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Hey everyone! I want to apply for a Bachelor's degree programme in Netherlands. English is not my native language and this is my first motivation letter, so I had some difficulties while writing this. I hope to get some comments. Thank you for your help very much! I appreciate it.

Dear Sir or Madam,



I am writing to apply for the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations at University of AAA. I am confident that this programme will help me to gain wide knowledge of the topics of world politics, economics and law. My career ambition is to work in an international organization or for the government.



I finished my upper secondary education in May 2009 from The Upper Secondary School at the XXX. In upper secondary school I became interested in psychology, sosiology, communication, philosophy and different cultures and religions. I also studied a lot of Finnish language and literature and I took part of the school’s online magazine. After graduating from upper secondary school I have worked in restaurants and also in my parents’ contruction company as a office worker. Having two different jobs at the same time taught me excellent time management and organizational skills. During the past two years I have also studied statistical mathematics, psychology and mass communication intependently.



I have always been interested in understanding different societies and cultures. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to explore these things in a practical way by travelling a lot. I have travelled to Estonia, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey and the United States of America. Last January I went to Thailand and spent three weeks travelling alone. I have always enjoyed exploring new places, but the best thing about travelling is meeting new people from all around the world. Having conversations about world politics, economics, business and environmental issues has truly opened my eyes for the wide range of different points of view. I am convinced that travelling has developed my language and communication skills.



I am proud to be Finnish citizen and I believe that it is a good basis for an international career. Finland is a small country with neutral foreign policy and the society is based on equal opportunities. I believe this is one of the reasons why Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) has achieved it’s goals of solving conflicts and developing sustainable peace. CMI was founded by the former President of Finland, the United Nations diplomat, a mediator and a laurea of The Geuzenpenning, The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize, Martti Ahtisaari. The work of Martti Ahtisaari and specially CMI is one of the main inspirations for me to study international relations. I find this field of study very fascinating and I believe that I have a lot of potential as a student because of my huge motivation.



I have discovered the information from the website of University of AAA and the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations truly seems like a perfect studying programme for me. I am very interested in studying abroad and studying in Netherlands seems like a good option. Netherlands has a long history of study programmes taught in English. Since I am planning to study abroad I want to be sure to sign in for an institute that has a good reputation among foreign students. I believe that Netherlands is a perfect place to take my first steps towards my academic goals and international career.



In my future career, I can see myself working in an international organization as an intependent, hard working team player. I love new challenges, responsibility and solving problems. I can also imagine myself studying more after my Bachelor’s degree, because I always want to increase my knowledge.



My academic goals have become clear to me. I want to study international relations. I believe that it combines everything that I have always been interested in – communication, sosiological and perhaps psychological aspects, understanding different cultures, languages, negogiation skills, world politics, human rights, peace research, economics and business economics, environmental issues, world wide contracts and unions, such as the European Union and the United Nations.



I am convinced that the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations is the right choice for me and I would appreciate to receive the opportunity to study at the University of AAA. Thank you very much for considerating my request. I look forward for your positive response.



Sincerely yours,
Sss Hhh
Comments  
Dear Sir or Madam, (In North America, we use a colon.)

I am writing to apply for the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations at University of AAA. I am confident that this programme will help me to gain wide knowledge of the topics of world politics, economics and law. My career ambition is to work in an international organization or for the government.

Translation: I want a good job, any good job will do.

I finished my upper secondary education in May 2009 from The Upper Secondary School at the XXX. In upper secondary school I became interested in psychology, sosiology, communication, philosophy and different cultures and religions. I also studied a lot of Finnish language and literature and I took part of the school’s online magazine. After graduating from upper secondary school I have worked in restaurants and also in my parents’ contruction company as a office worker. Having two different jobs at the same time taught me excellent time management and organizational skills. During the past two years I have also studied statistical mathematics, psychology and mass communication intependently.

Translation: I like language type stuff. I have some work experience and I am good at time management and organization stuff, though I offer no examples or proof. In other words, you have to believe my story.

I have always been interested in understanding different societies and cultures. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to explore these things in a practical way by travelling a lot. I have travelled to Estonia, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey and the United States of America. Last January I went to Thailand and spent three weeks travelling alone. I have always enjoyed exploring new places, but the best thing about travelling is meeting new people from all around the world. Having conversations about world politics, economics, business and environmental issues has truly opened my eyes for the wide range of different points of view. I am convinced that travelling has developed my language and communication skills.

