Writing a motivation letter and a cover letter

In many recruitment processes, applicants are still required to enclose a motivation letter or a cover letter with their CVs. However, the difference between a motivation letter and a cover letter is often unclear and people are unsure of what their content should be like. A correctly structured and prepared motivation letter and cover letter help you to show yourself from your best side and explain to the employer why you are the best applicant for the position.


Below, we will give you advice on how to write a good motivation letter and cover letter, and what are the golden rules of getting them right.


What should a motivation and cover letter include?

Check what a good motivation letter should include, what should be added to a cover letter and which information should be included in both a motivation letter and a cover letter.

Motivation letter

Cover letter

Usually an informative letter to the employer on 0.5–1 page.

Includes an introduction of you

Includes contact details

Includes the reason why you are applying for the offered position

Includes a more detailed explanation of the prior experience and skills indicated in the CV

Includes your motivation for applying for the offered position

May also be sent as an email

It’s advisable to draw parallels between the requirements of the position and your skills and experience.

It’s advisable to explain the added value your experience and personality will bring to the company

Golden rules of writing a motivation letter and a cover letter

Make sure that there are no typos in your motivation letter and cover letter.

i.e. what should be kept in mind?

Emphasise your strengths, but be honest – don’t pretend to have skills or experience that you don’t actually have.

Writing a motivation letter and a cover letter is not rocket science, but there are some golden rules that should certainly be followed.

Keep in mind that it is an official letter, after all. Use common fonts, such as Times New Roman or Arial, and font size 11-12.

If the job advertisement includes questions that you’re expected to answer in the motivation letter, make sure you answer them as well.

Be to the point, try to avoid narrative speech and slang, and don’t be too casual.

Example of a motivation letter

Dear representative of CV-Online OÜ,


I would like to apply for the position of sales specialist of CV-Online, because I believe that my previous experience and current interests are a match for the offered position.


I have worked in sales for almost three years: the reason why I chose this path lies in my good skill of self-expression and my ability to offer the best existing solutions to the problems of clients. I have worked in sales aimed at both private and corporate clients and the latter is my true calling – I am able to understand the needs of corporate clients and offer solutions to them. I like to be constantly developing – I read professional literature in my free time and I have participated in several sales training events. I am a fast learner, I consider myself very ambitious and always achieve my goals.


What motivates me to apply for this position? I care about your company’s area of activity and I am personally interested in contributing to the field of human resources. I believe that people are a company’s biggest asset and I want to contribute and help companies find the right people. It is also an exciting challenge for me, because I haven’t worked in HR before.


I have enclosed my CV with this motivation letter, where you will find information on my prior work experience, in-service training and the computer software I can use. I would be able to start in the new position as soon as possible. I am happy to answer any questions you may have at your convenience. You can call me on 555 55555 or send an email to siivi.online@gmail.com.


Kind regards,

Siivi Online


In the first paragraph, explain which position you’re applying for and add your reasons.

1

In the second paragraph, describe your prior experience and skills. Try to find parallels between the requirements in the job advertisement and your personal qualities and experience. Don’t duplicate the information in your CV, but add something to it or highlight something new

2

The third paragraph is the most important part of the motivation letter, where you have to explain what motivates you to apply for the position. Explain the added value you will bring to the company. This information will make you stand out among other candidates with the same background.

3

The last paragraph is for additional information. You can indicate when you could start in the job and add your contact details..

4

Example of a cover letter

Dear representative of CV-Online OÜ,


I would like to apply for the position of sales specialist of CV-Online, because I believe that my previous experience and current interests are a match for the offered position.


I have worked in sales for almost three years and have sold to both private and corporate clients. In 2018, I graduated with a BA in business, which gave me the knowledge I need to be successful in sales.


I am a fast learner, I consider myself very ambitious and always achieve my goals. I can quickly find solutions in complicated situations whilst remaining calm and professional.


I am happy to answer any questions you may have at your convenience. You can call me on 555 5555 or send an email to siivi.online@gmail.com.


Kind regards,

Siivi Online


In the first paragraph, explain which position you’re applying for and add your reasons.

1

Give a brief description of your background in the second paragraph. Try to find parallels between the requirements in the job advertisement and your experience.

2

In the third paragraph, describe your personality. Highlight things that are not included in the CV or add to them

3

The last paragraph is for additional information. You can indicate when you could start in the job and add your contact details.

4

Check out how to prepare your CV!

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