20 Examples Of How To Address a Cover Letter to an Unknown Recipient

Introduction.

Imagine sending out dozens of job applications, only to realize that you've been addressing your cover letters incorrectly. As it turns out, addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient can be a tricky task. In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide strategies for finding the right name, using job titles as an alternative, formatting the letter, avoiding common mistakes, leveraging professional networking, and understanding the importance of personalization. By following our advice, you can increase your chances of landing that job interview and making a great first impression.

Finding the Right Name

Before you give up on finding the recipient's name, consider these research strategies:

Check the job post for a specific name. Sometimes, the name of the hiring manager or contact person is listed in the job posting. Read the post carefully to see if a name is mentioned.

Search the company website for a company directory or listing of key personnel. Many organizations have a "Meet Our Team" or "About Us" section that introduces their staff members. Look for someone with a relevant title, such as "Hiring Manager" or "Human Resources Director."

Call the company directly and ask for the appropriate contact person. If you're unable to find the name online, consider calling the company and asking for the name of the person responsible for hiring for the position you're applying for. This approach can be particularly effective for smaller organizations.

Utilize professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to find the recipient. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers. Try searching for employees at the company with relevant titles, then check their profiles for clues about their role in the hiring process. You can learn more about how to find the name of the hiring manager using LinkedIn in this helpful article.

Personalize your cover letter. Addressing your cover letter to a specific individual shows that you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in the position. This extra effort can make a big difference in how your application is perceived by the recipient.

Using a Job Title

If you're unable to find the recipient's name, consider using a job title or department head as an alternative:

Address the letter to the job title of the reader. For example, you might write "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Human Resources Director." This approach is more specific and professional than using a generic greeting like "To Whom It May Concern."

Consider addressing the letter to the head of the department where you're applying to work. If you know the department your job falls under, try addressing your cover letter to the department head, such as "Dear Marketing Director" or "Dear IT Manager."

Explain why using a job title or department head can still demonstrate professionalism and personalization. Although it's not as ideal as using a specific name, addressing your letter to a relevant job title shows that you've put some thought into your application and have a clear understanding of the company's structure.

Provide examples of different job titles to use as salutations. You can find a list of different job titles to use as salutations in this resource.

Discuss the potential impact of using job titles on the success of the job application. While using a job title may not guarantee success, it can increase your chances of making a favorable impression. A personalized salutation indicates that you're genuinely interested in the position and have taken the time to research the company.

Formatting the Letter

When addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient, follow these formatting tips:

Always use "Dear" to start the address. This is a professional and respectful way to begin a cover letter.

Use a gender-neutral title (such as Ms.) if the recipient's gender is unknown. If you're unsure of the recipient's gender, it's better to use a neutral title like "Ms." rather than making assumptions.

For non-gender-specific names, use the recipient's full name. If you can't determine the recipient's gender based on their name, address the letter using their full name, such as "Dear Taylor Smith."

Maintain a professional tone even when the name is unknown. Even if you don't know the recipient's name, it's crucial to keep your language and tone professional throughout your cover letter.

Provide examples of well-formatted cover letter salutations.

While it's always best to try and find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter, there may be times when you just can't find that information. Don't let it deter you. Below are 20 examples of how you can address your cover letter when the recipient is unknown:

1. Dear Hiring Manager, 2. To the Recruitment Team, 3. Dear Human Resources Team, 4. Attention Hiring Committee, 5. Dear [Job Title] Hiring Team, 6. To the [Company Name] Team, 7. Dear [Company Name] Recruiter, 8. To Whom It May Concern, 9. Dear Hiring Authority, 10. Attention [Company Name] Hiring Professionals, 11. Dear Talent Acquisition Team, 12. Hello [Company Name] Selection Panel, 13. Dear Recruitment Advisor, 14. To the [Industry] Professionals at [Company Name], 15. Attention [Company Name] Talent Scouts, 16. Dear Hiring Advocate, 17. To the Selection Committee for [Job Title], 18. Dear [Company Name] Staffing Team, 19. Attention [Job Title] Recruitment Panel, 20. Dear [Company Name] Hiring Panel,

Remember, the goal is to be as respectful and professional as possible in your salutation. Even if you don't know the recipient's name, demonstrating courtesy in your greeting will set a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter.

Also, avoid overly casual greetings like 'Hello' or 'Hi there,' which might seem unprofessional, and stay clear of outdated phrases such as 'Dear Sir or Madam.' Instead, opt for more modern, inclusive alternatives. Be sure to follow your greeting with a comma or a colon, then leave a space before starting the body of your letter.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient, it's essential to avoid these common mistakes:

Using generic greetings like "To Whom It May Concern." This phrase is outdated and impersonal, and using it can make your application seem generic and unprofessional. Instead, try to find a specific name or use a job title, as discussed in previous sections.

Using incorrect titles or making assumptions about the recipient's gender. Making assumptions about someone's gender or using an inappropriate title can potentially offend the recipient and hurt your chances of landing an interview. Stick to gender-neutral titles or use the recipient's full name when in doubt.

Addressing the letter to the wrong department or job title. Be sure to double-check that you're addressing your letter to the appropriate person or department. Sending your application to the wrong person can result in your application being overlooked or discarded.

Failing to proofread the cover letter for errors, even in the salutation. Typos and other errors can make a poor impression on the recipient. Be sure to proofread your entire cover letter, including the salutation, before submitting it.

Provide examples of mistakes that could hurt the applicant's chances of landing an interview. Some examples of common errors include misspelling the recipient's name, using an informal greeting (such as "Hey"), or addressing the letter to an unrelated department (e.g., "Dear Accounting Manager" when applying for a marketing position).

Utilizing Professional Networking

Leveraging your professional network can be an effective way to find the name of the recipient for your cover letter:

Use platforms like LinkedIn to research the company and its employees. As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a valuable resource for job seekers. You can use the platform to find employees with relevant titles, learn more about the company culture, and even discover mutual connections who might be able to provide an introduction or additional information.

Connect with current employees or alumni of the company. Networking with people who work at the company or have worked there in the past can give you valuable insights into the hiring process and help you identify the appropriate contact person for your cover letter.

Search for the appropriate contact person within your professional network. Use your connections to find people who work at the company you're applying to, and ask if they know who the hiring manager for your desired position is.

Networking can help job seekers get noticed by potential employers. Building relationships with people at the company can increase your chances of getting noticed and potentially even lead to a referral. Learn more about how networking can help job seekers get noticed by potential employers in this article.

Offer examples of successful job seekers who found the recipient's name through networking. For instance, this cover letter that landed a job seeker a role at LinkedIn is a great example of how personalizing your cover letter and leveraging your network can help you stand out.

Importance of Personalization

Personalizing your cover letter can make a significant difference in the success of your job application:

Discuss the impact of personalization on the reader's impression of the applicant. A personalized cover letter demonstrates that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the position, which can make a positive impression on the recipient.

Provide statistics on the success rate of personalized cover letters compared to generic ones. According to resume statistics , candidates with typos in their cover letters or resumes are 58% more likely to be dismissed, while those who do not include specific employment dates are 27% more likely to be dismissed.

Offer expert opinions on the importance of addressing cover letters to specific individuals. Many career experts agree that addressing cover letters to specific individuals can increase your chances of landing an interview.

Explain how personalization demonstrates research skills and genuine interest in the company. Taking the time to research the recipient and tailor your cover letter to the specific position and company shows that you're not only a thorough and detail-oriented candidate, but also genuinely interested in the opportunity.

Share anecdotes of successful job seekers who personalized their cover letters and landed interviews. For example, one job seeker found the recipient's name through LinkedIn and personalized his cover letter , which helped him land an interview and ultimately secure the position.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

In summary, addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient can be challenging, but by following our tips and strategies, you can make a strong impression on potential employers. Remember to:

  • Research the recipient's name or use a relevant job title.
  • Personalize your cover letter to demonstrate genuine interest in the position.
  • Maintain a professional tone and formatting throughout your cover letter.
  • Avoid common mistakes that can hurt your chances of landing an interview.
  • Leverage your professional network to find the appropriate contact person.

By applying these tips to your job search, you'll increase your chances of success and make a lasting impression on potential employers. Good luck with your job applications!

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How to Address a Cover Letter With Examples

addressing a cover letter to someone you know

Options for Addressing a Cover Letter

  • Letter Without a Contact Person
  • Non-Gender-Specific Names

What Title to Use

  • Address an Email Cover Letter
  • Review a Sample Cover Letter

Before You Send Your Letter

One of the trickiest parts of writing a cover letter comes at the very beginning. Much of the time, you won’t know exactly who will read your letter. How do you address your cover letter when you don’t have the contact person’s name and/or gender ?

