How to Write a Job Motivation Letter

by Staff Reporter

As a student, navigating the job market can be daunting, especially when it comes to creating the perfect job motivation letter. Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of writing a job motivation letter that will make you stand out to potential employers. 

Whether you’re applying for part-time work or your first internship, these tips will help you make a compelling case for why you’re the right fit.

Table of Contents

job motivation letter

What is a Job Motivation Letter?

Before we dive in, it’s important to first understand what exactly a job motivation letter actually is. 

A job motivation letter, also known as a letter of motivation or a letter of intent, is a one-page document that you send to a potential employer alongside your CV. It serves as a personal introduction that highlights your qualifications, skills and enthusiasm for a specific role within a company.

Basically, the job motivation letter is there to make you stand out from the rest of the candidates. It’s a way for you to highlight all your strengths to your potential employer and show them why you’re the absolute best fit for the job! 

A job motivation letter also gives the employer a glimpse into who you are as a person, which can make the difference between snatching up that interview or being ghosted.

That’s why it’s important to put some thought into your job motivation letter—it’s not something you can copy and paste from a website. Each one needs to be tailored to you and the job you’re applying for, so be sure to put some work into it!

Job Motivation Letter Versus a Cover Letter

You might be wondering how a job motivation letter differs from a cover letter. While both documents are used in job applications, they have distinct purposes:

  • Cover Letter: A cover letter is typically shorter (between half a page and a full page) and more general and is often used to provide specific examples of how your education, skills, qualifications and achievements are a good match for the job you’re applying for. 
  • Job Motivation Letter: A job motivation letter is highly tailored to a specific job posting. It delves deeper into why you are uniquely qualified for that particular position and focuses quite closely on your interests, personality traits and motives for applying for a specific job. This makes it ideal for students without any prior work experience, as it gives them an opportunity to showcase what they can do.
student researching how to write a job motivation letter

When to Use a Job Motivation Letter

As a college or university student looking to kickstart your career, a job motivation letter can be a valuable tool to help you stand out in a competitive job market. Here are some scenarios when you, as a student, should consider using a job motivation letter:

  • Applying for Internships: If you’re seeking an internship opportunity to gain practical experience in your field of study, a job motivation letter can help you convey your enthusiasm for the internship role and demonstrate your commitment to learning and growth.
  • Applying for entry-level positions: When you’re applying for your first job after graduation, even if you lack significant work experience, a job motivation letter can showcase your academic achievements, relevant coursework and transferable skills that make you a suitable candidate for the entry-level position.

If you’re wondering exactly how a job motivation letter can benefit you when applying for an internship or entry-level position, look no further. Here are some advantages of using a job motivation letter in your application:

  • Highlighting academic achievements: If you have excelled in specific courses or projects that directly relate to the job you’re applying for, a job motivation letter can provide a platform to highlight your academic achievements and how they apply to the role.
  • Expressing eagerness to learn: As a student, you can use the motivation letter to express your eagerness to learn and grow within the company. Emphasise your willingness to take on challenges and your commitment to contributing to the organisation’s success.
  • Demonstrating alignment with company values: Use the job motivation letter to demonstrate how your values align with those of the company. Highlight any research you’ve done on the company’s culture, mission and values and explain why you’re excited about being a part of their team.
  • Customising your application: A job motivation letter allows you to customise your application for each specific internship or entry-level job opportunity. Tailor your letter to the unique requirements and expectations of the position and the company to increase your chances of landing an interview.

In summary, as a college or university student with limited or no prior work experience, a job motivation letter can serve as a powerful tool to showcase your enthusiasm, academic achievements and alignment with the company’s goals. It allows you to personalise your application and make a compelling case for why you’re a valuable addition to the team, even at the early stages of your career.

student preparing to write a job motivation letter

How to Structure a Job Motivation Letter

If you’re writing a letter for your dream job or organisation, presenting yourself in the best possible light can be a total game-changer! That’s why it’s important to ensure that you get the structure of your motivation letter just right to ensure that you’re not missing any key information.

Ideally, your job motivation letter should be one page in length (no longer, no shorter). Although a gripping introduction is important, the star of the show is the body section of your motivation letter as this is the main content. There are two ways to structure the body of your job motivation letter:

  • Three-paragraph structure: This is the traditional way of writing a job motivation letter and usually includes an introduction (one paragraph), a body (one paragraph) and a conclusion (one paragraph).
  • Five-to-seven paragraph structure: This is where you divide the body into three- or four-sentence paragraphs.

The structure that you decide to go with is highly dependent on the narrative of your job motivation letter. For example, if you’re looking to include quite a lot of facts and achievements, you may break them up into separate segments by using the five-to-seven-paragraph structure. However, if you’re telling a story about your academic journey, the three-structure paragraph is probably the best way to go.

