1. Examine yourself
Before you write your letter, reflect on what has brought you here, to applying for a master’s programme at Chalmers. You may have been working to this point without really looking back at “why”. Think about the people who have influenced you, the experiences you’ve had and how they have contributed to where you are today. Then look to the future. Why do you want to be a part of this programme? Did you have any experiences in your undergraduate degree or while working that inspired you to join this field? How will the education get you to where you want to be? What makes you a good fit for joining this programme? Before you just start typing up a letter, make some notes of your thoughts so you can organize them for later.
2. Don’t overload with content
Your motivational letter is one-page maximum. This means that you probably won’t be able to highlight or explain every experience and goal you would like to. Determine which ones you think are the most important and focus on those. This way, you can describe them further and give some context to each one.
3. Do your research
You are applying to a certain programme (or maybe multiple) at Chalmers, so it’s important to know more about it. Look at the required and elective courses at the programme page. If the programme has tracks of courses focused on different industry topics, you can see which ones you find most interesting. Look at the programme director and the teachers associated with the different courses. When it comes to research, you can look at what has been and is being done by professors associated with the programme and see what you may be interested in studying further. You can use this information to support your goals in the letter.
4. Don’t repeat your CV
Your CV contains a lot of information about your previous roles. Your letter of motivation is a chance to expand on those. You can use your letter to give background and context to your academic and professional experiences. Write about how, for example, a project led you to explore topics relating to the programme you are applying for, or maybe you’ve been studying these topics for a long time, and this programme will allow you to reach new goals. When giving examples of what led you to this field, show rather than tell about the things you want to highlight in order to paint a picture of yourself.
5. Have someone read your letter first
A motivational letter is supposed to highlight your experiences, skills, and goals, but it also gives a first impression. Having someone you know, a family member or friend, read over your letter before you send it in is a good way to determine if your own voice, along with your intentions and dreams shine through. It is also good to have someone check your spelling and grammar. It is important to sound professional and positive in your letter, and your word choice should be easy to read and flow smoothly. Overall, present your true self, and your authenticity will shine through.