Summary: This article is about how to write an attention-grabbing motivation letter in German. Here are useful tips, structures, and examples of sentences in German.


Whether you’re going to study at a German university, apply for a scholarship or internship, or work in a German company, it’s inevitable that you will have to write a cover letter in German. This article will help you make your cover letter in German both attention-grabbing and eye-catching.


Usually we say eye-catching when it is about a bright picture, but there are no pictures in motivation letters. That’s why you need to catch the reader’s eye with your words, constructions, grammar, and for sure high motivation. Follow the tips in this article and you will make your cover letter entertaining to read.


What’s a motivation letter and why does every company or university require it? The motivation or cover letter (das Motivationsschreiben oder der Motivationsbrief) is a letter of self-introduction accompanying another document such as a résumé or curriculum vitae (der Lebenslauf). The main purpose of a cover letter is to persuade a company’s HR that you are the most suitable and motivated candidate for a role they need to fill.


Pay attention to these points before you start writing:


  1. The cover letter must be no more than one A4 page long (500 to 700 words). Recruiters read plenty of cover letters, so try not to make yours too long.
  2. The motivation letter must be specific for every position and every company.
  3. Plan your letter before you start writing it. It will help make your cover letter appear well-structured.
  4. It’s very important to write your letter without grammatical or spelling mistakes. After writing it, send your cover letter to someone you value for opinion (e.g. a teacher). He or she will check and correct any mistakes that you didn’t catch -- on top of likely making other suggestions as well.

Now let’s go into the details and see how to start your motivation letter in German:



1. Introduction (die Vorstellung)


  • Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren - Dear Sir or Madam


Use this greeting when you can’t find the person's name and gender. But if there is a possibility to check the name and gender, please do it. People always like it when you call them by their name; it shows respect and awareness.


  • Sehr geehrter Herr… - Dear Sir
  • Sehr geehrte Frau… - Dear Madam


Follow this with a surname. Be sure that you know the right gender. Then write a surname.


So how do you start your motivation letter? Explain how you discovered this opportunity and why you want to apply.


  • Mit großem Interesse habe ich Ihr Stellenangebot gelesen. I was quite interested when I read an offer about the position.
  • Hiermit bewerbe ich mich um die Stelle als..., die Sie in... ausgeschrieben haben. I am applying for the position as... that you published in…
  • Ich wurde auf Ihre Stellenanzeige in... aufmerksam. I paid attention to an offer about the position in…
  • Ich bewerbe mich um die Stelle als... I am applying for the position as…



2. Your occupation (Der Beruf)


Tell the recruiter about your education and current occupation. You can write reasons why you’re not satisfied with it. But gear your disatisfaction toward positive things (goals) you wish to achieve if given the opportunity to start at the position you are applying for. Try not to bad-talk your current company (even if you feel its true). For example, this job isn’t prospective and you don’t have enough self-development. Or, it doesn’t align with your passion or your future plans, and that’s why you are seeking a change.


  • Ich bin Arzt. I’m a doctor.
  • Ich habe Medizin an der Universität studiert. I studied medicine in University (write which University).
  • Ich bin 30 Jahre alt und Architekt von Beruf. I’m 30 years old and I’m an architect.
  • Zurzeit arbeite ich als... Now I work as…
  • Zu meinen Aufgaben zählen... My job duties are...



3. Why do you want to get this job (Warum wollen Sie diese Stelle bekommen?)


  • Sie beschreiben eine Tätigkeit, die meinen Fähigkeiten genau entspricht. Your job description is suited to my abilities.
  • Dieser Bereich passt genau zu meinen Qualifikationen. I have the right qualifications for this job.
  • Die ausgeschriebene Stelle trifft genau meine Interessen und Fähigkeiten. I’m very interested in the described position and I have the skills for this job.
  • Die Stelle ist für mich von großem Interesse, weil... I’m very interested in this position, because…
  • Ich interessiere mich ganz besonders für diese Stelle und würde mich sehr über die Gelegenheit freuen, in der Zusammenarbeit mit Ihnen mein Wissen anzuwenden und zu erweitern. I’m strongly interested in this position and I would be very happy to have this opportunity. I would use and develop my knowledge during our cooperation.
  • Gerne würde ich für Sie arbeiten, um... I would like to work in this company to…


NB: The forms of Konjuktiv II are always very polite and show a good level of German.



4. Your experience (die Erfahrung)


Here you can explain your job experience and in what areas you have succeeded. Express that you have a lot of experience in that field, but through this opportunity, would like to aspire to new experiences and knowledge.


  • Ich habe Erfahrung in... I have experience in…
  • Während meiner Zeit als... habe ich meine Kenntnisse in... verbessert / erweitert / vertieft. During my job as... I improved/ increased/ intensified
  • Mein Fachgebiet ist... My speсialization is…
  • Schon seit Jahren liegt mein Schwerpunkt auf der… For many years, my focus has been on…
  • Meine Kenntnisse umfassen… My knowledge includes...
  • Im Bereich… habe ich langjährige Erfahrung. I have many years of experience in this area...



5. Your strengths (Die Stärken)


You don’t need to tell about your weaknesses in the motivation letter. Instead, highlight your strengths. Tell why you are the BEST candidate for this position. Think about something you have that other people don’t have.


  • Zu meinen Stärken zählen... My strengths are...
  • Ich eigne mich für diese Position, weil... I’m a very good candidate because…
  • Für diese Stelle bin ich der geeignete Kandidat, weil... I’m the right candidate for this position because...
  • Meine beruflichen Qualifikationen entsprechen den Anforderungen Ihres Unternehmens. My professional qualifications correspond to the requirements of your company.
  • Ich denke, dass Sie von meinen Kenntnissen profitieren können. I believe that you can benefit from my knowledge.



6. Your additional skills and abilities (die zusätzliche Fähigkeiten)


  • Zusätzlich zu meinen Verantwortlichkeiten als ... habe ich auch andere Fähigkeiten in ... erworben. In addition to my responsibilities as....I also have other abilities in...
  • Auch unter Belastung behalte ich hohe Qualitätsstandards... Even during high stress situations, I produce high quality work...



7. Conclusion of your motivation letter (der Schluss)


  • Ich möchte Sie gern in einem persönlichen Gespräch von meiner Eignung überzeugen. I would like to convince you of my professional qualities personally.
  • Ich freue mich über eine Einladung zum Vorstellungsgespräch. I would be happy to get an invitation for a job interview.
  • Bei Fragen stehe ich gerne zur Verfügung. I’m at your disposal in case any questions.
  • Ich kann sofort bei Ihnen anfangen. I can start working immediately.
  • Ich kann in 2 Woche nach der Bestätigung anfangen. I can start in 2 weeks after confirmation.
  • Mit freundlichen Grüßen - Best regards
  • Vorname und Nachname - Your Name and Surname


Hopefully, the above described tips and examples will help you to better organize your thoughts when writing a motivation letter in German. To make your cover letter different from others, you need to write it specifically for the position or company, and think why you really need to apply to this university or this job position. Why will this opportunity change in your life? Good luck on your studies or work aspirations in Germany! Viel Glück und viel Spaß in Deutschland!


Hero image by Ben Rosett (CC0 1.0)