Motivation Letter: What You Should Know

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A motivation letter is an introductory document that accompanies other application documents. In Kenya, motivation letters are usually requested by universities, non-governmental organizations, some startups and also some companies. Organizations that request for motivation letters are usually looking for something more than just qualifications in their candidates. They look for attributes like passion, sound ideologies, and a strong sense of purpose.

The difference between cover letters and motivation letters is that the latter are used when one is applying for something like a course in a university or college, internship or volunteering positions in non-governmental organizations and sometimes in entry-level jobs. The purpose of the motivation letter is mainly to persuade the organization that you are the best candidate to join them. In a motivation letter you need to explain why the specific activity, course, program, internship or volunteering opportunity interests you. Cover letters on the other hand,  are used when one is applying for a job.

You might be already familiar with a cover letter and how to write one, this article explores the motivation letter and advises on how to write one, just in case you ever need to, or know someone who does.

Tips When Writing a Motivation Letter

  • Make it personal – The recipients of motivation letter will not be amused if they feel your letter sounds copied or false. Make this letter as personal as possible. Make it sound like you are genuinely interested in the company, its goals and mission. For instance, someone applying for a management trainee position can say “I have always admired your company’s engagement with its surrounding community. I have visited some of the community outreach events and thoroughly enjoyed myself. (Give example).” This is an experience that brings out your genuine outlook of the company. On the same point, if you know the person to whom the motivation letter is addressed by name, use their name in the salutations. It creates better rapport for you.
  • Give honest and authentic examples – This goes without saying. Lying on your motivation letter beats the very logic of writing one. A motivation letter should showcase your interest in joining a particular organization and your personal inspiration behind it. Lying disqualifies it all. Never fabricate examples as your interviewer may decide to follow up, and you will keep lying to cover previously told fibs. In some organizations, lying during an interview is tantamount to gross misconduct and the penalty is summary dismissal once the lie is discovered, regardless of how far you had gone.
  • The power of positivity – There is no need writing a motivation letter that reeks of negativity and a gloomy attitude. Everyone is attracted to a positive aura, so make your motivation letter upbeat and buoyant. Let anyone reading it actually want to meet you. Talk about your relevant qualifications and skills and stick to the strengths that make you suitable for the positions. For instance, where you lack experience, don’t say ‘I lack experience but I am a fast learner.’ Instead, say ‘I look forward to applying the skills and knowledge I have to help move your organization to the next level as I learn and adapt for better efficiency.’
  • It’s about the company – Mention why you chose the particular company. Say something unique that attracted you to them. Conduct thorough research about the company and mention a few facts that stand out for you. This will appeal to the reader and they will be impressed by your knowledge of their operations.
  • General rules of writing – Ensure that you state your purpose for writing, your letter should be brief and to the point, your spelling and grammar should be double-checked and your language easy to understand.

Below is a short sample of a motivation letter for an internship position with a non-governmental organization.

 

Ann Mkenya,

P.O Box 2354,

Nairobi,

 

M/s Cecilia Mzalendo,

ABC Outreach for the blind,

P.O Box 344457,

Nairobi.

31st March 2016.

 

Dear M/s Mzalendo,

Ref: Application for an Internship Position In your Organization (Motivation Letter)

I would like to apply for a 6-month internship position in your esteemed organization starting in May 2016. I have a degree in Community Development and a certificate in project management. I was recently attached at World Vision for 3 months rotating within the projects, proposal writing and community outreach departments.

I have chosen your organization because the plight of visually-impaired members of the society is a cause close to my heart, since I have been brought up by a visually-impaired parent. I appreciate the work you have done, especially in the remote areas of Kenya. I would, therefore relish the opportunity to be part of a team that is responsible for positive and  tangible difference in the society.

My course and previous experience with non-governmental organizations have exposed me to the glaring needs in our society; and I would be grateful for a chance to learn more on managing projects and teams, writing proposals, creating and managing budgets and giving back to the society, among other intricacies of working in non-governmental organizations.

An internship with you is of great interest to me and I look forward to hear from you soon.

Please find attached my CV and academic credentials for your perusal and consideration.

Sincerely,

Ann Mkenya,

 

 

 

Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.
 