How to Write a Motivation Letter for a Job

Writing a job motivation letter can be difficult (it’s not always easy writing about yourself, and we totally get it!). That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to help you craft a compelling job motivation letter that will help you stand out from the rest:

Start With a Strong Introduction

Begin your job motivation letter with a powerful and personalised introduction. Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name if possible. Avoid generic salutations like “To whom it may concern.” Show that you’ve done your homework and know who you’re addressing.


“Dear Mrs. Tshabalala,

I was thrilled to discover the opening for the Marketing Assistant position at ‘ABC Company’, and I wanted to express my genuine interest in joining your team…”

Starting your job motivation letter with a strong introduction such as the one above sets the stage for a compelling and memorable application.

Write a Body that Highlights Your Skills and Qualifications

student writing a job motivation letter

In the body of your letter, focus on showcasing your qualifications and skills. Tailor your content to match the job description. Identify the key skills and qualifications the employer is looking for, and then provide specific examples of how you possess these skills based on your academic and extracurricular experiences.


“My coursework in marketing at the University of South Africa (UNISA) equipped me with the analytical skills and creativity needed for this role. During my internship at Fundi, I successfully developed and executed a social media campaign that resulted in a 20% increase in online engagement…”

Highlighting your skills and qualifications in the body of your letter lets the employer know why you’re an ideal fit for the role that you’re applying for.

End Off with a Clear and Concise Conclusion

Conclude your letter with a strong closing paragraph. Express your eagerness to discuss your qualifications further in an interview. Thank the employer for considering your application and provide your contact information.


“I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for considering my application. You can reach me at [your email address] or [your phone number].”

Wrapping up your job motivation letter with a strong and enthusiastic conclusion is essential. By expressing your eagerness for an interview and conveying your gratitude for considering your application, you leave a positive impression on the employer. Don’t forget to provide your contact information, making it easy for them to reach out and continue the conversation.

students proofreading a job motivation letter

Proofread and Edit Your Job Motivation Letter

Before sending your job motivation letter, meticulously proofread and edit it. Typos and grammatical errors can leave a negative impression. Consider asking a friend or mentor to review your letter for feedback and suggestions.

Job Motivation Letter Sample

You’ve got the steps down for writing a job motivation letter, but what does the final result actually look like? Let’s find out.

Here’s an example of a job motivation letter that uses the steps outlined above:

Introduction: 1 Paragraph

Dear Mrs. Tshabalala,

I was thrilled to discover the opening for the Marketing Assistant position at ‘ABC Company’, and I wanted to express my genuine interest in joining your team. As a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing Management from the University of South Africa (UNISA), I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to ‘ABC Company’s’ dynamic marketing initiatives.

Body: 3 to 5 Paragraphs

During my academic journey, I had the privilege of studying under professors who not only imparted valuable knowledge but also fostered my passion for innovative marketing strategies. My coursework equipped me with the analytical skills and creativity needed for this role. Additionally, my hands-on experience during my internship at Fundi further honed my skills and gave me practical insights into the world of marketing.

One project that I am particularly proud of during my internship involved the development and execution of a social media campaign. Faced with the challenge of increasing online engagement, I took the initiative to research and implement a targeted content strategy. This effort resulted in a remarkable 20% increase in online engagement within just two months. The success of this campaign not only bolstered the company’s online presence but also garnered recognition from our clients.

What excites me most about ‘ABC Company’ is its commitment to innovation and its reputation for pushing the boundaries of marketing strategies. Your recent campaign for [mention a recent campaign or achievement of the company] truly resonated with me and showcased your team’s creative prowess. I believe my strong analytical skills, coupled with my passion for innovative marketing, make me a great fit for your organisation.

As someone who thrives in collaborative and inclusive environments, I am confident that I can contribute effectively to ‘ABC Company’s’ marketing team. My experiences working on group projects in university and my volunteer work with diverse teams have shaped me into a strong team player.

In the long term, I aspire to grow as a marketing professional and contribute to ‘ABC Company’s’ continued success. I am excited about the possibility of working alongside your talented team to achieve our shared goals.

Conclusion: 1 Paragraph

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for considering my application. You can reach me at [your email address] or [your phone number].


[Your name]

student planning for her job motivation letter

Get Work-Ready with FundiConnect

Now that you know how to write a job motivation letter, it’s time to get work-ready! FundiConnect has a plethora of resources that will give you the tools you need to jumpstart your career.

From CV writing tips to professional career guidance, FundiConnect is your go-to platform for all your career development needs. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in today’s competitive job market.

Don’t wait any longer. Explore our resources, polish your job motivation letter and take that confident step toward the career you’ve been dreaming of. Your future success is just a click away with FundiConnect!

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