Translation: I am reasonably affluent and I like to travel and talk to people. That's why I want a good job.

I utter some statements having my eyes opened and learning stuff, but again, I offer no examples or proof.

I am proud to be Finnish citizen and I believe that it is a good basis for an international career. Finland is a small country with neutral foreign policy and the society is based on equal opportunities. I believe this is one of the reasons why Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) has achieved it’s goals of solving conflicts and developing sustainable peace. CMI was founded by the former President of Finland, the United Nations diplomat, a mediator and a laurea of The Geuzenpenning, The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize, Martti Ahtisaari. The work of Martti Ahtisaari and specially CMI is one of the main inspirations for me to study international relations. I find this field of study very fascinating and I believe that I have a lot of potential as a student because of my huge motivation.

Translation: I like languages, travel, and international stuff. I also like providing history lessons, though I am not keen on telling you about myself.

I have discovered the information from the website of University of AAA and the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations truly seems like a perfect studying programme for me. I am very interested in studying abroad and studying in Netherlands seems like a good option. Netherlands has a long history of study programmes taught in English. Since I am planning to study abroad I want to be sure to sign in for an institute that has a good reputation among foreign students. I believe that Netherlands is a perfect place to take my first steps towards my academic goals and international career.

Translation: I am a bit lazy. I only read web sites, and don't like to roll up my sleeves and do any hard work. Your programs "seems like the perfect studying programme," which we both know means, "what the hell, I will try anything once."

In my future career, I can see myself working in an international organization as an intependent, hard working team player. I love new challenges, responsibility and solving problems. I can also imagine myself studying more after my Bachelor’s degree, because I always want to increase my knowledge.

Translation: In case you didn't get the picture yet, I want an important, high paying job. As far as I know, high paying jobs usually require challenges, responsibility, and problem solving. So I am good at those too. But again, I offer no proof or examples.

My academic goals have become clear to me. I want to study international relations. I believe that it combines everything that I have always been interested in – communication, sosiological and perhaps psychological aspects, understanding different cultures, languages, negogiation skills, world politics, human rights, peace research, economics and business economics, environmental issues, world wide contracts and unions, such as the European Union and the United Nations.

Translation: My academic goals are clear to me--that is, gain the necessary education to get a good job, any good job will do. However, I haven't told you that I did well in school. Moreover, to increase my chances, I through in as many things as possible that interest me or might possibly interest me in the future. I am hoping that mentioning lots of stuff, something will stick. By the way, please ignore my spelling error: "sosiological."

I am convinced that the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations is the right choice for me and I would appreciate to receive the opportunity to study at the University of AAA. Thank you very much for considerating my request. I look forward for your positive response.

Translation: Whew, I am finally done. I can't wait to attend.

You can read my assessment above. You are going to think it is harsh. Better it coming from me than receiving a rejection letter. You say absolutely NOTHING about you.

If someone were to ask me: Is she good at school? What are her favorite subjects? What are her favorite activities? Passions? Interests? Good at working with people? Good at solving complex problems? Good at time management? Good at anything?

I would have a blank face response to all those questions. You did everything except talk about yourself. And this letter is for you to talk about yourself.

Here's my standard response to those beginning their letters.

Please ensure that you have spaces between your paragraphs. Otherwise it is too hard to read. My guess is that you pasted your letter into the text box. After you pasted your letter, the spaces were removed. To solve this issue, please do the following:

1) When you begin a new post, type "blah" into an open text box.

2) Then paste your letter.

3) Go back and delete "blah."

Here are some posts you should review. These posts will give you some ideas on the structure of your letter.

http://www.EnglishForward.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-i.htm

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/SampleLetterMotivationApplication-LetterUniversity/xpzpl/po...

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/MotivationLetterUniversityAbhinav-Gaur13/xqjzg/post.htm

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/MotivationLetter/prrwb/post.htm

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/MotivationLetter/xqdwq/post.htm

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/ARevisedMotivationLetter/pzhgh/post.htm

Please read those posts and try again.
Thank you for your comments!

I actually had a feeling that my motivation letter might not be good enough but really, there's nothing positive in it? I am very disappointed that my letter gives that kind of picture that I am lazy and I want to study IR only to get any high paying job. I read the posts you recommended and I will definitely work with my letter. I want to ask you some questions first, just to get the idea what is essential.