253 COMMENTS

        • Hi Dan,

          The best way to go in this case is honesty.
          In your CV, State that you were conducting self-development projects. Leaving an unexplained gap in the CV automatically raises eyebrows.
          During an interview, you can then expound and go into detail that you went into business. To make your explanation relevant, touch on the skills you have gained in your time away that will assist you in the position you are interviewing for. For instance, you can state skills like Bookkeeping, improved interpersonal skills, customer service, sales and marketing, brand promotion, etc.

          ^DM

  1. Your sample of a motivational letter is good. Thank you.
    please if possible give an example of a cover letter.

    • Hi Pesh,
      Thank you for your readership.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more inspiring career hints.

      ^TM

    • Hi Mercy,
      Thank you for the feedback.. much appreciated.
      We have much installed for you, just keep it here.

      ^TM

    • You’re welcome Calvin.
      We are glad we are of great benefit to you.
      Stay tuned for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

    • Hi Josephine,
      We are glad you are enlightened.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more informative articles.

      ^TM

  2. Hi BrighterMonday,
    I relish every effort that you make to brighten our job and opportunity hunting journies. This very letter is an eye opener
    I,however, as a teacher of Grammar Mechanics and Functional writing, wish to seek guidance from you in the field.
    I have always warned my students to completely refrain from writing the sender’s and recepient’s name in the address. Simply because, the sender’s name will appear at the valediction and the recipient’s name will be part of salutation.

    Kindly explain why your two addresses have the names of the interlocutors. Thanks.

    • Hi Benjamin,

      We are always glad to engage professionals in different sectors.
      We understand that human resource professionals are more than anything, human. So in the recent past we have conducted behavioral research on how CVs and cover letters are read and the best ways to catch their attention.
      In the cover letter, we realize that;

      1. People love it when you recognize their names, spell them right and call them out.
      2. People like it when their tittles are identified ( They have worked hard to get where they are 🙂 )
      3. Someone reading your letter would like to know your name right from the start. It sort of introduces the writer from the word go…

      This is why our cover letter looks as it does. If future research demands that we shake it up a little again, we will do so to remain relevant and stand out.
      We however would appreciate expert review from professionals like yourself. Kindly let us know if you agree or if there is something you would like to add or subtract.

      ^DM

  3. its a nice article .actually you are doing a great job to educate especially new job seekers.have moved from far with you guyz .thankz alot.

    • Hello Fredrick.
      Thank you for your feedback.
      We are glad to provide timely information to readers like you.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more tips, advice and career guidance.

      ^TM

  4. Very interesting and difference between cover and motivation letter comes out well how it’s explained with example. Peter

    • Hello Modi,
      Thanks for reading our article.
      Keep visiting our career center for more informative articles.

      ^AM

    • Hello Nancy.
      Thanks a lot for the testimonial and your readership.
      We highly appreciate your support.
      Keep it Brighter Monday your career partner.

      ^TM

  5. Thanks so much bright monday for the good work you render to us every moment hope this much our live. Am appreciative with services . But in some regions mo so in uganda 90% of the jobs u advertise are already occupied . This makes us loose hope.

  6. Thanks brighter Monday team.I really appreciate your encouragement, it is quite educative. Please keep it up and be blessed.

    • Hi George.
      Thanks a lot for your testimonial and readership.
      We are encouraged to have supportive readers like you..God bless you too.

      ^TM

    • Thanks Christine,
      We appreciate your feedback.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more informative articles

      ^TM

  7. Ooh thanks for moral support and encouragement.. For more educative message… In fact you people you give morale than soon I can get a Job after long search..I don’t what happened this days I don’t get alerts in job updates from you… Maybe you can look what happened with my account

    • Hello David,
      Thank you for your support and readership.
      We checked your account and confirmed that you subscribed the alerts today.
      Kindly wait until tomorrow for the alerts to be effective.

      ^TM

  8. Thanks for your attribute to enlighten us job seekers. It’s really educative.
    I highly appreciate.

    • You’re Welcome Vincent
      We strive to give our audience the best career advice.
      Keep it here for more informative articles.

      ^TM

    • Hi Kevin,
      We feel you frustration.
      Do not give up. One day its going to be your day. In the meantime, keep sharpening your skills and gain more knowledge on matters careers.

      All the best!

      ^DM

  9. This is very BRIGHT insight. As you read it you already feel the applicant is one with the role being applied for.

    • Thanks a lot Eleazer,
      Your feedback is highly appreciated.
      Continue to read our articles for more insight.

