How to Write a Motivation Letter for Getting a PhD Position (Explained)

๐Ÿ. ๐€๐๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐จ๐ซ: Whenever you see a PhD position ad, it also mentions the point of contact. For example, the name of the professor in case of a PhD/postdoc position. Specifically, address this person e.g., Dear Prof. Peter.
๐Ÿ. ๐’๐ฉ๐ž๐š๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐จ๐ซโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐š๐ ๐ž: Since you are writing it to a specific person, speak in his/her language. This means using the terms, that professor already knows e.g., keywords from his/her research. You should also make use of the key terms mentioned in the advertisement. This will make your letter resonate with the professor. For instance, it is quite likely that Iโ€™ll read a letter that mentions the terms cyber security, data science, and software engineering.
๐Ÿ‘. ๐๐ฎ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ญ: Everything makes more sense when itโ€™s in numbers. Therefore, quantify wherever possible. Moreover, focus on the outcome instead of the process. For example, instead of saying that I have research experience in data science, you should say my 2-year experience working in data science has resulted in 3 research papers.
๐Ÿ’. ๐Œ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐: Ask yourself this question why would someone read 500 words letter? What will compel him/her to read this whole letter? Give a smooth and soft flow to your letter. Help the reader to easily go from one sentence to another.
๐Ÿ“. ๐Š๐ž๐ž๐ฉ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ ๐ž: People are mostly quite busy. They donโ€™t have time to read lengthy letters nor do they have time to read very complex writing. Keep it to one page and write in simple straight language. Do not use a sentence longer than 2 lines.
๐Ÿ”. ๐’๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ญ: Why you are writing this letter? Mention the purpose right away. โ€˜I am writing to express my interest in the Ph.D. position available at your research labโ€™ is a decent line to start with.
๐Ÿ•. ๐ƒ๐จ ๐๐Ž๐“ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ซ ๐›๐ฅ๐š๐ฆ๐ž: Keep your letter very positive. Do not complain or blame anyone or anything. Mention how your skill and experience fit the advertised position. Do not mention that you deserve the position because something bad happened or that you were at some disadvantage in the past.
๐Ÿ–. ๐๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ: Make sure your letter is free from typos and grammar errors. You can easily remove such errors using online software tools such as Grammarly.
๐Ÿ—. ๐ƒ๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ข๐ญ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž: Your resume is only about you. A cover letter is where you link your profile with that of the advertised position. This way itโ€™s both about you and the advertised position. Focus on demonstrating this link instead of only focusing on your profile.
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