Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

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Mathilde2211
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Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby Mathilde2211 » 19 Nov 2018, 16:25

Hello everybody,

I am curently writing my motivation letter for the Vulcanus program and I face a big issue : it can't fit on one page !
I wrote it considering the question they wrote on the "More information about compulsory documents" sheet but I have now 2 pages...

Do you have any tips that I could use? In my opinion everything that i said is really important, but I Don't know if it is from the organization's point of view...

Thank you very much :)
hidesagred97
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby hidesagred97 » 20 Nov 2018, 20:54

I will tell you what I did last time.

Reduce margins and change the font. There are versions of arial that are a little smaller than their original version. This can help you to fit your letter if you are exceeding the limit by only few phrases.

As an advice. Try to rewrite the letter so it fit in one page. Also try to write more than one letter and then choose the one that you like the most. You can try to read it to someone you know, so you you can have a better idea.

Good luck.
Last edited by hidesagred97 on 21 Nov 2018, 15:42, edited 1 time in total.
Mathilde2211
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby Mathilde2211 » 21 Nov 2018, 14:56

Thank you !
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby yez » 22 Nov 2018, 12:11

tl;dr: I'd advise to go over every single paragraph, sentence, and word and question yourself if it is essential (hint: probably its not - sometimes hard to accept, but true).

Mathilde2211 wrote:In my opinion everything that i said is really important, [...]


The first step is to accept, that this is probably not the case. It's more likely that while it's all relevant, not all is (that) important (at least not to the same degree).
  • Let go of what you wrote so far. Keep a copy, but be ready to tear apart the nicest formulations you found, because it might enable the following points.
  • Merge things where possible. Remove unnecessary clutter in between (pretty words and extensive formulations).
  • The letter shouldn't read like a bullet point list, but don't make a long story out of it either. Keep the bare minimum of every paragraph, such that every sentence and every word becomes essential (words like "very" are unnecessary filling clutter in most cases).
  • If you are still over the limit: carefully consider which of the points you discuss are the most essential and which other (although relevant) will have the least impact on your application (and yes...there is no universal answer to what those are)

The useful outcome of the above (especially point two) is that to achieve all of this, you need to ensure that each paragraph of your application carries a specific and clear message. No paragraph will say the same things as another paragraph. While one paragraph can/should/might lead into the next, they should stand on their own (mutually exclusive information).

Finally, consider that your cv/application form also contains lots of information, so a clear, well-written, and expressive letter is way more important than an overly long exhaustive one.
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Mathilde2211
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby Mathilde2211 » 08 Jan 2019, 11:50

Thank you for your advices !

I still have one question : should I write my name, adress, phone and the program's adress as if it was a formal letter? I have already but wonder if I have to keep it ^^ Thanks !
hidesagred97
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby hidesagred97 » 08 Jan 2019, 14:36

I didn´t last year. I just put in the end "Signature: hidesagred97". I was shortlisted, so it shouldn´t be any problem. But if you have space, I don´t see how that can harm you.
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby yez » 09 Jan 2019, 13:48

Probably not necessary. I only had

``````
Dear Sir or Madam,

Sincerely Yours
`````

something like address phone is not required. That is on the main documents.
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Mathilde2211
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Re: Motivation Letter : how can I reduce it?

Postby Mathilde2211 » 09 Jan 2019, 16:41

Thanks so much ! Then I finally managed to shorten in enough, it fits on 1 page :D Sending all the papers by next week !

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