      ^TM

  10. wow this is awesome i love the way its articulated. thanks Brighter Monday i hope i will be successful next time.

    • Hi Boniface,
      Thank you very much for writing to us how ever, we checked your account and confirmed that your profile is incomplete.
      Ensure that its up to 97% complete, and before you apply also ensure your CV is updated.
      Hopefully these measures will go along way to enhance your chances of getting a job through our platform.

      ^TM

  11. This is educative and I am sure it will help many both young and old professionals. Keep it up, this is really Brighter Monday.

    • Hi Godfrey
      Thank you for your unwavering support.
      We endeavor to offer career advice to all our readers.
      Keep it brighter Monday for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

    • You’re Welcome Edwin.
      We hope you will implement what you have gained from us.
      Keep it Brighter Monday your career partner.

      ^TM

    • Hi Antony
      Thank you for reading.
      Put the tips you read from here to practice and see the results.

      ^TM

  12. Thank you for the good job keep it up.

    Kindly let me know the minimum number of years one should be in a particular job before looking for another one.

    Evans M

    • Hi Evans,

      The number of years one should be at a particular job depends on so many factors, hence there is no standard answer. However, one should consider a few things before leaving a job;
      1. How long have i been here? If its less than 6 months one might want to consider staying a little longer.
      2. Does my CV show that i also left my previous job so soon too? If this is a trend, you will need to work on your patience and adaptation skills.
      3. Have i done everything within my power to stay for longer? patience is a very important attribute for career growth. Your career cannot grow steadily if it is constantly uprooted before you can even acclimatize with particular duties.
      4. What stage of my career am i? if you have been working for 5 years and there is no sign of stability at any company you worked, your CV will raise a lot of red flags for everyone looking at it.

      So, as you see, how long you stay in a company is relative. But you should work to gain as much experience as you can anywhere you are so that when better opportunities come along they find a better you.

      ^DM

  13. It’s so wonderful and i like your sincere help to the youth who are looking forward to secure good positions in various organizations.

    Keep up Brighter Monday.

    • Thanks a lot Benard,
      Your feedback is highly appreciated
      We will continue to do what we do best, that is to Keep you well informed in all career questions.

      ^TM

    • Hello Rodgers,
      Thank you for your continued support.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more inspiring career advice.

      ^TM

  14. Ive worked for an organization since 2013Dec until the end of a fixed term position on Jan 2016 and finding a job has been a headache there after.Iv now resorted to settling for any work available,and your site is of very little help-too many applications with no response. I hold a Mechanical Engineering diploma and a clean BCE driving licence. Kind advise accordingly…
    Regards

    • Hello clement.
      Thank you for your continued support.
      We understand your frustration,how ever there are some few measures that if you proceed and implement, you’ll get better chances.
      Ensure that you apply to jobs that matches your skill.Also ensure also that you have updated CV and when you do apply ensure that it stands out from the rest beacaue the number of job seekers have increased. So as soon as you get an alert apply immediately.
      To view the latest jobs in your field of profession click here and apply
      We wish you all the best and Feel free to write to us in case you need further assistance.

      ^TM

    • Your welcome Judith.
      We value your support and readership.
      Keep writing to us, we highly appreciate your engagement.

      ^TM

    • Hello Rosemary,
      Thank you for reading our articles.
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more enlightening career advice.

      ^TM

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      Proceed and Implement what you have leaned from us.
      We will keep you posted on the latest career topics.

      ^TM

    • Thank you for your reading Wilson.
      We are glad your are enlightened.
      Keep it here for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

    • Hi Phyllis
      Thank you for the feedback.
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      Stay tuned for more enlightening career advice.

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  15. Wau the letter itself is self explanatory and I have jotted some errors I have been making and I have now learnt slot from this point.
    Thanks to the writer and may God bless you.

    • May God bless you too Paul and thanks a lot for the testimonial and your readership.
      We are really blessed to have supportive readers like you.
      Keep writing to us, we highly appreciate your support.

      ^TM

  16. If I were an employer and I read such from an applicant I will definitely want to meet him! Quite encouraging, I like it

    • Thanks a lot isabella,
      we are glad you are encouraged.
      Keep it here for more informative articles.

      ^TM

  17. In this era of competitive Business environment, I find this article on motivation letter invaluable especially when one has to go that extra mile to qualify self to potential employee in addition to the fact that we all have ” somewhat conservative career aspirations!”

