Statement of Purpose, or Motivation letter, is a letter most recruiters used to understand a student and why they want to apply for a course and wish to study abroad. It is an essential selection criterion in university applications. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of writing a Statement of Purpose and how you can write a Statement of Purpose to impress any recruiter.
What does a Statement of Purpose mean?
A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a letter or essay that highlights your experience and skills as a student. The purpose of this preparation is to convince the admissions committee that your achievements and strengths are an asset that will turn into a bright future with the proper guidance.
Your SOP should give the reader an answer to three questions: What type of student are you? Who do you want to be? And how will pursuing this particular course help you become that person?
What is so important about a Statement of Purpose?
A well-written SOP serves two purposes:
- It motivates the recruiter to make an impact on your career.
- It can help your application to stand out from the crowd and help the recruiter get to know you as an individual.
SOP is one document where you have complete freedom because no ‘one size fits all rule.’ There is no template or writing style you need to follow.
12 Tips and tricks for writing perfect Statement of Purpose
We all need to build and have a resume that speaks about our educational qualifications and academic achievements. But do you think it communicates to the reader the passion, dedication, and motivation you possess? Well, I am sure your answer is No!
The universities abroad that you are applying to need to know you, your vision, your passion towards a particular field, your reason for choosing them as a university to study, besides your academic achievements, qualifications, and professional experience. They need to know why you are the best candidate for admission to their university.
Your motivation letter should be such that you can perfectly and impressively transmit your passion, eagerness, and diligence regarding your dream course and the career path you wish to have ahead!
Here are some Super Tips and Tricks for writing that perfect Statement of Purpose to get you shortlisted for your dream course abroad!
#1: Stick to the Format
The Motivation letter should be drafted in a particular format and style for easy and compelling reading. It should consist of the following elements.
A crisp, engaging write-up about yourself explaining why you want to apply. It should cover details like:
- Personal information (Name, Address, Email, Profile, Work Experience if any)
- Mention the course you are applying for admission to and why.
This the main body of your motivation letter. It should highlight the following elements:
- Academic and professional journey
- Career aspirations.
- Skills and passions
- Your commitment towards the chosen course.
Ensure to keep this based on facts, crisp and concise. However, if the university has specified a different and specific format, please adhere to the same.
This part is highly essential where you summarize your main points, talk about your future goals, and then end the letter with a happy and thankful note.
#2: Review Time
- A critical thing to understand is that once you are done with the first draft of your motivation letter, then do not keep reading it again and again immediately searching for errors, etc. Give yourself a break. Read your draft the next day, which will help your mind gain a better perspective and make worthy changes in the letter.
- Always remember that do not try to finish writing your motivation letter at one go; spread it over days and write in bits and parts daily towards completion.
- It is interesting to know the impact of your letter, so do request your friends and family to read it and give you an honest feedback.
#3: Be Original
We understand that you must be writing your motivation letter for the first time. However, you can take inspiration from other student’s letters available on the internet but do not overshadow your writing style. Try and write original in your class because that will be unique and stand out from the various applications received by the university. They do not like copy-pasted work.
#4: Be to the Point
It’s your motivation letter, and thus whatever you write should clear and to the point that supports the reader to understand your viewpoint. Do not make generalized statements as then it can sound vague to the reader. Such kind of negligence is not affordable when you are drafting your motivation letter to study abroad.
#5: Be realistic
Ensure that your writing is realistic and what and how you feel. Do not package it with too many flowery words because it could sound overdramatic to the reader. Please keep it simple and original.
The tone and language you use in drafting your motivation letter need to have short and straightforward sentences free from any language errors. The reader loses interest if you keep your sentences very long. Ensure to include smooth, persuasive, and fluent language in your motivation letter.
#7: Do not repeat
This is the magic mantra to keep the eyes and attention glued to your motivation letter of the university officers. Do not repeat facts in your motivation letter if they are already covered in your application or CV. Give them something new and engaging.
#8: Showcase yourself
What is appreciated is showcasing yourself honestly and truly in the motivation letter that you draft. When you honestly present yourself, your viewpoint will be clear, and the admission officer will understand and maybe be impressed. This is because it is unique and does not seem to have been copied or filled with adjectives to impress.
#9: Do not make it lengthy
Your motivation letter should not be more than two pages. Too much matter, too many points can put the admission officer off due to boredom setting in. Thus be careful about the length of your motivation letter always.
#10: Describe your personality
Describing your personality is a crucial element to cover in your motivation letter. It is essential to explain how your character is well-suited to being in an international context. E.g., “I am a curious and friendly person. I make friends easily and adaptable to different situations”.
This gives a fair idea to the reader about your personality.
#11: Help you grow!
An important aspect to cover in your motivation letter that impresses the admission officer is how this opportunity of studying abroad in this particular course will help you grow. Talk about your aspiration, which could be networking with people from across the world, learning a foreign language, experiencing cultural diversity, etc. Write your aspiration and goals that you wish to achieve through this study abroad experience in the letter.
#12: Your International experience
No one thinks about this, but if you have traveled abroad in the past either for academic purposes or leisure travel, mention it in your motivation letter. This is because it gives the admission officer an idea that you have some idea of what you are getting into with your decision to study abroad.
However, in case you do not have prior international travel experience, it is absolutely fine. In your letter, focus on what motivates you to travel and study abroad.
Remember that your motivation letter could be the final document in your application for the university you are applying for admission to. It needs to be an impressive reflection of your strengths, characteristics, aspirations, goals, and interests. A motivation letter may serve as a final document in your application for university admission. It is a reflection of your interests and main strengths.
Now that you’ve understood what to include let’s look at things you should avoid.
What to avoid doing while writing a Statement of Purpose?
- Don’t make your SOP too long. The ideal length of an SOP is 800-1000 words. This length may vary for specific universities, but if no special requirements are mentioned, try to keep your SOP 1.5-2 pages long.
- Don’t forget Grammar checks. Grammatical and structural errors are one of the pitfalls of writing an SOP. Never sent your statement without reading through it two or three times. It is also recommended that you try English tools like Hemmingway and Grammarly before you submit the letter.
- Don’t reuse the SOP. As mentioned before, the SOP is not one-size-fits-all. Several candidates try to reuse the same SOP for different universities by changing a few words. However, this is not recommended. Instead, for every application that requires an SOP, write a fresh one.
- Don’t include all your achievements. While you might have earned honors in various fields, include only those relevant to the program. If you’re applying for a Computer Science program, achievements in art or cooking are irrelevant.
The critical thing you should remember when writing an SOP is that you’re trying to convince the recruiter to choose you over thousands of applicants. It is a chance for you to make a long-lasting impression on anyone who comes across your application.