First of all, try to find out the name of the contact person. Some employers will think poorly of an applicant who does not take the time to learn the hiring manager’s name. Also, take care not to assume that you know the gender of the recipient based on the name. Many names are gender-neutral, and some hiring managers may identify as a gender other than male or female.

It’s also possible that you’ll do your research and still be unable to figure out to whom you are addressing your letter. In that case, it's better to be safe and use a generic greeting . It's also acceptable to start a letter without a greeting and start with the first paragraph of your letter .

You have a lot of options when addressing your letter. Learn more about the possibilities before you make your choice.

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Contact Person

There are a variety of general cover letter salutations you can use to address your letter. These general cover letter salutations do not require you to know the name of the hiring manager.

In a survey of more than 2,000 companies, Saddleback College found that employers preferred the following greetings:  

  • Dear Sir/Madam (27%)
  • To Whom It May Concern  (17%)
  • Dear Human Resources Director (6%)
  • Leave it blank (8%)

Do keep in mind that terms like "To Whom It May Concern" may seem dated, so the best options may be either to use "Dear Hiring Manager" or not to include a greeting at all. Simply start with the first paragraph of your letter.

How to Address a Cover Letter for a Non-Gender-Specific Name

If you do have a name but aren't sure of the person's gender, one option is to include both the first name and the last name in your salutation, without a title that reveals gender:

  • Dear Sydney Doe
  • Dear Taylor Smith
  • Dear Jamie Brown

With these types of gender-ambiguous names,  LinkedIn  can be a helpful resource. Since many people include a photo with their profile, a simple search of the person's name and company within LinkedIn could potentially turn up the contact's photograph.

Again, you can also check the company website or call the company’s administrative assistant to get more information as well.

Even if you know the name and gender of the person to whom you are writing, think carefully about what title you will use in your salutation.

For example, if the person is a doctor or holds a Ph.D., you might want to address your letter to “Dr. Lastname” rather than “Ms. Lastname” or “Mr. Lastname.” Other titles might be “Prof.,” “Rev.,” or “Sgt.,” among others.

When you address a letter to a female employer, use the title “Ms.” unless you know for certain that she prefers another title (such as “Miss” or “Mrs.”).

“Ms.” is a general title that does not denote marital status, so it works for any female employer.

How to Address an Email Cover Letter

Hiring managers get a lot of emails each day. Make it easy for them to scan your email and follow up by including a clear subject line and a signature with your contact information. It's important to address the email cover letter correctly, including the name of the person hiring for the position if you have a contact, to ensure that your letter gets noticed.

Subject Line of Email Message

Never leave the subject line blank. There is a good chance that if a hiring manager receives an email with no subject line, they’ll delete it without even bothering to open it, or it could end up in their spam mailbox. Instead, write a clear subject indicating your intentions.

List the job you are applying for in the  subject line of your email message , so the employer knows what job you are interested in. They may be hiring for multiple positions, and you will want them to identify the position you’re interested in easily.

How to Address the Contact Person

There are a variety of  cover letter salutations  you can use to address your email message. If you have a contact person at the company, address the letter to Ms. or Mr. Lastname. If you aren’t given a contact person, check to see if you can  determine the email recipient's name .

If you can’t find a contact person at the company, you can either leave off the salutation from your cover letter and  start with the first paragraph  of your letter or use a  general salutation .

How to Format the Salutation

Once you have chosen a salutation, follow it with a colon or comma, a space, and then start the first paragraph of your letter. For example:

Dear Hiring Manager:

First paragraph of the letter.

Body of Email Cover Letter

The body of your cover letter  lets the employer know what position you are applying for, and why the employer should select you for an interview. This is where you'll sell yourself as a candidate. Review the job posting and include examples of your attributes that closely match the ones they are looking for.

When you're sending an  email cover letter , it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume.

Make sure that your email cover letters are as well-written as any other documents you send.

If you have attached your resume, mention this as part of your conclusion. Then finish your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow up. Include a closing, then list your name and your  email signature .

Your email signature should include your name, full address, phone number, email address, and  LinkedIn Profile URL  (if you have one) so it is easy for hiring managers to get in touch.

Firstname Lastname  Street Address  (optional) City, State Zip Code  Email  Phone  LinkedIn

Sample Cover Letter

This is a cover letter example. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Sample Cover Letter (Text Version)

Mary Garcia 12 Rogers Avenue Townville, New Hampshire 03060 555-555-5555 mary.garcia@email.com

February 17, 2021

Franklin Lee

CBI Industries 39 Main Street Townville, New Hampshire 03060

Dear Mr. Lee:

I was excited to see your ad for the operations assistant position in your Townville offices.

I have five years of experience as an operations assistant/associate. In my most recent role at ABC Corp., I fulfilled orders, resolved customer issues, ordered supplies, and prepared reports. In previous roles, I’ve done bookkeeping, data entry, and sales support. Basically, anything your department needs to run smoothly, I can do – and most likely, I already have experience doing it.

My other skills include:

  • Strong communication skills, in person, in writing, and on the phone
  • Excellent attention to detail and organization skills
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Experience in the industry and passion for the product
  • Adept at all the usual professional software, including Microsoft Office Suite

I’ve included my resume for your review. Please contact me if you have questions or would like to schedule an interview. Thank you for your consideration.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Mary Garcia

Review Cover Letter Samples: It’s hard to write cover letters from scratch. To make life easier – and to make sure you don’t forget any of those pesky formatting rules —start by reviewing cover letter samples . Sending an email version instead? Look at a few examples of email cover letters to get started.

Customize Your Cover Letter: Why personalize your cover letter every time you apply for a job? Because even similar job titles have different requirements. The goal of a cover letter is to show the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate for this particular job. Customizing your cover letter will help you emphasize your skills and experience and how they fit with the job requirements .

Spell-Check Names: Before sending your cover letter, make absolutely sure that you have spelled the hiring manager’s name correctly. That is the kind of small error that can cost you a job interview.

Carefully Proofread Your Letter: Whether you're sending an email or uploading or attaching a printable cover letter, it's important to make sure that your cover letter and resume are written as well as any other business correspondence. If you can, have a friend proofread before you hit send, to pick up any typos or grammatical errors.

Saddleback College. " Your Resume is Your 1st Interview ," Page 14. Accessed Feb. 17, 2021.

StandOut CV

How to address a cover letter | with examples

Andrew Fennell photo

The way you start your cover letter counts.

It’s the first thing a hiring manager sees when they open your application so you need to make them excited to peek into your CV .

In our guide, we’ll show you the ropes on how to address your cover letter, and even teach you how to find the recruiter or hiring manager’s name for maximum impact.

CV templates 

Address the hiring manager or recruiter directly

How to address a cover letter

Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name to start building a rapport with them.

Something simple like, “Hi Lucy” will do the trick.

According to recent research , simply seeing your own name can trigger a strong response in the brain. So, be sure to do this, to captivate the recruiter’s attention.

CV builder

How to find the recruiter or hiring manager’s name

You may be wondering, “How do I figure out their name?”

There are several ways to find out the name of the person handling the job opening, which we’ll look at below.

Recruiter's name in job advert

When you’re reading a job advert, you’ll sometimes find the name and email address of the person you need to get in touch with directly in the ad.

Look out for the section that says “For enquiries” or “Contact person”.

For example, the advert might say something like:

“For more info, please contact Susan Wright at [email protected].”

Usually, this person manages that job vacancy.

If you see this information, it’s your lucky day – job adverts are the simplest way to find the correct name.

Company website

Recruiter's name on website

If you can’t find the recruiter’s name on the job advert , and you’re applying for a job directly via a company, check out their website.

Keep an eye out for a “Who We Are” , “About Us” or “Our Team” section.

Here, you’ll usually be able to find the info about the people who work there, including the head of the department or hiring team connected to the position you’re applying for.

Look at the people’s profiles to get the one that fits your job’s department.

If you have trouble finding it directly, use the search bar on the company’s website and type in “Head of [Department Name]” or “HR Manager”.

You could also run a Google search for “[Company name] + team” for a quick way of finding an About Page for a particular team or department.

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find a hiring manager or recruiter because millions of them are registered on the platform.

Firstly, ascertain the company that posted the position and the team it’s connected with from the information provided in the job advert.

When you know the department and organisation, head over to LinkedIn . Here, you can use the search bar to look for the company name, department or job title associated with the job opening.

Let’s say you’re applying for a marketing vacancy at Tesco. You can search for “Marketing Manager” in the search bar like this:

Recruiter's name on LinkedIn

Once the search results appear, click the “People” filter button to narrow down your findings further so that you’re only seeing people (and not companies or groups).