1. Do you think it is important to write about how well did I do in high school? In my high school leaving certificate I have some pretty good grades ( 4 x Excellent, 4 x Very Good, 5 x Good..). In my certificate of matriculation examination I have good grades also and in Finnish test I got the grade "Laudatur", which is the best grade and only 5% gets that grade. I'm gonna send them my certificates anyways. Should I mention these thing in my motivation letter?

2. How can I give a proof of my time management and organization skills and the fact that I am a hard working person? In my parents' company I work at the office from 7.00 am until 4.00 pm. After my day at the office I work the evening in the restaurants. I think that this have taught me time management and organization skills, but because I'm really young, I haven't been able to get any really important tasks. I have been working with the basic things.
When I was on the last grade of comprehensive school I organized the first annual Classic Gala. I got the idea, talked with the teachers, found a place for the gala, arranged few bands to play in the gala, wrote the script, asked other students to come and join my team. Do you think it's childish to mention this is my motivation letter? I think it could give some example of my organization skills, even though it has nothing to do with my current jobs.

3. Should I write more about my intependent studies? I've tried to get to university to study psychology but because the entrance examinations are really difficult, it's very hard to get in (usually it's only 4% who gets in, in whole Finland). Because I was really focused on getting to university I signed in for a training course. I studied statistical mathematics and psychology a lot. I also studied mass communication/journalism in the open university. There I went to the lessons, of course, but I also attended a seminar on financial journalism. One of the speakers was Sauli Niinistö, the current Speaker of the Parliament of Finland. He is very respected in Finland because of his economical knowledge. Should I mention these things or is it irrelevant?

4. From my letter you got the idea that I want to get a good job, any job. I wasn't that specific with my future career plans because I don't know how big my dreams can be in this point. My biggest dream is to have a job that I am happy to have. That I can be proud of what I do. I want to do something important, something that matters. I would love to work for organizations like CMI. But I don't want to be considered as a naive, childish little girl who thinks that she could bring the peace in the world. Right now I don't know for sure how these big international organizations work for solving problems and developing peace. But I want to learn and I want to study IR because of that.

Thanks again, your comments gave me a lot of things to think about.

Oh and just for the curiosity, how did you know that I'm a girl?
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AnonymousThank you for your comments!

I actually had a feeling that my motivation letter might not be good enough but really, there's nothing positive in it? I am very disappointed that my letter gives that kind of picture that I am lazy and I want to study IR only to get any high paying job. I read the posts you recommended and I will definitely work with my letter. I want to ask you some questions first, just to get the idea what is essential.

Questions are fine.

Anonymous1. Do you think it is important to write about how well did I do in high school? In my high school leaving certificate I have some pretty good grades ( 4 x Excellent, 4 x Very Good, 5 x Good..). In my certificate of matriculation examination I have good grades also and in Finnish test I got the grade "Laudatur", which is the best grade and only 5% gets that grade. I'm gonna send them my certificates anyways. Should I mention these thing in my motivation letter?
Extremely important. Every time you tell me about yourself, show me an example. Tell me you're smart, prove it. Make this letter stand on its own. After reading the letter, your qualifications should be obvious and without doubt.
Anonymous 2. How can I give a proof of my time management and organization skills and the fact that I am a hard working person? In my parents' company I work at the office from 7.00 am until 4.00 pm. After my day at the office I work the evening in the restaurants. I think that this have taught me time management and organization skills, but because I'm really young, I haven't been able to get any really important tasks. I have been working with the basic things.
When I was on the last grade of comprehensive school I organized the first annual Classic Gala. I got the idea, talked with the teachers, found a place for the gala, arranged few bands to play in the gala, wrote the script, asked other students to come and join my team. Do you think it's childish to mention this is my motivation letter? I think it could give some example of my organization skills, even though it has nothing to do with my current jobs.
Use your own life stories to show where you had to juggle competing priorities (social events, school, work, sports, whatever) and how you managed to achieve your goals despite some obstacles.
Anonymous 3. Should I write more about my intependent studies? I've tried to get to university to study psychology but because the entrance examinations are really difficult, it's very hard to get in (usually it's only 4% who gets in, in whole Finland). Because I was really focused on getting to university I signed in for a training course. I studied statistical mathematics and psychology a lot. I also studied mass communication/journalism in the open university. There I went to the lessons, of course, but I also attended a seminar on financial journalism. One of the speakers was Sauli Niinistö, the current Speaker of the Parliament of Finland. He is very respected in Finland because of his economical knowledge. Should I mention these things or is it irrelevant?
I am not sure if you should mention them or not. If you just mention a bunch of important things and important people, that's useless. Instead, if you can tell me why they are important to you, then I am impressed.
Anonymous 4. From my letter you got the idea that I want to get a good job, any job. I wasn't that specific with my future career plans because I don't know how big my dreams can be in this point. My biggest dream is to have a job that I am happy to have. That I can be proud of what I do. I want to do something important, something that matters. I would love to work for organizations like CMI. But I don't want to be considered as a naive, childish little girl who thinks that she could bring the peace in the world. Right now I don't know for sure how these big international organizations work for solving problems and developing peace. But I want to learn and I want to study IR because of that.
Okay, then tell me you want to acquire certain skills so that as you progress through your university career and early adulthood, you can explore options. The biggest problem I had with your previous letter is that you said company or government, as I recall. That pretty much means anything and everything. If you haven't narrowed down your selection yet (and that's fine), tell me that you want to be in a good position to explore various career options related to x.
Anonymous Thanks again, your comments gave me a lot of things to think about.
Oh and just for the curiosity, how did you know that I'm a girl?
More often than not, women are smart enough to ask for help. I thought you were smart to get feedback on your letter.