    • Hello Kelly,
      We are glad you are motivated.
      Keep sharing your sentiments, we highly appreciate them.
      ^TM

  18. Woow,,thats fantastic masterpiece,,,its of great impact to me,,moresor as a student,,,thank you so much bright monday

    • Hi Patrick,
      Thank you for the sentiments.. much appreciated.
      We are glad we are of great benefit to you.
      Stay tuned for more insightful articles.

    • Thanks a lot James, your feedback is highly appreciated.
      Continue to read our articles for more insight.

      ^TM

  19. Thanks a lot brighter Monday.You are so helpful to us who are looking for internship.Keep it up and May God bless all the stakeholders of brighter Monday.

    • Hello Susan,
      Thanks a lot for the testimonial and your readership.
      We are blessed to have active and supportive readers like you..God bless you too.

      ^TM

  20. I enjoyed it.Nice piece here.Thumps up the writer. Especially on the difference and the example.

    • Hi Benjamin,
      Your feedback is highly appreciated.
      Keep it here for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

  21. Very enlightening piece. Honestly, I did not know about motivational letters in seeking for an entry level job

    • Hello Sarah,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      As per your request we will keep you updated, just keep it here.

      ^TM

    • Hi Hillary,
      Thanks for the feedback.
      Proceed and implement what you have learned from us with no reproach.

      ^TM

    • You’re welcome Samuel,
      We value your support and readership.
      Keep sharing your sentiments, we highly appreciate them.

      ^TM

    • Hi Micheal
      Thank you for the feedback.. much appreciated.
      We are glad we are of great benefit to you.
      Stay tuned for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

    • Hello Alex,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      Just include your level of education because we do have jobs that require candidates who have just cleared college/campus.
      Same applies when you are being interviewed don’t say anything that is out of your CV, just stick to the truth and be confident even if you don’t have any experience. All the best.

      ^TM

  22. Am happy since i had challenge in writing a cover letter and now i believe i can make some more steps and be perfect.Thanks in advance

    • Hello James,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We are glad to provide timely information for readers like you.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more tips, advice and career guidance.

      ^TM

  23. Thank for a support of writing something positive to boost my letter writing ,am so glad to get advise from you

    • Thanks farida,
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more enlightening career advice.

      ^TM

    • You’re Welcome John and we appreciate your sentiments.
      Stay tuned for more inspiring articles.

      ^TM

  24. thank you for the good job you are doing to ascertain we secure job in any organization.

    • Thanks for the feedback Kennedy.
      Keep visiting our career center for more edifying articles.

      ^AM

    • You’re Welcome Stephen and we appreciate your sentiments.
      Stay tuned for more inspiring articles.

      ^AM

    • Hi Alfred,
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more enlightening career advice.

      ^AM

  25. I HAVE REALLY LEARNED SOMETHING; BUT CAN ONE DO INTERNSHIP WHILE STILL IN SCHOOL? Teach us also about writing a cover letter please.

    • Hello Loise,
      Thanks for taking time to go through our articles, and yes you can go for an internship program while you are still in school.

      ^AM

  26. So when do you write a motivational letter and when do you write a cover letter? Are they substitutes. for cover letters?

    • Hello Mary,
      The difference between cover letters and motivation letters is that the latter are used when one is applying for something like a course in a university or college, internship or volunteering positions in non-governmental organizations and sometimes in entry-level jobs. The purpose of the motivation letter is mainly to persuade the organization that you are the best candidate to join them. In a motivation letter you need to explain why the specific activity, course, program, internship or volunteering opportunity interests you. Cover letters on the other hand, are used when one is applying for a job.

      ^AM

  27. Great! am sure now I can write a motivation letter. Is it advisable to write it whenever applying for a job?

    • Hi Wilson,
      Thanks for taking time to go through our article.
      It is advisable to draft or write a motivation when the employer has asked you to write one, if the employer doesn’t ask for it then it is not mandatory for you to write one.

      ^AM

  28. Thanks alot. Me I have applied for many jobs but no reply.yet I have modified my cv and also try to write my cover letter to my best.

