You may need a Motivation Letter (Motivationsschreiben) when applying for a scholarship, internship or job. In this article, we will analyze how to properly structure your letter, what phrases to use when writing it, and also give an example of a real letter and give practical advice for improving it.

Structure and useful phrases

Most often, organizations that request motivation letters include instructions for writing a motivation letter in the application requirements, but this does not always happen. If in your case there are no such instructions and recommendations, write according to the standard scheme. We will analyze it.
The standard layout looks something like this:

Introduction

This is where you greet people who will read your letter.

“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren” is a standard greeting, if it is not known to whom exactly this letter is addressed, if you know, then write the name of this person right away, for example â€œSehr geehrter Herr Schmidt”

Ich bewerbe mich hiermit … 
 – I am applying …

Ich habe mit großem Interesse von der Möglichkeit gelesen, … (+ das Praktikum bei zu absolvieren) . – With great interest I read about the possibility … (to undergo an internship at + some company)

Mit großem Interesse habe ich Ihr Stellenangebot gelesen. – I was very interested in your proposal for this position.

Ich wurde auf Ihre Stellenanzeige in … aufmerksam.  – I drew attention to your proposal in …

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Ich bewerbe mich um die Stelle als …   – I am applying for a position … (for example, engineer, doctor).

Mit diesem Portfolio möchte ich mich nun bei Ihnen vorstellen.  – I would like to introduce myself to you with this portfolio.

About yourself

This section provides general information, it may well duplicate with the information in the resume. It’s even useful in some places!

Mein Name ist …  – My name is …

Ich studiere an (+ Dativ) … / Zur Zeit arbeite ich als … / bei (+ Dativ)  – I am studying in … / At the moment I am working as (specify profession) / in (company)

Mein Fachgebiet ist …  – My specialization …

Ich bin Journalist. – I’m a journalist.

Ich habe Journalistik an der UniversitĂ€t studiert. – I studied journalism at the university.

Ich bin 24 Jahre alt und Arzt von Beruf. – I am 27 years old and I am a doctor by profession.

Zurzeit arbeite ich als …  – Now I work as …

Zu meinen Aufgaben zĂ€hlen …  – My job responsibilities include …

Ich habe Erfahrung in …  – I have experience in …

Schon seit Jahren liegt mein Schwerpunkt auf (+ Dat) …  – For many years I have specialized on …

Meine Kenntnisse umfassen …  – My knowledge includes …

Im Bereich … habe ich langjĂ€hrige Erfahrung. – I have many years of experience in the field of
.

Motivation and your strengths

It is important to explain why you want to this position/internship, what your strengths and should they choose you to have get the offer, and how this experience will help you in the future.

Ich habe ein großes Interesse an (+ Dativ) …  – I I am very interested in …

Meine Leidenschaft gehörte schon immer der Journalistik. – Journalism has always been my passion.

Auf die Frage, weshalb ich mich fĂŒr diesen Studiengang an Ihrer UniversitĂ€t bewerbe, kann ich mehrere Antworten geben …  – When asked why I am applying for this specialty at your university, I can give several answers …

Wie meinem Lebenslauf entnehmen können .. . – As you can see from my resume …

Weitere Angaben zu meiner Person und meinem Werdegang entnehmen Sie bitte dem beilgefĂŒgten Lebenslauf. – For more information about me and my experience, please refer to my resume (attached).

Zu meinen StĂ€rken zĂ€hlen …  – My strengths include …

Ich bin eine zielorientierte Person   – I am a purposeful person

Ich zeichne mich durch SelbststĂ€ndigkeit  – I am independent

Mich motiviert der Gedanke, dass …  – I am motivated by the thought that. ..

Ich eigne mich fĂŒr diese Position, weil …  – I fit this position because …

FĂŒr diese Stelle bin ich der geeignete Kandidat, weil … – I am a suitable candidate for this position because


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Die von Ihnen ausgeschriebene Stelle passt aus meiner Sicht exzellent zu meinem bisherigen Profil. – In my opinion, my previous experience is ideally suited to the position presented by you.

Meine beruflichen Qualifikationen entsprechen den Anforderungen Ihres Unternehmens. – My professional qualifications meet the requirements of your company.

Diese Eigenschaften ermöglichten es mir …   – These qualities allowed me …

ZukĂŒnftig stelle ich mir vor … – In the future I imagine … 

Ich stelle mir diese Gelegenheit als die nĂ€chste Stufe meiner Karriere vor  – I see this opportunity as the next step in my career

Das wĂ€re fĂŒr mich eine wertvolle Möglichkeit  – This would be a valuable opportunity for me.

Conclusion

Here you need to express your hope that all of the above is suitable for the requirements of this organization, and you are waiting for a response from them. It is also considered good manners to show your willingness to answer any questions. 

  • Auf eine Einladung zum VorstellungsgesprĂ€ch freue ich mich sehr. – I will be very happy to be invited to an interview with.
  • Bei Fragen stehe ich gerne zur VerfĂŒgung. – I will be glad to answer your questions. 
  • Ich kann sofort bei Ihnen anfangen. – I can immediately start working for you. 
  • Ich kann 2 Wochen nach der Zusage bei Ihnen anfangen. – I can start working for you 2 weeks after confirmation. 
  • Ich wĂŒrde mich ĂŒber einen positiven Bescheid sehr freuen. – I would be very happy with a positive answer.
  • Ich hoffe, dass mein bisheriger akademischer Werdegang in Kombination mit meinen praktischen Erfahrungen Ihren Anforderungen an einen geeigneten Kandidaten entspricht und freue mich, von Ihnen zu hören. – I hope that my previous academic achievements, together with practical experience, fit your requirements for candidates, and I look forward to hearing from you.
  • Ich wĂŒrde mich sehr freuen, eine positive RĂŒckmeldung Ihrerseits zu bekommen und stehe Ihnen fĂŒr eventuelle RĂŒckfragen selbstverstĂ€ndlich jederzeit zur VerfĂŒgung. – I would be very glad to receive a positive answer from your side and, of course, I am ready to answer your questions at any time.

After the conclusion, do not forget to sign the paper (all these phrases mean the same thing – an expression of respect, but the first example is the most common):

  • Mit freundlichen GrĂŒĂŸen   – With a friendly greeting (the formula in business and official letters)
  • Mit besten GrĂŒĂŸen   – With best greetings
  • Joe Blake  – (Your name)

Useful tips

I would like to tell you about those practical tips that helped me in writing motivation letters, and which, I am sure, are quite universal and will certainly make your task easier.

1. The most important rule of writing a cover letter in German is that it should be capacious.
“Capacious” means conciseness (write no more than one, in rare cases two pages) and specifics (you shouldn’t devote a whole paragraph to your love for Germany and its language).

2. All your statements must be supported by real examples.
So, it is not enough just to write “I have been fond of programming since childhood” – this is a “naked” statement and, most likely, it will not help you in any way. It will look much better if you write “I have been fond of programming since childhood: I started going to the computer technology circle at the age of 7, and wrote the first simple application at 8.”

3. Write as you like.
I often see advice on the Internet: “first write in English, and then translate into German” or “under no circumstances write first in English to avoid English-like construction of phrases and sentences“. Both the one and the other approach have pros and cons, I will not analyze them now. But in the end this is your motivation letter, you decide how it is more convenient for you to work, and inaccuracies and other speech errors can be corrected with the help of a native speaker. 

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