A Master’s application can be quite stressful, as gaining a spot at your ideal postgraduate program is most definitely a competitive process. Thousands of applications flood in every round. So, if you are wondering how to make your application stand out, then the answer is one: a killer master’s application cover letter!
A cover letter can either skyrocket your chances of success or ruin them completely. It allows you to provide your chosen university with a taste of your personality and convince them that you are the perfect fit for the program. Moreover, it forms the first impression, which is particularly important, especially on postgraduate study interviews. For that reason, keeping a professional tone should be your top priority.
So, how can you write the perfect cover letter that will give you the “golden ticket” to achieving your goals? Let’s take a look at some key tips on creating a truly outstanding piece.
Layout and Structure
First of all, like any other formal letter, your master’s application cover letter should contain your name, professional title, and contact details at the top of the page. When it comes to the main body, it should be organized in several short, but compelling paragraphs. Cover letters should be between half a page to one full page in length. An average of 400 words is just about right.
Your master’s application should contain your cover letter, CV, academic transcripts, a couple of references, and a research proposal (if required). In regards to the cover letter, its most essential part is content. For most applicants, composing a letter to present themselves and their accomplishments could be a real struggle, but it could be also the first step to their success!
Think of the cover letter as an invitation to the admission committee to get to know who you are. Instead of just listing your achievements, write about what skills and personality traits make you an ideal candidate for your chosen degree. Present concrete examples and evidence about your experience and motivation that reflect what kind of student you are. You can also share some of your future career goals.
The first paragraph of your master’s application cover letter is your opportunity to grab your reader’s attention from the very beginning. Utilize that part to briefly introduce yourself and mention what program you’re applying for. Also, clearly state why you’re interested in this program.
The second paragraph is ideal for summarizing your educational background and qualifications for this master’s program. Present relevant skills and experiences that make you an ideal applicant. You can also mention relevant professional experience in the field, as well as any knowledge of foreign languages.
You could use the third paragraph to outline the reasons that make you a good fit for this postgraduate program and describe what attracted you to the institution you are applying to. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the program and explain how this degree could help you achieve your long-term career plans and your personal goals. Additionally, you can gain some extra bonus points by explaining how your research interests can contribute to the future of the program.
To summarize, paragraphs 2 and 3 are all about presenting why you are a perfect fit for this postgraduate program, as well as why it is perfect for you!
The final paragraph of your master’s application cover letter is a short concluding paragraph in which you thank your reader and provide additional information, if necessary. It’s always preferable if you could also give a list of your application’s enclosed materials.
The job of an admission committee is to select candidates that could really make a contribution to their department or their institution as a whole. For that reason, your personality, skills, and goals can, sometimes, be more significant than your grades. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to personalize each cover letter according to each program’s philosophy and mission to make sure you are relevant.
The Great Don’ts
…be positive and honest! On your master’s application cover letter, you should outline your strengths and focus on what you’re good at and proud of. Most importantly, you should show a genuine interest in the postgraduate degree you’re applying for. If you’re truly passionate about the program you want to study, chances are you’ve already been chosen!
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