    • Hello Felix,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback.
      We noticed three things which if implemented will improve your employer response.
      First of all please update your profile up to a range of 98% to 100 % profile completeness.
      Secondly, it would be prudent if you could delete all the resumes on your account then upload an updated resume to your account.
      Finally, please subscribe to our job alerts and apply for jobs as soon as you get the alert on your email inbox.
      Hopefully, these simple yet effective measure would go along way in improving your user experience on our job site.
      Please feel free to get back to us for more assistance.

      ^AM

  29. I also enjoy reading your informative articles..i sincerely appreciate your support.thank you so much.

    • Hi Maranya
      Thank you for reading our articles.
      We are glad you are enlightened.
      Keep it Brighter Monday for more enlightening career advice.

      ^TM

  30. Thanks a lot for your professional encouragement.For me its the fist time am learning about this.Can one include a motivation letter in a Job application if not asked to do so. Thanks .

    • Hi Cedrick.
      Not necessarily but should the employer requests for it, then you can send it.
      But the most important thing is to ensure that your Cv and cover letter are updated before you apply.

      ^TM

  31. Thanks brighter Monday, I have known this before, I intend to apply for internship or volunteering in one of the manufacturing companies

    • You’re Welcome Acam.
      To ease that burden of looking click here and check out on exciting job opportunities in your field of interest.

      ^TM

  32. bravo for the good job & good tips …. am having problem i can’t apply for job on ur site i cant go beyond work “work information”

  33. Thank you brighter monday this is very helpful to me. I was having a challenge in differentiating between a cover letter and a motivation letter.

  34. Thanks ,can get the true meaning between the two.more often we write motivational letter instead of cover letter.

    • Hi Julius,
      Thank you for sharing your sentiments.
      Keep on writing to us, we appreciate your engagement.

      ^TM

  35. Marie louise,hi thanks alot because i didnot know about the motivation letter,am still failing to get job alerts on my page even after i subscribed for it

    • Thank you for the feedback.. much appreciated.
      We are glad we are of great benefit to you and it is our hope that you implement what you have gained from us.
      Stay tuned for more insightful articles.

      ^TM

    • Hi Cepha,
      Thanks for sharing your feedback however, we would like to know specifically how you would want us to help you.
      Kindly write to us and we will respond.

      ^TM

    • Hi Solomon,
      Thank you for your sentiments.
      We endeavor to bring our readers relevant and practical tips.
      Keep sharing your thoughts, we highly appreciate them.

      ^TM

  36. Helo BRIGHTERMONDAY
    How you meet with employers and undergo free charge announcement to job seekers ? or
    there is charges after job contract ??????

  37. Thanks Mueke from Egypt. Helpful Article!
    Now, I’ll apply for an internship, And I hope that I’ll be Accepted

    • Thanks Ahmed,
      All the way from Egypt, we are truly pleased to have audience from the other side.
      We wish you all the best and we would like to hear more from you.

      ^TM

  38. was once asked to provide a cover plus resume letter and i wondered whats the difference..

    • Hi Linda,
      A cover letter is the letter that accompanies your application documents and tells the interviewer more about you. See more here

      A resume is a summary of your CV. It is usually a page long and covers all the important details your potential employer needs to know.

      ^DM

  39. Hey BrighterMonday Team. I hope you are all well.

    I am in the job market and aggressively search for a job that meets my qualifications and my experience. I have been am member of Brighter Monday for some time now but nothing is forthcoming.

    Kindly advice me on what I need to do.

    Regards,

    Mutisya Timothy
    email: mutisyatimothy@gmail.com
    mobile: +254724903344

  40. superb. really enlightened me. i had never known anything to do with a motivational letter until a few days back when i came across a job advert that required one. anyway according to your explanation i bet i must have communicated something to the would be employer. however i’am a 40 year old Kenyan female,a final HRM student at KIM- KAk Branch sitting for my exam next week and currently having my attachment at KAKAMEGA COUNTY PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD. I’am humbly requesting for a place for my internship. thanking you in advance

  41. hello
    Thank you for the advise it is so helpful
    I did subscribe for job alert and i have been applying but have never been contacted since that time.
    Am in sales job now am seriously looking for an accounting job.
    my phone number 0727855907

  42. hallo, my name is steve . i have been applying jobs through brighter monday ,bt i have not seen any out come my number 0702323768

  43. This is really helpful, especially for someone like me who is about to write my very first motivation letter. Thank you very much.
    Nii Addo.
    Accra, Ghana.

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