LinkedIn people filter

Then make sure you choose your target company under “Current Company” – this ensures you only view people who are current employees.

You will need to type the name of the company into the text box like this:

LinkedIn current company filter

Click on the name of the company you typed in. In this case, it’s “Tesco.”

Then hit the blue “Show results” button.

LinkedIn show results button

And examine the profiles that come up.

LinkedIn profiles

You’ll be able to find the person handling the job applications by looking for titles such as “recruitment manager” or “team leader” .

And once you view their profiles you may even be able to get hold of their phone number or email address.

Contact info

Here is how you can find a person’s email address via the contact details, if they have entered them.

Click on their profile then seek out the “Contact info” section.

This sits under their profile picture and headline.

LinkedIn contact info

If the user has made their contact info visible, you’ll see it here.

LinkedIn user email address

About section

Often, you can locate additional contact info, such as email addresses, in the “About” or “Summary” section of their profile.

To do this, scroll down to the user’s “About” section.

If the user has decided to include their email address, you’ll see it here.

LinkedIn about section

If you can’t find an email, you can contact them directly through LinkedIn.

Here’s how you’d do this:

  • Send a connection request – Send the person a connection request and a message. When they accept your request, you’ll be able to write an accompanying message.
  • Use InMail – If this specific individual isn’t in your network, use the LinkedIn InMail. This is a premium feature which lets you send messages to LinkedIn members outside of your network – it’s useful but do. Of course, there is a fee to use this feature but it’s a useful tool.

What if you can’t find a name?

Addressing cover letter if you can't find a name

Don’t panic if you can’t find the name of the individual you’re trying to address. This will happen a lot during your job search .

In such cases, it’s absolutely fine to begin with a friendly “Hi.”

But don’t use expressions like “Dear Sir or Madam” – this sounds extremely outdated and aloof.

If you use the word “Hi”, this ensures your cover letter is more amicable and modern , even when you’re unsure of the person’s name.

This is a courteous and simple way to start if you have difficulty locating the specific hiring manager’s name.

How to write a cover letter email subject line

Cover letter email subject line

A recruiter’s inbox gets flooded with applications, so when you write your cover letter email , your initial goal is to entice them to read your email.

You must catch their attention with a compelling subject line and give a captivating reason for them to click on your message.

Avoid using generic subject lines, such as:

  • “Check This Out” – Subject lines like this sound spammy, and hiring managers may ignore it.
  • “Important” – Recruiters won’t know why your email is important – they might deem it clickbait.
  • “CV Attached” – This subject line doesn’t offer any context or engage the recruiter in any way at all.
  • “Hire Me” – This comes across as too blunt and provides no context.
  • “I Need a Job” – This sounds too direct and may sound a little too desperate.
  • “Looking for Work” – While you’re being upfront, this isn’t an engaging subject line.

Instead of including any of these generic subject lines, you must promote your selling points right off the bat.

For instance, use subject lines that highlight your skills and expertise in a concise, screen-friendly title.

Determine your main strengths as an applicant and invent a way to integrate them into your subject line.

You could say something like:

  • “Veteran Graphic Designer with a Portfolio of Projects”
  • “Registered Nurse with Intensive Care Unit Expertise”
  • “Committed Secondary School Teacher with 10 Years’ Classroom Expertise”
  • “Certified IT Professional with Experience in Network Security”

These subject lines are effective because they communicate key information and value to hiring managers clearly and concisely. Each tells the recruiter about your qualifications and expertise and is tailored to the specific job or field.

A recruiter is more likely to open an email from someone who can potentially meet their requirements.

A quick tip: Remember, subject lines have a limited amount of space – you’ll probably only be able to squeeze in between 30 and 35 characters.

How not to address a cover letter

When you’re addressing your cover letter , some things simply aren’t worth including. These old-fashioned or overly formal ways of starting a cover letter can make a negative first impression.

So, avoid the below phrases in your cover letter greeting:

  • “Dear Sir or Madam” – This is far too old-fashioned and doesn’t show much effort. It’s also fairly impersonal.
  • “What’s up, [Department Name]?” – This is excessively informal and will probably give hiring managers the wrong impression about you. It also doesn’t address the specific person.

Steer clear of these unimpressive ways to address your cover letter and plump for a more personal, engaging approach, like “Hi James” or “Hello Sarah”. Don’t forget, you need to get the perfect balance of friendliness and professionalism.

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How To Address A Cover Letter (With Examples)

  • Cover Letter Format
  • Salutation and Greeting
  • Who To Address When Unknown
  • How To Start A Cover Letter
  • How To End A Cover Letter
  • Best Cover Letter Font And Size
  • Cover Letter Spacing
  • Cover Letter Length
  • Key Elements Of A Cover Letter
  • How To Write An Address
  • Official Letter Format
  • Cover Letter Opening

Find a Job You Really Want In

A cover letter is a great way for a hiring manager to get to know you a little better. Writing a great letter can help you land the interview.

When sitting down to write a cover letter, you may be asking yourself how to address a cover letter correctly when you don’t know who the hiring manager is and how formal addressing a cover letter needs to be.

Thankfully, addressing a cover letter is quite simple. Keep reading for details on how to address a cover letter with confidence.

Key Takeaways:

It’s important to do your research to figure out who you are writing to before sending your letter.

Try remaining gender neutral if you don’t know the gender of who you are addressing.

If the hiring manager or recruiter ’s name is not available online, then you can address the cover letter with a generic salutation such as “dear hiring manager”.

How To Address A Cover Letter (With Examples)

How to Address a Cover Letter

Examples of how to address someone in a cover letter, cover letter subject lines, how to find the hiring manager’s name, final thoughts.

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Research. The first step in addressing a cover letter is researching who the cover letter will be read by. One way to make a very good impression, especially with online applications, is taking the time to research who the hiring manager or recruiter is for the department you are applying for.

You can call the HR department at a company and ask for the hiring manager’s name to be used on a cover letter. If you were contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn or another job hiring platform, you can confirm with the recruiter who the cover letter should be addressed to. Properly addressing the cover letter by having the correct name is the most important step.

Keep it formal and modern. Regardless of who’s receiving your cover letter, we recommend sticking with “Dear” as your greeting . It’s a timeless classic for a reason, and there’s really no need to risk your opener with something more daring.

Remain gender neutral. If you don’t know the gender of who you are addressing, its best to use gender-neutral identifiers. Even if a name might sound like a typical man or woman’s name, its best not to assume. Staying gender neutral is a great way to show respect and not get your cover letter thrown out right away.

Use the job title. If you aren’t sure what their name is, a great way to address them is to use their job title. It also shows your interest and that you did research before sending in your letter.

Professional title. How you address your cover letter is core to its format . To address a cover letter correctly, you will need to make sure you have an appropriate salutation paired with the correct title/honorific.

For example, if you are addressing a cover letter to a person with a medical degree or doctorate, you will need to write “Dr.” before their name. Not doing so is unprofessional.

Dear Dr. Keller Dear Dr. Michael Ward Dear Dr. Liz Sells

If you do not know the correct title of the person, do not put a title with the name. The same goes for people with other special titles, like Reverend.

Dear Rev. Bill Smith Dear Prof. Johnson Dear Lt. Saraceno Dear Principal Luzi

As you can see from the above examples, you can include the person’s full name or only their last name after their title. The choice is yours.

Mrs. vs. Ms. It is better to address women without the Mrs. title. The Mrs. title implies that the woman is married and since that information is not easy to come by, keep it safe and address the woman as Ms. Don’t ever use “Miss,” as it is seen as infantilizing.

Dear Ms. Keller Dear Ms. O’Brian Dear Ms. Sells

For males, keep to Mr. as the title. You don’t need to write “Master” or “Sir” when addressing your cover letter. Using alternative titles can seem old-fashioned and much too formal.

Unknown gender. If the hiring manager or recruiter’s name is gender-neutral, try looking the person up on LinkedIn to learn their gender. If they have a photo and a personal blurb, it should clear up any confusion.

Not everyone has an easily-findable picture online, though. In those situations, avoid using Mr. or Ms. in your salutation. Instead, write out the hiring manager’s full name:

Dear Sam Kenney Dear Alex O’Hanson Dear Jamie Tyrell

Unknown recipient. If the hiring manager or recruiter’s name is not available online , then you can address the cover letter with a generic salutation. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can write, “Hey you!” or “Dear hiring person,” but there are a few phrases you can use that are professional and fine to use.

If you do not know the recipient of the cover letter, you can use a more generic greeting or you can even go without a greeting. It is better to be safe than sorry for these greetings as they are a key part of your cover letter .

