How to write a successful letter of intent

It does not have to be personal in a way that makes you appear non-serious, rather focus on your intellectual personality. Be careful to not indulge a lot in your deficit side; always focus on your strengths and reasons why you are the right person for the university.

Suggestion: plan ahead before attempting your final draft writings. Firstly, plan the concept, then the layout, the structure and fine-tuning.

  1. The concept should contain all your thoughts on why you want to pursue the specific degree, the qualities you can bring to the program, why the specific university is the best option for you. Then, bring these ideas to a draft.
  2. The layout is the way your document is formatted, and it should show your professionalism. If there are no specifications in the university’s description of the letter of intent, you should attempt at keeping it to a maximum length of two pages.
  3. The structure defines the flow of the letter, with a bright introduction leading smoothly to an intense body and a summary of the content. The conclusion should once more indicate to your personal advantages.
  4. Fine-tuning is about the word usage you have selected. You should avoid using complex words and constructions as they can a turn-off or irritating to the admission officers.Use rather eloquent, persuasive, smooth language, where you show why you are outstanding instead of telling. And, check grammar, spelling, and also get feedback from close people whose opinions you value.

Things to keep in mind when writing a letter of intent

  • Do not repeat what is already written in the application form or CV – this one is very important to keep in mind as the admission officers will receive many letter of intent from many candidates and if you repeat yourself it will become tiresome.Try to place yourself in their position! You might notice that you need to be either more creative, interesting, or bold in your motivational letter.
  • Write based on university specifics – while you are constructing your letter of intent be careful to prioritize interests that correlate with the programs provided by the university.Think of how you will benefit from the programs you are going after and why you are motivated to attend those courses. Usually, universities have very clear and informative requirements on their websites, as well as what qualities and qualifications in candidates they are looking forward to.
  • Making a flat introduction – your introduction is the most important part of your letter. It will determine whether the admission officers will engage and continue reading through the whole letter.This is where they will decide if they are going to proceed with your file or dismiss it completely. Think of a way to not sound cliché and yet at the same time intelligent and engaging.
  • Do not try to make too many points – another thing is that you might get very excited and wanting to show many of your important assets, and somehow on the road make a mess in the connection between interests.You may seem as if you are trying to say a lot in order to make them like you. You wouldn’t want to seem desperate or a show-off, in both cases you will not be a very attractive candidate, so be consistent!
  • Share something about yourself – share your interests and your feelings when you take part in activities that correlate with the program in question. Think of ways how it has manifested in your thought-patterns and motivation. Share a moment or a story where you understood the importance of the subject.
  • Do not force the letter towards humor – sounding positive is very important, but trying to be very humorous in the letter of intent can turn out the wrong way, as you for one, cannot know the kind of things people find funny.What can be funny and interesting to you may not be the same for another person and the case may be that you are not on the same frequency as the personnel.Instead, try to keep humor on the side while all the time keeping positive and interesting. Humor can be overdone and it can be the one thing that will set you away from your dream program.
  • Do not be someone else – always bring forward your own voice, tone, and self. Do not try to be someone you are not and in this way cause yourself to fall out of selection. Tell the things that are true to you and in your truest voice!These things are easy to spot for the admission officers and you wouldn’t want to be spotted pretending you’re someone you’re not! You have very interesting things that have happened to you and your life is important and you surely have unique qualities, so think of those things and present them.If you think hard enough, you will see you are enough. There is no need to pretend. Sometimes, being very involved in our own lives may make us not believe we are interesting enough!
  • Answer all questions – pay attention to answering all the questions that are asked of you. Do not neglect since having been written in prospects, they must be important! Keep that in mind and try not to think less of any.
  • Do not write your personal statement/ letter of intent at the last minute – this one is very, very important. Give yourself enough time to write many drafts until you bring to life your personality.If you do it within a matter of a few or in the last days, you may forget valuable things and it will not have the consistency required. Start writing your letter of intent, at least, a month ahead. Be clear about your goals!
  • Do your proofreading – proofreading is a must. When it’s time to proofread, after correcting all grammatical or punctuation, or line structuring mistakes, give your letter of intent to someone whose opinion you value and listen to their suggestions. Do not give it to a lot of people as you might lose your voice completely.After reading it too many times you may become unwary of the little mistakes. Also, because in your head you know exactly what you mean, you may not see the sentence inaccuracies. That’s why it is important that someone with a fresh sight gives it a good look!

Related resources

See – an example of a letter of intent

See – how to start writing a letter of intent with example

More – letter of intent samples

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