Just like with CVs, even if the volunteering job post doesn’t require submission of motivation letter, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to send it. The interviewer can ask you to send CV + motivation letter or essay upon the completion of the interview.
That’s why it’s highly important to think about the essay at the very beginning. This will give you time to decide what to write, how to write it, and make sure the motivation letter is well-crafted before you send an email.
Although it seems like volunteering motivation letter is easy to write, it still holds a trap that you should avoid. When it comes to this type of program, most people focus only on their desire to help, contribute, learn etc. Although all these qualities are great, you shouldn’t make your motivation letter about them only. Instead, to make it stand out, do the opposite – compose a highly professional motivation letter that will STILL depict your positive characteristics.
The very first paragraph of the motivation letter should be similar to the beginning of an essay for paid position – introduce yourself as well as program wherein you want to participate.
The second paragraph should focus on your previous job experiences and accomplishments in both volunteer and paid positions. Your goal here is to show you are capable of performing tasks they might give you. But also, it’s important to demonstrate that you do understand the program and its challenges. Incorporating both paid and volunteer positions into the same paragraph is useful for making a connection between the two. Both positions are similar and different at the same time.
If you have achievements or important accomplishments, feel free to include them. Let’s say you worked for some financial company for a limited period of time and you were still voted an employee of the month. It’s an amazing achievement and could definitely bring you closer to the program, particularly if you apply for volunteering program in field of finances and economy.
Once you complete the “professional” segment (work experiences + achievements etc.) it’s time to focus on your personality. Describe your attitude towards work and other people in a few sentences. Be precise and specific.
End the motivation letter stating the recipient should feel free to contact you for more info. Also, emphasize your availability and interest to become a part of the program. When you’re done, reread the motivation letter, correct all typos or grammatical mistakes and that’s it. The word count doesn’t really matter here, but don’t make it too long. In fact, 500 words should be a maximum.
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