The more specific you can get, the better. It shows that you’ve done your research and aren’t just sending the same cover letter to hiring managers all over town.

Dear Hiring Manager Dear Talent Acquisition Team Dear [Company Name] Recruiter Dear Human Resources Manager Dear Human Resources Department Dear [Position Title] Hiring Team Dear [Position Title] Hiring Manager Dear [Position Title] Recruitment Team Dear [Position Title] Recruiter Dear [Department] Team Dear [Title of Person You’d Report To] Some people like to use “ Dear Sir or Madam ” as a generic greeting for a cover letter, but using that is a bit too formal for the United States. Using the greeting “ To Whom It May Concern ” is also too stuffy for most cover letters and will probably not match the rest of your writing style, making it seem awkward.

All right, so you’ve got a perfectly-address, beautifully-written cover letter. Now it’s time to make sure the recipient actually opens up your email with a winning subject line. The ultimate goal is for the hiring manager or recruiter to know exactly what to expect when they open your email.

With that in mind, here are a few options for formatting your subject line:

[Position Title] Application – [Your Full Name] Application for [Position Title] Application for [Position Title] – [Your Full Name] [Position Title] Looking for New Role – [number of years] years experience Application for [Position Title] Position – referred by [Referral Name} Referred by [Referral Name] – [Position Title] Position

Never leave your subject line blank, or the recipient will probably delete it without ever opening it. It may even just go straight to their spam folder .

Additionally, we always recommend including the position title, because hiring managers and recruiters are often hiring for multiple open roles simultaneously.

Since knowing the hiring manager’s name is 95% of the battle, let’s go through a step-by-step process of finding out your cover letter’s recipient:

Read the job posting. The obvious first step is to carefully review the job listing and see if a contact person is given. Or perhaps the email address they’ve told you to send your application documents is obviously a person’s name, like [email protected]. Even for less obvious ones, you can try Googling the email address and see what turns up.

The company website. Most company websites have an “About Us” and/or “Company Directory” page . Try to navigate to your department and see if you can find a hiring manager’s name.

Check professional networking sites. The company’s LinkedIn page might also have information about hiring managers for different roles. You can also search for “[company name] + recruiter” and see what turns up. You might not find exactly who you’re looking for, but a quick message might help direct you.

Targeted Google search. Searching for the company’s name, location, and the position title you’re applying for might turn up some information on the hiring manager.

Contact the company. If all else fails, you can always call or email the company (someone in human resources is a good idea) to ask for the hiring manager’s name. If you explain that you’re trying to address your cover letter correctly, they’ll most likely be happy to help.

How to write a cover letter

When applying for jobs, making sure you have every detail perfect can be a nerve-wracking time. With the tight job market, you are probably applying to many jobs at the same time, but don’t let the volume of the applications lower your quality of applications.

Take the time to research who you should address your cover letter to — it can make a great first impression on recruiters and hiring managers.

Address the cover letter with the correct title or honorific, and when in doubt, go without. Address your cover letter with a title or honorific if you are not sure what to use.

Addressing the cover letter with class is a simple way to making a great first impression for recruiters and hiring managers.

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Heidi Cope is a former writer for the Zippia Career Advice blog. Her writing focused primarily on Zippia's suite of rankings and general career advice. After leaving Zippia, Heidi joined The Mighty as a writer and editor, among other positions. She received her BS from UNC Charlotte in German Studies.

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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How to address a cover letter?

I'm sure that you had to create a cover letter at some point in your job search. And like most other job seekers, you probably came across this problem: "How to address a cover letter?"

Most of the time, you have no idea who is going to read the cover letter.

So, how to address a cover letter without a name?

Hiring managers get roughly 100-200 resumes every day. And, they are already under a lot of pressure to sort the resumes.

On top of that, if they get cover letters that do not have proper formatting and do not address the hiring manager in the cover letter header, mark my words; they will surely throw your resume away.

In a resume cover letter, minute details make or break your chance of being hired.

So, you need to make sure that you know how to address cover letter correctly.

Don't worry!

In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about:

  • Who to address cover letter to?
  • How to address a cover letter without a name?
  • How to find out who to address a cover letter to?
  • How to address an email cover letter?
  • How to address a cover letter for internal position?
  • What should you not do when addressing a cover letter?
  • Example of Proper Cover letter address format?
  • Some common question about how to address cover letter

Who to Address a Cover Letter To?

Ideally, you need to address your cover letter to hiring managers , not the recruiters .

In many job postings, the name or email address of the hiring manager is given.

If you are lucky enough to find such job listings, then you are sorted. You can write a personalized cover letter addressing the hiring manager directly.

Unfortunately, not many job listing sites give the name and email address of the contact person.

Do not quit and send the cover letter without a name.

Go to the company website/about page and see if it has the list of staff.

That way, you can probably get the hiring manager's name or someone from the talent acquisition department to whom you need to address your cover letter.

The critical aspect is to do a lot of research .

Suppose you still don't find any name or contact information of anyone in the hiring department. In that case, you can also address your cover letter to someone in authority in other departments, such as the senior manager or the head of the department you are applying for.

It is a hundred times better to address your cover letter to someone in the organization than not addressing it at all.

At least, this way, they will understand that you are not throwing rocks in the dark. You have done your research and have good ideas about the organization.

Also Read: How to write a stellar cover letter in 2022?

How to Address a Cover letter Without a Name?

There are plenty of generic cover letter salutations you can use in your cover letter. These generic cover letter salutations eliminate the need to know the name of the contact person.

The only drawback is that you have no option to personalize your cover letter.

A survey conducted by Saddleback College has seen that only 8% of hiring managers are ok with a cover letter without name. But 92% of hiring managers prefer to have some address in the cover letter.

  • Dear Hiring Manager (40%)
  • Dear Sir/Madam (27%)
  • To Whom It May Concern (17%)
  • Dear Human Resources Director (6%)

However, we don't recommend you to use to whom it may concern in your cover letter address.

Instead, the best general salutation can be "Dear Hiring Manager."

If you want to personalize the address, you can address your cover letter to the specific department you are applying for. For example, "Dear Digital Marketing Department."

How to Address Cover Letter When You Don't Know Hiring Manager's Gender?

There will be times when you will find the gender-neutral name of the hiring manager. In that case, altogether avoid using gender-specific cover letter addresses. Instead, address with their both name and last name in the salutation like this:

  • Dear John Doe,
  • Dear Charlie Brown ,
  • Dear Taylor Paisley,
Hiration Pro Tip : In this type of gender-neutral name, you can search for the person on Linkedin to find out their gender. Alternatively, you can search on the company page or call the company reception to get more information about the hiring manager.

How to Address Cover Letter When You Know Hiring Manager's Gender?

If you know the hiring manager's gender, things will be much easier for you. For men, you can address the hiring manager with "Mr.," but things get a bit tricky for female hiring managers.

Imagine this,

You have addressed the hiring manager with "Miss.," and if she turns out to be married, it will not look good on your part. You definitely do not want to offend your hiring manager.

Instead of "Miss" or "Mrs.," use " Ms.," which does not focus on their marital status.

  • Dear. Ms. Moore,
  • Dear Miss Jane,
  • Dear Mrs. Black,

Should You Address the Hiring Manager With Only Their First Name?

If you know the hiring manager personally, only then can you use their first name to address the cover letter. Else, address the letter with their full name.

How to Use Professional Titles When Addressing a Cover Letter?

If the hiring manager has a professional or academic title, don't forget to address them by their title. You can write the full title like this:

  • "Dear Doctor Taylor,"

Or you can use the abbreviated form like this:

  • Dear Dr. Taylor ,
  • Dear Sgt. Park,
  • Dear Prof. Hoverman,
  • Dear Principal Fury,

Also Read: How long should a cover letter be?

How Do You Find Out Who to Address a Cover Letter To?

If you don't find the hiring manager's name and contact information on the job description, don't just leave it like that! Do some research and put some effort into finding the name and email id of the hiring manager.

It may take some extra effort, but it shows that you are interested in this job. This section will tell you everything you need to know about finding the hiring manager's name and to who you address a cover letter.

Call the Company

Calling the company to ask for a hiring manager's details is the best way to accurately determine the hiring manager's name and number.

  • Call the company desk
  • State who you are and why you are calling
  • Tell that you are applying for a job position and confirm who the hiring manager is for addressing in the cover letter.
  • Most of the time, the hiring manager will happily give you the information you need.
Tip : When taking their name, ask for the spelling of the hiring manager's name. You do not want to screw up the spelling.