Men often don't ask for directions when lost. Women ask for directions as soon as they begin feeling something amiss.

Hello! I'm back with my new motivation letter. I made some changes, but it still needs a lot of work. It is extremely long and I have some ideas about cutting things of but I would like to hear your comments first. Thank you very much!

Dear Sir or Madam,



I am writing to apply for the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations at University of XXX. I am confident that this programme will help me to gain wide knowledge of the topics of world politics, economics and law.



I finished my upper secondary education in May 2009 from The Upper Secondary School at the AAA. In upper secondary school I became interested in psychology, sosiology, communication, philosophy and different cultures and religions. I also studied a lot of Finnish language and literature and I took part of the school’s online magazine. In my upper secondary leaving sertificate I received grade ‘Excellent’ in psychology, philosophy, religion and health studies. I also received grades ‘Very good’ in mother tongue and literature, biology, music and visual arts and ‘Good’ in English, geography, physics, history and physical education. I got the grade ‘Laudatur’ in mother tongue in matriculation examination which puts me in the top five percent of students graduated in 2009. In psychology I got the grade ‘Eximia cum laude approbatur’ and in Advanced English, mathematics and health studies I got the grade ‘Magna cum laude approbatur’, these grades put me in the top 15 and 20 percent of students graduated in 2009.



After graduating from upper secondary school I have worked in restaurants and also in my parents’ contruction company as an office worker. During the past two years I have studied statistical mathematics and psychology in university entrance examination training course. I also studied mass communication in open university of Tampere. I am glad that I have had a chance to work for two different fields. I have learned a lot about business and I became interested in global economics aswell. I also enjoyed studying very much and it deepened thinking. I realized that I want to focus on studying and start my academic career. Having two jobs and studying at the same time taught me excellent time management and organizational skills. At the beginning it was hard to avoid being over-loaded with work and studies, but I learned to schedule my tasks in long term in advance. When I learned to make specific schedules with each of my projects, I noticed that I had plenty of time to concentrate on every task properly.



I have always been interested in understanding different societies and cultures. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to explore these things in a practical way by travelling a lot. I have always enjoyed exploring new places by myself, but the best thing about travelling is meeting new people from all around the world. Having conversations about world politics, economics, business and environmental issues has truly opened my eyes for the wide range of different points of view. I am convinced that travelling has developed my language and communication skills.



I am proud to be a Finnish citizen and I believe that it is a good basis for an international career. Finland is a small country with neutral foreign policy and the society is based on equal opportunities. I believe this is one of the reasons why Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) has achieved it’s goals of solving conflicts and developing sustainable peace. CMI was founded by the former President of Finland, the United Nations diplomat, a mediator and a laurea of The Geuzenpenning, The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize, Martti Ahtisaari. The work of Martti Ahtisaari and specially CMI is one of the main inspirations for me to study international relations. I find this field of study very fascinating and I believe that I have a lot of potential as a student because of my huge motivation. I am eager to learn more about human rights, world politics and how international organizations work.



