Differences Between Academic Letters: Motivational and Cover Letter, Personal Statement and Statement of Purpose

Table of Contents

Many students confused the academic and professional letter like motivational letter and cover letter.

Motivational letter, cover letter, personal statement and statement of purpose are often confused. In this short article I would like to elaborate on differences of these letter. Next time when you are asked to write anyone, you would have a clear head for it.

What is the difference between a motivational letter and a statement of purpose?

There is no difference between a motivational letter (sometimes referred to as the letter of motivation or LOM) and a statement of purpose (sometimes referred to as SOP or letter of intent). They are exactly the same and are used interchangeably by universities and students. They are used to evaluate your candidacy for that program.

How to write a successful motivational letter- The ultimate guide (2021) >>

What is the difference between a statement of purpose and a personal statement?

Personal statements and Statement of Purpose (motivational letters) are not entirely similar. You might find a personal statement on the course website universities but don’t confuse it with a statement of purpose or motivation letter. A personal statement is more about you as a person. It’s more about your past achievements; education, internships, projects, work experience and other related activities. Here you will concentrate more on explaining yourself to the admission committee. It notes what drives and inspires you academically, as well as what your interests and professional aspirations are.

Just to clarify, the past mentioned in the motivational letter justifies how committed you are to achieve your goals, but the main focus remains on your future goals as explained above.

What is the difference between a statement of purpose/motivational letter and a cover letter?

You may have seen that cover letter and motivational letter used interchangeably but both are two different types of letters. A cover letter is required for a job by employers. While a motivational letter is required by universities for your interest in further studies. Employers may ask for a statement of purpose but that is a fancier way of say saying a cover letter. In a cover letter, you have to tell them why you are interested in the job, what is your past experience related to the job are you applying for and why they should select you for a job interview. I hope this basic difference might have made it clear.

Don’t forget to checkout our other articles that you might find useful. I am continuously trying to bring to improve and bring you the best content possible.

Quick Links

Learn about other documents requirements:

Admission requirements for Germany in this guide for 2021 >>

Letter of Recommendation – A Complete Guide (2021)>>

How to write a CV (tabular) for graduate admission >>

Examples and further updates coming soon. Like our Facebook page to stay updated >>.

Table of Contents

It’s a lot easier – with Leazear
© 2021


Join our 'Study in Germany' community forum and get answers!

Sign up for Leazear’s community forum and post your questions about studying in Germany by starting a discussion. Our team –  or one of the other community members – will answer.
See you there!



How to apply for master's programs in Germany

Consent management powered by Real Cookie Banner