If the company desk refuses to give information for any reason, don't worry; we have four other ways in our arsenal.

Network With People Working With Prospective Employer

The second best way to get the hiring manager's name and contact information is to connect with your prospective employer's employees.

This way, you can ask your connection to refer you to the hiring manager or ask for the hiring manager's contact information when a job becomes available.

It is easier than you think.

Just do a quick Linkedin search and see the employers active on Linkedin.

Now, slowly start engaging with the person you want to connect with.

After a couple of days, send them a personalized connection request and slowly build a rapport.

You do not want to ask right out for reference after introducing yourself. Instead, add some value to the conversation, and show genuine interest in them.

This process takes some time, but the connection you will make with these people will take you a long way in your professional journey.

Read the Job Description Carefully

It is a sad truth that most job seekers do not read the job description carefully. In this way, they miss vital information and potentially the hiring manager's contact name and details.

Most of the job descriptions contain the email address of the hiring manager at the end. And you can easily find the name of the contact person with the email address.

Most professional email ids contain the name of the person and the company name. For example, [email protected] has two parts- Judy.M and hiraiton.com.

And if you search on Google by the first part of the email address "Judy.M" and the company name, there is a high chance that you will find the Linkedin profile of the respective person. And you can get to know other information about them as well.

Find Out Who Will Become Your Superior or Manager

Many job descriptions include the details about the reporting manager. In such cases, you need to address your cover letter to the reporting manager.

You can find more information about the reporting manager by a quick Linkedin search with the reporting manager's job title and the company.

If the company is larger, there may be multiple individuals with the same job title. In that case, you can further narrow down your search by location.

Do an Online Search

Another easy way to search for the hiring manager is by simply doing a Google search. Google will show you the most relevant results for your search query. Example: See in this example how the first result itself answered your question.

Example-Cover-letter-address

Also Read: How to address a cover letter without name?

How to Address a Email Cover Letter?

We live in a digital age now.

Nowadays, most candidates send email cover letters to the hiring managers. And hiring managers get 100s of email cover letters daily.

To stand out from these 100s of email cover letters, you need to make sure your email cover address is perfect.

1. Subject Line of Email Cover Letter

The first thing the hiring manager will see is your email cover letter subject line. So, never leave the subject line blank.

Hiring managers sort the email cover letters by the job title. And if your cover letter does not have a subject line, it will not show in the hiring manager's list.

Here is an example cover letter subject line :

Subject line: Job Application for Video Editor Position, Ref: Hanna Moore

2. Address the Cover Letter in the Correct Way

The rules of a formal cover letter and an email cover letter salutation are similar. You can refer to the previous section of this blog to know more about it. Here is an example of an email cover letter address

  • "Dear Mr. Doe,"

Note : Recent trends have seen many job seekers do not include "Dear" in the salutation. You can do that too. There is nothing wrong with it.

Also Read: How to start a cover letter for maximum impact?

How to Address a Cover Letter for Internal Position?

If you address the cover letter to higher management or hiring manager, always use their name to address in the cover letter.

luckily, since it's an internal position, you can easily find the name of the person by asking your colleagues.

What Not to Do When Addressing a Cover Letter

Even if you did everything right on your resume and cover letter, starting it wrong may cost you a chance to get a call for an interview.

Let's see what you should not do when addressing a cover letter.

Do Not Address the Cover Letter to the Recruiter

" Recruiters do not read cover letters. "

Recruiters only sort the resumes by keywords and forward the same to the hiring managers.

This is the golden rule you need to keep in mind when addressing a cover letter. Always address the cover letter to the hiring manager.

Do Not Address the Cover Letter to an Ex. Hiring Manager

Company websites do not get updated regularly. If a hiring manager leaves the company, you may still find their name and contact information on the website or other third-party websites. So, be extra careful when addressing a cover letter.

Spelling the Hiring Manager or Company Name Wrong

Do not sabotage your first impression by making a spelling mistake on the hiring manager's name or the company name. It demonstrates a lack of attention to detail.

Do Not Start With a Bland Greeting

Avoid using to whom it may concern cover letter address. It is very generic and shows utter laziness on your part. It projects that you did not put much effort into writing the cover letter.

Example of a Cover Letter Address Format

Here is an example of a proper cover letter address format:

Cover-letter-address

Frequently Asked Questions

How to address a cover letter to a large company.

If you have to address a cover letter to a large company, and you don't know the hiring manager's name, you can always address the cover letter to the department you are applying job to. For example:

  • Dear Finance Department
  • Dear Marketing Team
  • Dear Customer Service Department

Can I get creative with my cover letter address?

There is no restriction on being creative with addressing a cover letter. It is essential to research and understand who your audience is and if he/she will appreciate your creativity.

For example, if you do something creative with your cover letter salutation to apply in a creative field, it will get the hiring manager's attention.

On the other hand, if you apply for a technical position, you might hold off from showing your creativity on the cover letter address.

Should a cover letter address the company location?

It is a traditional practice to include the company address in the cover letter. Primary because it is a formal document, it would be better to add the company address before starting your cover letter.

Should a cover letter header include the candidate's address?

The candidate's address is an essential part of the cover letter. If not the whole address, at least City, Country should be mentioned in the cover letter. Example:

  • "Pine Bluff, AR"

This helps the hiring manager sort the candidates based on location.

Also, the Application Tracking Softwares sort the resumes and cover letters based on their locations. And if your location is not mentioned in the cover letter, it might get unnoticed by the ATS software.

Should a cover letter header, and resume header be the same?

Ideally, your cover letter header should be the name of the role you are applying for. And resume heading should be your current job title. For example, if you are currently working as a data analyst, your Resume headline should be something like:

  • "Jr. Data Analyst."

And you are applying for a Data Scientist position, then your cover letter heading should be,

  • "Data Scientist"

There is no hard and fast rule, but this is the approach we at Hiration follow, and it has been working for our clients.

You can also write the same heading for the cover letter and resume if you like. It has some added advantages. If the cover letter gets misplaced, it will be a lot easier to trace it back to the resume.

How to write the intro to a cover letter?

If you want to hook the hiring manager to read your cover letter, you need to write a professional intro explaining why you are applying and what role you are applying for.

You need to remember that hiring managers are often dealing with recruitment for more than one position. And it will help them if you specifically mention what role you are applying for.

Key Takeaways

With that, we have come to the end of this blog. By now, you should get all of your questions answered. But still, if you have any questions regarding how to address a cover letter and who to address a cover letter, let's go over the key takeaways of the blog:

  • Do not send the cover letter without addressing someone.
  • If you do not know who to address, call the company desk or go to LinkedIn to search the hiring manager's name.
  • If you do not know the name, you can address the cover letter with "Dear Hiring Manager,"
  • Alternatively, you can address the cover letter to the head of the department you are applying for. For example: "Dear Sr. Marketing Manager,"
  • Make sure to use accurate professional and academic titles with the name of hiring managers.
  • Do not use "To whom it may concern." It is old-fashioned and does not impress the hiring manager nowadays.

Go to Hiration career platform which has 24/7 chat support and get professional assistance with all your job & career-related queries. You can also write to us at [email protected] and we will make sure to reach out to you as soon as possible.

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How to Address a Cover Letter to Recruiter or Hiring Manager

5 min read · Updated on November 24, 2021

Lisa Tynan

Knowing how to effectively address a cover letter makes you a very visible and appealing candidate.

Did you know that the cardinal rule of cover letters is personalization? It impresses a hiring manager or recruiter because it tells them you took time to research the specific information for the letter rather than sending a generic version.

What many people forget, however, is that the greeting or salutation in a cover letter must also be personalized with the hiring professional's first and last name whenever possible.

There are several effective ways to find the hiring manager's name for your greeting — and some acceptable back-up strategies when you can't. Either way, knowing how to address a cover letter effectively can prevent you from ending your hiring chances before they even begin. 

When you know the hiring manager's name

More often than not, you'll be given the name of the hiring professional or the manager that you'll work for. Whoever it is, use their full name (first and last name) in the greeting. 

If you cannot definitively tell the gender of the hiring person, do not use a gender-based title such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” in the greeting. Instead just use the person's full name.

For example, Alex Johnson could be male or female. To avoid a gender mistake, use Dear Alex Johnson, Hello Alex Johnson, or simply Alex Johnson .

However, professional titles such as “Professor” or “Dr.” are definitely acceptable as a cover letter salutation and should be used as a sign of respect. Be on the lookout for these and other titles to include.

How to find a hiring manager's name for your cover letter

If you're not given the name of the hiring manager, here are some effective ways to discover their name by using:

The job description: Check this document for the hiring manager's name. While it's not generally listed, you never know. If it's not obvious, there's also a trick to quickly discover an email in the job description that might contain the name; while in the document, press Ctrl +F or run Command + F and search for the @ symbol.