In my future career, I can see myself working in an international organization as an intependent, hard working team player. I love new challenges, responsibility and solving problems. During my upper secondary education I learned a lot about teamwork. In most of the school projects I was the team leader and my fellow students thanked me for my team player attitude, “teamwork is all about communication and compromises”. Our team organized for example a big, important lecture about death sentence in the 21st century and it was praised by many teachers. We got the grade ‘Excellent’ in our ethic studies course. I enjoy starting projects on my own. On the last grade of comprehensive school I organized the first annual Classic Gala. It included music and dance performances, short plays, stand up comedy and awards in different categories for students and teachers. The gala was a success and it has been a tradition in my comprehensive school ever since.



I have discovered the information of the University of XXX and the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations truly seems like an excellent undergraduate programme in this studying field. I find the rich academic tradition and the high position in international rankings very desirable. Also the good reputation among foreign students is an extremely important factor. Studying international relations in an international environment will contribute my future career perspectives. The Language Centre, ACLO Sports Centre and social student activities make the University of XXX even more attractive for me as a student.



My academic goals have become clear to me. I want to study international relations. I believe that it combines everything that I have always been interested in. Your programme will provide me the right set of skills and knowledge of world politics, economics and law. In future I want to be in a good position to explore various career options related to international relations.



I am convinced that the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations best meets my aspirations and I would appreciate to receive the opportunity to study at the University of Groningen. Thank you very much for considerating my request. I look forward for your positive response.



Sincerely yours,
Sss Hhh
You are correct. It is much, much too long. I was going to write, reduce it by one- to two-thirds and then I'll have a look. But in your question, you requested my comments first. So my comments will be brief. You've given too much to give a detailed response.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to apply for the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations at University of XXX. I am confident that this programme will help me to gain wide knowledge of the topics of world politics, economics and law.

Above (all comments will refer above), second sentence is useless because it states the obvious.

I finished my upper secondary education in May 2009 from The Upper Secondary School at the AAA. In upper secondary school I became interested in psychology, sosiology, communication, philosophy and different cultures and religions. I also studied a lot of Finnish language and literature and I took part of the school’s online magazine. In my upper secondary leaving sertificate I received grade ‘Excellent’ in psychology, philosophy, religion and health studies. I also received grades ‘Very good’ in mother tongue and literature, biology, music and visual arts and ‘Good’ in English, geography, physics, history and physical education. I got the grade ‘Laudatur’ in mother tongue in matriculation examination which puts me in the top five percent of students graduated in 2009. In psychology I got the grade ‘Eximia *** laude approbatur’ and in Advanced English, mathematics and health studies I got the grade ‘Magna *** laude approbatur’, these grades put me in the top 15 and 20 percent of students graduated in 2009.

I almost need a checklist to keep track of what you studied. Either make it easy for me, or drop the long list of subjects. If it were me, I'd discuss my favorite one or two that further my academic goals. It is good that you gave your class standing.

After graduating from upper secondary school I have worked in restaurants and also in my parents’ contruction company as an office worker. During the past two years I have studied statistical mathematics and psychology in university entrance examination training course. I also studied mass communication in open university of Tampere. I am glad that I have had a chance to work for two different fields. I have learned a lot about business and I became interested in global economics aswell. I also enjoyed studying very much and it deepened thinking. I realized that I want to focus on studying and start my academic career. Having two jobs and studying at the same time taught me excellent time management and organizational skills. At the beginning it was hard to avoid being over-loaded with work and studies, but I learned to schedule my tasks in long term in advance. When I learned to make specific schedules with each of my projects, I noticed that I had plenty of time to concentrate on every task properly.

Too detailed. I feel as though I am reading a diary, not a business letter with a purpose. What's the purpose of the prior paragraph? What did you want to tell me?

I have always been interested in understanding different societies and cultures. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to explore these things in a practical way by travelling a lot. I have always enjoyed exploring new places by myself, but the best thing about travelling is meeting new people from all around the world. Having conversations about world politics, economics, business and environmental issues has truly opened my eyes for the wide range of different points of view. I am convinced that travelling has developed my language and communication skills.

Again, more diary entries. Always ask yourself, what's the purpose of this paragraph?

