Advisory Services Career Service

Letter of Motivation

The letter of motivation or cover letter is generally the element of an application dossier which makes that essential first impression. The quality of a letter of motivation often determines whether your application dossier is read in its entirety or not. The aim is to arouse the interest of the recipient by stating briefly and plausibly why you are applying for the job advertised and thanks to which qualifications and competences you are the right person for the job advertised.


  • ​Take the time to write your letter of motivation
  • Do not send a standardized letter of motivation. Provide a targeted response to the advertised job and the company. Create a reference between your qualifications and the job profile
  • Use precise and clearly understandable wording
  • Avoid meaningless phrases
  • Use active and positive wording
  • No spelling mistakes!
  • Ask others to proofread your letter of motivation


  • The letter of motivation should not exceed 1 page of A4. The letter of motivation includes the following elements:
  • Sender: Your complete contact details (first name, surname, address, telephone number, e-mail address).
  • Address: Complete company address with the name of the contact person. If no contact person is indicated in the job advert, ask the company for information by telephone.
  • Town and date: e.g. “Bern, July 5, 2013”
  • Subject line: This should include the description from the advertised job, the source and the date of publication of the job advert. In the event of a spontaneous application, this should be indicated in the subject line. The word “Subject" should not be used. The line is shown in bold and ends without a period.
  • Personal form of address: Avoid impersonal forms of address such as “Dear Sir/Madam”. Do not forget the academic title.
  • Running text: The text should be divided into three to five sections containing the following points
    • A convincing introduction with no meaningless phrases. Get to the point quickly. Explain why you are applying for the job.
    • Briefly, succinctly and convincingly state why you are the right person for the job advertised. Describe your professional competences and relevant experience which qualify you for the job. In particular, respond to the requirements indicated in the job advert. Indicate which activity you are currently pursuing, without losing track of the central theme.
    • Respond to personal characteristics (or “soft skills”) which are of particular relevance for the post.
    • Briefly and concisely make it clear that you are motivated for a personal interview. (Please note: Not “I would be pleased…”, but “I am pleased…”)
  • Salutation: “Yours sincerely,”
  • Signature: With blue pen so that the letter is easily recognized as an original.
  • Enclosures: Without the word “Enclosures”