An email address: If you discover an email address, it may not have a full name but rather a first initial and last name or just a first name like [email protected] or [email protected] . A Google search combining the person's name as shown in the email and the company name might find you the person's full name.

 A LinkedIn post: A name connected to the LinkedIn job posting is probably that of the hiring professional who posted it, so use that name in your greeting.

The supervisor's title: It's more likely that a job description will list who the new hire will report to — such as the director of accounting — without listing a name. In this case, there are several search options:

Search the company's website for listings of staff members by title.

Run an advanced LinkedIn or Google search for all directors of accounting at that specific company.

Check with your network for someone who might know the person's name or search the appropriate professional networking sites.

Contact the company by phone or email. Tell them you're applying for [job title] and want to address your cover letter to the right person.

In the end, this research can be the difference between making a great first impression and getting noticed for the position — or getting totally ignored by the hiring manager. 

Acceptable options in lieu of a name

If you try the steps above and come up empty, there are still some alternative greeting options that will put you in a professional light.

The idea is to show that you've read the job description and tailored your greeting based on the company department where the job is located, the hiring manager's title, or the team with which you'll potentially work.

Some good examples include:

Dear Head of Design

Hello IT Department

Dear Accounting Manager

To Company ABC Recruiter/Hiring Professional

Hello Marketing Hiring Team

Dear Customer Support Hiring Group

Dear Human Resources

If you still can't find any specific name or department information, go with “Dear Hiring Manager.” It sounds professional and it's not gender-specific. In fact, a recent survey of over 2000 companies by Saddleback College showed that 40 percent preferred “Dear Hiring Manager” as the best greeting when a manager's name can't be found. 

“Dear Sir or Madam” is another option that works because it's gender-neutral and respectful. However, it sounds a bit old-fashioned and may signal a hiring professional that you're an older worker or just not aware of other greeting options. It's perfectly acceptable, but the better choice is “Dear Hiring Manager.” 

In the end, an actual name or any of the alternative examples will let you stand out from the crowd, so do your best to find and use those whenever you can.

Never leave the greeting blank

Whatever information you may or may not find, it's important to never leave your greeting line blank.

A blank greeting line can make you come across as lazy or rude, or imply that you simply don't understand how to write a cover letter — all of which will immediately put you out of contention for the job. There's no reason to leave the greeting blank when there are so many options that can be used effectively.

When you spend the time and effort to personalize your cover letter, you don't want to come across as “just another candidate” by using a generic greeting or no greeting at all.

A personalized greeting will impress any hiring professional, increasing the chance they'll read your entire cover letter — and ask you for an interview.

Not sure if your cover letter is cutting it? Our writers don't just help you with your resume . 

Recommended Reading:

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?

5 Things to Say in Your Cover Letter If You Want to Get the Job

How To Write a Cover Letter (With Example)

Related Articles:

How to Create a Resume With No Education

From Bland to Beautiful: How We Made This Professional's Resume Shine

See how your resume stacks up.

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How to Address a Cover Letter in 2024

Background Image

Yes, how you address your cover letter matters.

After all, this is the first thing the recruiter reads when going through your cover letter, and yes, there is a right and wrong way to do it.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to address your cover letter in such a way that you leave a positive impression on any recruiter!

  • How to address a cover letter to a recruiter? (Casual or formal)
  • What title to use when addressing the hiring manager
  • How to address a cover letter without a contact person/to a company
  • How to address a cover letter without an address
  • How to address a cover letter in an email

How to Address a Cover Letter To a Recruiter (Casual or Formal)?

As we already mentioned, the way you address your cover letter is important because it is the very first thing recruiters see upon opening your cover letter. 

A well-formulated cover letter address means that you care enough to research the company (i.e. to find the hiring manager’s name and title) and that you show attention to detail. 

As such, you should always put some research into who you’re addressing your cover letter to and do so in a formal way.  

And yes, the formal part is important too. The recruiter isn’t your best friend - you want to maintain a sense of professionalism.

If this is how you address the recruiter in your cover letter:

  • What’s up Hiring Manager
  • Hi there Hiring Team

Then you say goodbye to the job.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how can I find out whom to address my cover letter to?

That’s what we’re about to teach you:

Who Am I Addressing My Cover Letter To?

Here are some tricks to find the full name of the hiring manager: 

  • Check the job listing. The job listing may have information about the recruiter or the department doing the hiring. Make sure to read through the entire job listing, as it might not be at an entirely obvious place.
  • Check the company website. Some websites feature the names of the hiring managers or heads of departments that may go through your cover letter. Alternatively, LinkedIn is another place where you can look for this information.
  • Check the company’s LinkedIn. You can look up who works in the company you’re applying for on their LinkedIn page.
  • Ask around. Do you have friends that work for the company? They could provide you with valuable inside info.

To avoid making a bad impression, head over to our guide on cover letter mistakes to learn about what NOT to do when writing your cover letter.  

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Addressing a Cover Letter With a Name

By now, you have probably found the hiring manager’s full name and gender. With this information available, it’s best to address the hiring manager formally, as follows: 

  • Dear Mr. Brown,
  • Dear Miss Fitzpatrick,
  • Dear Mrs. Lockhart,
  • Dear Ms. Walters,

If, for some reason, you are unsure about the person’s title, gender, marital status, or preferred pronouns, just address them using their entire name to avoid any mistakes. For example:

  • Dear Alex Brown, 
  • Dear Blair Fitzpatrick,
  • Dear Jesse Lockhart,
  • Dear Madison Walters,

Addressing someone with a title 

Now, if you found out that the hiring manager has a professional or academic title, then it’s more appropriate to address them using that title. If, for example, the hiring manager has a Ph.D., then it’s more respectful to address them as “Dr. Last Name,” instead of “Mr. Last Name.”  

Here are some professional titles and how they’re abbreviated: 

  • A professor is Prof. 
  • A reverend is Rev. 
  • A sergeant is Sgt. 
  • Honorable is Hon. 

If, however, you are uncertain about how a title is abbreviated, then avoid it altogether. 

Here are a few examples to give you an idea: 

  • Dear Prof. Welsch,
  • Dear Director Smith,
  • Dear Rev. Owen,

Dear Dr. Leonard,

When addressing women and you don’t know their marital status, always go with Ms., because it doesn’t comment on marital status. Some women prefer not to be addressed with Miss or Mrs. even when they’re married, so sticking with Ms. is the best choice. 

Want to learn more cover letter tips ? Our guide has all you need to ace your cover letter!  

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Contact Person

It might happen that, no matter how hard you search, you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or department head that will read your cover letter.

In that case, you can address your cover letter to the department, faculty, or the company.

  • Dear Software Development Hiring Team,
  • Dear Customer Service Department Hiring Team,
  • Dear Head of the Literature Faculty,
  • Dear Director of Marketing,
  • Dear Human Resources Recruitment Team,

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough information either about the department or the team, you can opt for addressing the cover letter directly to the company’s hiring staff, as follows: 

Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team 

Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Staff

If all else fails (meaning, you don’t know the name of the department head or even the exact department, in addition to the recruiter) then you can use one of the good, old-fashioned:

Dear Hiring Manager,

...but NOT the impersonal and way outdated “To whom it may concern” and “Dear Sir/Madam.” 

Starting a cover letter can be challenging. Our guide can show you how to start a cover letter that will get you results from the get-go. 

How to Format the Company’s Address

Before you reach the salutation, you have to make sure that the header with the recipient’s contact information is formatted correctly. 

It might not be the deciding point of whether you’ll secure an interview or not, but it will cost you points if it’s off. 

So, the first thing you want to do is add your name and surname on the upper left side of the cover letter. Underneath, you should write your professional title (if applicable), your email , and your phone number . 

Now, after you’ve also added the date, you should leave one more space and add the recipient’s contact information and, most importantly, the company’s address. 

It should look something like this on your cover letter: 

how to address a cover letter

When You Can’t Find the Company’s Address 

Some companies might have several addresses listed (as per their branches, for example), or even none at all. 

Since an application that doesn’t have an address line could end up lost or misplaced, make sure you do one of the following before skipping the company’s address completely:

  • Check all your resources, (pretty much like when you were looking for the hiring manager’s name) to find the company’s address. 
  • Use the company’s headquarter address. This is sometimes easier to find, especially if the company has several branches. 
  • Use the P.O. Box number for the company. This is not as specific as an actual address line, but if all else fails, it’s still something. 

Frequently, you’ll be asked to submit your job application (including your cover letter) electronically, or by email. In those cases, you can skip the address line altogether. 