I am proud to be a Finnish citizen and I believe that it is a good basis for an international career. Finland is a small country with neutral foreign policy and the society is based on equal opportunities. I believe this is one of the reasons why Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) has achieved it’s goals of solving conflicts and developing sustainable peace. CMI was founded by the former President of Finland, the United Nations diplomat, a mediator and a laurea of The Geuzenpenning, The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize, Martti Ahtisaari. The work of Martti Ahtisaari and specially CMI is one of the main inspirations for me to study international relations. I find this field of study very fascinating and I believe that I have a lot of potential as a student because of my huge motivation. I am eager to learn more about human rights, world politics and how international organizations work.

More blather. And, now, you're giving me a Finnish history lesson. In all honesty, the only thing I want to know about is you. Everything else, not so much.

In my future career, I can see myself working in an international organization as an intependent, hard working team player. I love new challenges, responsibility and solving problems. During my upper secondary education I learned a lot about teamwork. In most of the school projects I was the team leader and my fellow students thanked me for my team player attitude, “teamwork is all about communication and compromises”. Our team organized for example a big, important lecture about death sentence in the 21st century and it was praised by many teachers. We got the grade ‘Excellent’ in our ethic studies course. I enjoy starting projects on my own. On the last grade of comprehensive school I organized the first annual Classic Gala. It included music and dance performances, short plays, stand up comedy and awards in different categories for students and teachers. The gala was a success and it has been a tradition in my comprehensive school ever since.

Your first sentence is extremely vague. It could mean anything, so it means nothing. And the rest is back to diary entries. All I am interested in is you. Tell me about you. Scrap everything else.

I have discovered the information of the University of XXX and the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations truly seems like an excellent undergraduate programme in this studying field. I find the rich academic tradition and the high position in international rankings very desirable. Also the good reputation among foreign students is an extremely important factor. Studying international relations in an international environment will contribute my future career perspectives. The Language Centre, ACLO Sports Centre and social student activities make the University of XXX even more attractive for me as a student.

The flattery in the first sentence doesn't work because it is so generic. It's like a drunk at midnight telling a girl that she is pretty. The whole paragraph is vague and general. Put differently, you could switch the specialization and apply this paragraph to almost any university for any program. They are all desirable, all have rich academic traditions, and all have good standings.

My academic goals have become clear to me. I want to study international relations. I believe that it combines everything that I have always been interested in. Your programme will provide me the right set of skills and knowledge of world politics, economics and law. In future I want to be in a good position to explore various career options related to international relations.

I am convinced that the Bachelor’s degree programme in International Relations and International Organizations best meets my aspirations and I would appreciate to receive the opportunity to study at the University of Groningen. Thank you very much for considerating my request. I look forward for your positive response.

Sincerely yours,

Your letter is written for you to you. Which is okay for a start. Now, you have to eliminate most everything. Ask yourself, what are you key strengths and attributes. Then, using your "wealth" of experiences, demonstrate your strengths and attributes. Your letter needs to be tight and focused.

Please re-read:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-i.htm

and then read:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-ii.htm

When you are done, your letter will be written by you for your intended reader.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hello MountainHiker and thank you for your comments! It seems to be extremely hard for me to give examples without blather. I will eliminate all the useless nonsense and write a new letter.
MountainHikerAfter graduating from upper secondary school I have worked in restaurants and also in my parents’ contruction company as an office worker. During the past two years I have studied statistical mathematics and psychology in university entrance examination training course. I also studied mass communication in open university of Tampere. I am glad that I have had a chance to work for two different fields. I have learned a lot about business and I became interested in global economics aswell. I also enjoyed studying very much and it deepened thinking. I realized that I want to focus on studying and start my academic career. Having two jobs and studying at the same time taught me excellent time management and organizational skills. At the beginning it was hard to avoid being over-loaded with work and studies, but I learned to schedule my tasks in long term in advance. When I learned to make specific schedules with each of my projects, I noticed that I had plenty of time to concentrate on every task properly.

