerating his credentials or qualifications is caught immediately which gives a a very bad impression and usually leads to their application being rejected.

  • Use standard fonts such as Arial, Helvetica or Calibri. If you prefer Garamond, that could also be a good choice. Try to avoid Times New Roman.

  • Font size: 10 or 11 is fine. 12 can be a little too big.

  • Make short paragraphs. A paragraph in the cover letter should be a maximum of 7 lines long.

  • Leave a blank line between paragraphs.

ALWAYS PROOFREAD YOUR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Always proofread the motivation letter for spelling mistakes. This sounds obvious, but many applicants just forget or simply ignore to do it: Approximately every fourth Masters application contains so many spelling errors that it is rejected right away by the admission committee.

Especially in academia spelling mistakes and typos are perceived as a sign of laziness and lack of intellectual ability. Therefore we advise you to give your cover letter a thorough proofreading once you have finished writing it.

Word of advice: Many colleges provide detailed information about how long your letter of motivation should be and what type of information you should put in there. Be sure to adhere to these official guidelines – the information provided here is only a general purpose guideline.

Next Part: Specific cover letter guidelines for undergraduate and graduate program applications

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