Here’s how you’d go about addressing a cover letter in an email.

How to Address an Email Cover Letter

If you’re sending your job application through email, chances are you’ll need to format your cover letter in the body of the email, or as an attachment along with your resume.

First and foremost when you’re addressing a cover letter in an email is the subject line, which should be between 6-10 words long. 

Considering that hiring managers receive countless emails daily, you want to make sure that yours is a job application immediately. And the way to do that is straight through the subject line, which should indicate exactly the position you’re applying for and your name so that it’s easier to find through the recruiter’s swarmed mailbox. 

Here’ what we mean by that:

  • Subject Line:   John Doe - Software Development Job Application 
  • Subject Line: John Doe - Job Application for Marketing Manager Position   
  • Subject Line: John Doe - Stock Manager Job Application 

Afterward, if you’re including your cover letter in the body of the email (as opposed to attaching it as a document), begin by using a salutation, add space, and start your letter. 

If someone referred you for the position, make sure to mention that in the subject line of your email as well as in your opening paragraph.  

So, let’s see how all the above plays out in practice: 

Subject Line: John Doe - Carl Jacob’s Referral for Software Developer

I was very glad that Mr. Jacobs, a long-time partner at your firm who also happens to be my mentor from college, referred me for the Software Developer position. 

Do you want your style, personality, and overall personal brand to shine through your application? With Novorésumé, you can match your cover letter with your resume to make a lasting impression! 

matching resume and cover letter

Key Takeaways 

And that’s all there is when it comes to addressing a cover letter! You should feel much more confident in doing so by now. 

Either way, let’s go over the main points we covered throughout the article: 

  • Your cover letter address should be formal and well-researched. Don’t address the hiring manager with “hey,” “what’s up,” “hi there,” or even the old-fashioned “Dear Sir/Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Always try to find the hiring manager’s full name and professional title through the company’s website, LinkedIn, by calling, or by asking someone who works there.
  • If you know the hiring manager’s name, go with “Dear Mr./Miss Last Name,” but if you’re unsure about their gender, marital status, or preferred pronoun, just address them using their full name.
  • If the recruiter has a professional or academic title, it’s more appropriate to address them using their title.
  • If you can’t find the contact person’s name, then address the department, faculty, or company (i.e. Dear Microsoft Hiring Team , or Dear Software Development Recruitment Team ).

Related Readings: 

  • Do I Need a Cover Letter in 2024
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter for Internship
  • How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024

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How to Address a Cover Letter. Who to Address?

How you address your cover letter is crucial because it’s the first thing the hiring managers see when they open it.

When your cover letter address is well-formulated, it shows that you’ve done your research and paid attention to detail.

So it’s always important to know:

  • How to address a cover letter and
  • who to address the cover letter to.

But who do you address a cover letter to when you don’t have the hiring manager’s full name, after long research? Which salutations are appropriate, even when you have a name?

This guide will show you expert tips on how to address a cover letter.

How to Address a Cover Letter. Who to Address?

Table of Contents

Why Is It Necessary to Address a Cover Letter?

Primarily, the cover letter address is the first thing the recipient sees when they open the cover letter. So, you’re more likely to get a positive impression from the hiring manager when you address your cover letter professionally and correctly.

This can increase your chances of landing more job interviews. A cover letter address also shows that you’re more detail-oriented and willing to do more research when needed. This holds true when the hiring manager’s name is included in the address.

It’ll also show your dedication to professionalism and help you make a good impression on the recipient. But before you learn how to address a cover letter correctly, you must know how to write a cover letter first.

How to address a cover letter? Scheme

Who Do You Address a Cover Letter To?

You should address the cover letter to the individual making the final hiring decision. The person can be the company’s owner, especially in a small business.

However, if the company size is from medium to big, you may address the cover letter to the department head or hiring manager. If you need to get in touch with a large, international company, you might want to try the regional or local manager first.

Address your cover letter to a specific person if you can. Your cover letter will have a higher impact on the recipient if you take the time to include this information.

Furthermore, it shows that you cared enough about the company to do some preliminary research. And that can make you seem more driven than other applicants.

How to Address a Cover Letter?

There are several ways to address cover letters, each method depending on the situation. So go through different scenarios in this section to know how and who to address the cover letter to.

When You Know the Recipient’s Name

Always use the recipient’s name instead of a generic address when writing a cover letter. When you do that, it establishes a personal connection with the recipient. It’s also an excellent way to show that you’ve taken the time to learn more about them.

  • Do your homework and look up the recipient’s name if you don’t already know it. For example, if you want to work in the sales department, you may find the sales manager’s name on the company website.
  • You should use the full name for cover letters where you don’t know the recipient’s gender but do know their full name. For example, a cover letter addressed to “Dear Elizabeth Morgan” is an appropriate and proper example of a professional salutation.
  • Use the appropriate title like ‘ Ms .’ or ‘Mr. ‘ if you know the person’s gender and want to include a title in the address. Otherwise, avoid using a title to avoid implying the recipient’s marital status. For example, to address someone as “ Ms. Morgan ” rather than “Mrs. Morgan,” you would use the former form of address.

When You Don’t Know the Recipient’s Name

You’d have to use a more general introduction for your cover letter if you can’t find the recipient’s name after several searches. It’s best to play it safe with a generic salutation in a cover letter since you won’t know the recipient’s gender or name.

It’s also the safest way to make a good impression on the hiring manager. If you don’t have a contact person’s name, you can use one of the following approaches to address your cover letter.

Remember that the list below is based on a survey of over 2,000 companies to find employers’ preferred greetings.

  • Dear Hiring Manager (40%)
  • To Whom It May Concern (17%)
  • Dear Sir/Madam (27%)
  • Dear Human Resources Director (6%)

It’s essential to ensure the right person will get your cover letter when you specify a title like “hiring manager” in the address. Use a more general greeting, like “ To whom it may concern ,” if you aren’t sure who will receive your letter.

If the Recipient Has an Academic or Professional Title

If you know the recipient’s name and academic or professional title, it’s ideal to use it. You can use it in place of ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’

For example, it would be more appropriate to address the recipient as “ Dear Prof. Adams ” rather than “Dear Ms. Adams.”

Here are some professional and academic titles and their abbreviations you can use in your cover letter address:

  • Professor (Prof.)
  • Doctor (Dr.)
  • Revered (Rev.)

How to Address an Email Cover Letter?

Hiring managers are flooded with emails daily. So it’s crucial to make it easy for them to scan your email and respond to it. You can do that through a well-written subject line and a signature with your contact information.

If you know the recipient’s name, use it. This will increase the likelihood that your letter will be read.

The Email Subject Line

Never send an email without a topic . Hiring managers are likely to dismiss or delete emails without opening them if they don’t contain a subject line. Instead, use a subject that makes your point immediately evident.

Email Cover letter: Subject

Make sure the recipient or hiring manager sees the job position you’re applying for by specifying it in your email’s subject line.

You should make it simple for them to determine the position you are applying for, especially if they’re hiring for multiple positions.

Addressing A Cover Letter: Some Helpful Tips

Addressing your cover letter correctly can get the recipient’s attention. It can also make your letter stand out, especially if you know the purpose of your cover letter.

Use these tips while addressing your cover letter:

Check the spelling

Ensure that you have the correct spelling by consulting with the company or looking it up online. Employers always appreciate it when candidates take the time to proofread their work for correct spelling and grammar.

In addition, it shows that you care about the smallest details, which is always a plus.

Verify the Contact Person

When making initial contact, it’s not always easy to tell if the person listed is the actual one. And it’s not always clear whether the contact information for an open position belongs to a recruiter or the hiring manager.

Maybe you saw the contact’s name in a long-forgotten social media post, and you have no idea if they still work for the company. Get in touch with the hiring company if you have any questions.

Check Your Address for Any Mistakes

Each time you apply anywhere, you’ll need to review your cover letter because its address will differ. First, verify that the date, company name, and address are all right. This ensures that your cover letter always looks professional.

Use the Correct Format and Font

Cover letters printed on paper should have 2.5-cm margins. Your address should be written in the same typeface as the remainder of your cover letter. The fonts Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri are all excellent options.

Also, try using single spacing for your header to save valuable space.

The Best Way to Address the Recipient

You can use several different cover letter salutations to personalize your email. For example, write to Ms. or Mr. [Last Name] at the company if you have a recipient. If you aren’t sure who to email, find out if you can see the email recipient’s name.

If you’re having trouble finding the recipient’s name, you have two options:

  • skip the salutation altogether and jump right into the body of the letter
  • use a generic greeting.