Too detailed. I feel as though I am reading a diary, not a business letter with a purpose. What's the purpose of the prior paragraph? What did you want to tell me?
The purpose of this paragraph is to prove that I have some work experience and also to say that it has been usefull, that I've learned something about business. I also wanted to prove that having two jobs and studying independetly taught me a lot about scheduling, time management and organizational skills. I wanted to give examples. I want the reader to think that I'm hard working and also that I have ambition - I want to give my energy for studying and I want to focus on that.
MountainHikerI have always been interested in understanding different societies and cultures. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to explore these things in a practical way by travelling a lot. I have always enjoyed exploring new places by myself, but the best thing about travelling is meeting new people from all around the world. Having conversations about world politics, economics, business and environmental issues has truly opened my eyes for the wide range of different points of view. I am convinced that travelling has developed my language and communication skills.

Again, more diary entries. Always ask yourself, what's the purpose of this paragraph?
This was one of the paragraphs that I wasn't so confident with. I know that it might seem like useless, but the reason why I wrote this paragraph is that I wanted to give some examples of my huge, lifelong interest in international things, globalisation and then on the other hand different cultures in different countries. I have no other experience on international relations but my trips. I love travelling, it is my hobby. When everyone else is buying new clothes, partying a lot or saving their money for a car, I save my money for travelling. And it's not like I'm laying on the beach and doing nothing. I always want to explore the culture and to try to adapt in the environment. I write a lot during my trips and I consider my trips more like research than a holiday. Travelling has always been my passion (and it has made me me the way I am today, internationally oriented) and because it is the only practical way that I've experienced international relations (even though it's not official in any way, it's not academic and has nothing to do with my jobs) I wanted to point that out and give an example that proves my interest in internationality. I also wanted to tell that it has been somehow usefull, it has developed my language and communication skills.
MountainHikerI am proud to be a Finnish citizen and I believe that it is a good basis for an international career. Finland is a small country with neutral foreign policy and the society is based on equal opportunities. I believe this is one of the reasons why Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) has achieved it’s goals of solving conflicts and developing sustainable peace. CMI was founded by the former President of Finland, the United Nations diplomat, a mediator and a laurea of The Geuzenpenning, The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize and The Nobel Peace Prize, Martti Ahtisaari. The work of Martti Ahtisaari and specially CMI is one of the main inspirations for me to study international relations. I find this field of study very fascinating and I believe that I have a lot of potential as a student because of my huge motivation. I am eager to learn more about human rights, world politics and how international organizations work.

More blather. And, now, you're giving me a Finnish history lesson. In all honesty, the only thing I want to know about is you. Everything else, not so much.
Here, I wanted to tell something about myself. About how I am proud to be a Finnish citizen and how I think that it gives me some benefit on my future international career. I also wanted to tell something about why I am interested about IR, why I want to study and make a career on that field, why I consider that these things are important and what was the main inspiration for me to apply. I wanted to tell something about my values and also that I have some knowleadge (even though it's that much) about international organizations. I guess I need to be more specific?
MountainHikerIn my future career, I can see myself working in an international organization as an intependent, hard working team player. I love new challenges, responsibility and solving problems. During my upper secondary education I learned a lot about teamwork. In most of the school projects I was the team leader and my fellow students thanked me for my team player attitude, “teamwork is all about communication and compromises”. Our team organized for example a big, important lecture about death sentence in the 21st century and it was praised by many teachers. We got the grade ‘Excellent’ in our ethic studies course. I enjoy starting projects on my own. On the last grade of comprehensive school I organized the first annual Classic Gala. It included music and dance performances, short plays, stand up comedy and awards in different categories for students and teachers. The gala was a success and it has been a tradition in my comprehensive school ever since.

Your first sentence is extremely vague. It could mean anything, so it means nothing. And the rest is back to diary entries. All I am interested in is you. Tell me about you. Scrap everything else.
Okay, so at the beginning too vague and the rest is too detailed? I will focus on this paragaph also. What I tried to do here, was to first give a statement (how do I see myself in my future career and I love new challenges, responsibility and solving problems) and then give some good examples. But I guess that there's too much blather. I will eliminate all the nonsense.

Thank you for your help. This is really helpful, I'm seeing my letter in a different light every time I read it. I will work with my letter and return with a new, no-nonsense one.
The best advice I can provide is to look at some of the other letters. See how direct and focused they are. And then consider your letter. Consider being one of the persons responsible for admitting students. Do you really want to take the time and effort to read and track all the stuff in your letter?

As the writer, your job as follows:

Write your letter in such a manner that it is easy for the reader to understand and grasp the salient details in as few as words possible so that he or she can come to the correct decision to admit you to the program.

If you make it hard, you letter simply ends up in the reject pile, where most letters go.