Formatting the Salutation

If you’re writing an email, after choosing a salutation, place a comma after it. Then press the space button before writing the first paragraph.

How to Write the Body of the Email Letter?

The body of your cover letter should explain to the employer what position you’re applying for and why they should meet with you.

Carefully read the job description and highlight your skills and experience as a perfect fit for the position. Then, follow the employer’s guidelines while submitting your resume and cover letter by email.

Always put the same effort into your email cover letters as you would for other documents you send.

Include a mention of your resume attachment in the final paragraph if you have one. Thank the hiring manager or recipient for their time and consideration at the end of your cover letter.

Specify what steps you’ll take to follow up. For example, put a period at the end of the email and sign it with your name and email address.

To make it simple for hiring managers to get in touch with you, provide the following:

  • your full name,
  • phone number,
  • full address,
  • email address, and
  • URL to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature.

How to Find the Right Recipient For the Cover Letter Address?

You’ll have to do some research if you don’t know the recipient’s name. Below are some ways to find the contact person’s name:

Check Out the Company’s Websites

Check the company’s website, including its social media pages like LinkedIn , Twitter, or Reddit. You can use Google to fill in the blanks of what you know and see what it brings up.

For example, if you know the department’s name, try searching for “Head of Marketing for [Department]” and see what comes up.

If you know the person’s name but not their email or phone number, search for a term like “Mr. Adams, Marketing Head at [Company].” You’ll find a social media page or an email address if you’re lucky.

Reach Out to the Company

One of the simpler ways to find a recipient’s contact is just to call the company. Explain your reason for calling and ask them about the right person to send your cover letter to.

Check on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s built-in and powerful search engine makes it an excellent resource for finding people. If you know the person’s name, you can use that. Otherwise, you can expand your search by including the company, location, or both.

You can send a message to the person if you find them by clicking the “Contact info” link.

If you don’t know someone’s name, you can look through the company’s employee directory to find out who works there.

If you can’t find the right person, try contacting someone in a related department. The two of you may share a common connection and may introduce yourself.

Also read : How to Upload Resume to LinkedIn

Final Thoughts

Cover letters should always be addressed to the hiring manager of the company. Always use the hiring manager’s full name to show respect, even if you’re applying to a more informal workplace. Titles like “ Mr. ” and “ Ms. ” are acceptable. Don’t use ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Miss.’

Also, even though you can include many email addresses in your cover letter, there are some you should avoid. For example, you shouldn’t use overly informal greetings like “Hi” or “Hello.”

The hiring manager may form a poor impression of you if you greet them in such a casual manner. It’s okay to use such a welcome in a casual email, but it’s not recommended in a formal setting like a job application.

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Her Agenda

7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired

T he job market has a reputation for favoring employers, which could make standing out from the pack a challenging task. Matched with a decline in hiring — a whopping 23.8% a year in the United States alone — you may find yourself scrambling to gain that competitive edge. However, your cover letter can help you shine. 

Drafting a cover letter is often considered a cumbersome task for job seekers looking to address issues that can cause employer disinterest — from gaps in employment to lack of experience. The cover letter has become a game-changer in improving the chance of candidates securing their next role. In this article, we discuss quick and easy cover letter tips to help improve your job prospects.

An Attention-Grabbing Opener

Be direct when addressing the hiring manager or recruiter reviewing your application. Shy away from the sir/ma’am greeting. LinkedIn is a great starting point to narrow in on this information. Do your research. It’s vital to lead with achievements, discuss how they apply to the role, and maintain your reader’s attention. Remember, hiring managers are scanning and waiting for details to jump out at them.

Show Confidence

Be confident. Have you ever heard of the phrase fake it until you make it? Apply it. Whether you’re a seasoned applicant or venturing into the unknown, you should adopt the right mindset. Know your worth and what you bring to the table. Compile a short list of examples — that apply to the job — and weave them throughout your cover letter.

Be Professional

Infusing your cover letter with a pinch of personality never hurts. After all, employers want a clear understanding of who you are to determine if you’re a cultural fit. Be mindful of your audience. Avoid using slang, jargon, emojis, or humor that hiring managers can misunderstand or deem inappropriate. Further, maintain respect at all times.

Flex Your Skillset

Does your ability to persuade decision-making impress your boss? Are you praised for your ability to shape top-performing teams? Share your wins. A cover letter is a perfect tool to educate a potential employer about your skill set and how it relates to the job opening.

State Goals/Expectations

Employers have goals and expectations and you should have a pulse on matters to you. Are you looking to learn and grow but are unsure about growth opportunities? Make it explicit. Share that you are interested in learning and growing with [company]. Detail what you love most about the [company] and how you would be a valuable asset to their culture.

Good Grammar Is Important

Always proofread your cover letter, then read it again. You can catch basic spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors that may turn off a potential employer. Draft your cover letter in a Word document or leverage editing tools such as Grammarly.

Summarize your thoughts and extend a genuine thank you. After all, hiring managers and recruiters spend countless hours reviewing applications daily. Be mindful that the time you put into your cover letter mirrors the effort hiring managers take to evaluate your application.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

This article 7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired was originally published on HerAgenda.com

7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Address a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    For example: Dear Ms. Greene. Dear Mr. Johnson. Since your cover letter is likely going to be the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager sees, it's important to use good judgment in choosing a salutation. — Mary Morgan, SHRM-CP. Avoid greetings like " Hey ," or " Hi ," which are too casual for formal documents like cover letters.

  2. How to Address a Cover Letter (and Who to Address)

    Here are the most common ways to address a cover letter without a name: To Whom It May Concern. Dear Human Resources Director. Dear Hiring Manager. Dear Recruitment Manager. Additionally, if you want to add a personal touch, address your cover letter to your prospective department or manager.

  3. 20 Examples Of How To Address a Cover Letter to an Unknown Recipient

    Even if you don't know the recipient's name, it's crucial to keep your language and tone professional throughout your cover letter. Provide examples of well-formatted cover letter salutations. Example 1: "Dear Hiring Manager," Example 2: "Dear IT Director," Example 3: "Dear Ms. Taylor Smith,"

  4. How to Address a Cover Letter With Examples

    What Title to Use. Even if you know the name and gender of the person to whom you are writing, think carefully about what title you will use in your salutation. For example, if the person is a doctor or holds a Ph.D., you might want to address your letter to "Dr. Lastname" rather than "Ms. Lastname" or "Mr. Lastname.".

  5. How To Address a Cover Letter

    If you know the name of the person you're sending your cover letter to, address the letter to them using either their full name or 'Mr.' or 'Ms.' followed by their first and last name. If they have a professional or academic title, use that in place of 'Mr.' or Ms.'. If you don't have the recipient's name, use a general ...

  6. How to Address Your Cover Letter in 2023

    Rule #1: Address your cover letter to the hiring manager using a formal, full-name salutation (if possible). For a cover letter, you should always default to addressing it to the hiring manager for the position you're applying to. Unless you know for sure that the culture of the company is more casual, use the hiring manager's first and ...

  7. How to Address a Cover Letter: Tips + Examples for Every Type

    A cover letter is a formal document, and so it should be addressed as such. The most professional way to do this is with "Dear.". For example: Dear Mr. Miller, Dear Ms. Jones, Dear Dr. Lopez, If you don't know the person's gender or preferred pronouns, you can use their first name. For example: "Dear James Miller.".

  8. How to Address a Cover Letter (+ Who to Address) in 2024

    Using a person's name in direct communication helps to establish a connection. So it's no wonder you should use it in the cover letter address! Start with Dear + recipient's first name or their first and last name. Use honorific titles such as Mr. or Ms. only if you're 100% certain of the recipient's gender identity.

  9. How to address a cover letter + 11 examples [Get noticed]

    Contact info. Here is how you can find a person's email address via the contact details, if they have entered them. Click on their profile then seek out the "Contact info" section. This sits under their profile picture and headline. If the user has made their contact info visible, you'll see it here.

  10. How To Address A Cover Letter (With Examples)

    To address a cover letter correctly, you will need to make sure you have an appropriate salutation paired with the correct title/honorific. For example, if you are addressing a cover letter to a person with a medical degree or doctorate, you will need to write "Dr." before their name. Not doing so is unprofessional.

  11. How to Address a Cover Letter in 2024 (with Examples)

    Use the hiring manager's name. To find it, check the job posting, LinkedIn, and company website. How to address a cover letter without a name: Use Dear [XYZ] Hiring Manager. Example: Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager. Avoid obvious mistakes. Check spelling, gender, and titles. Use Ms. instead of Miss or Mrs.

  12. How to Address a Cover Letter: A 2022 Guide with 10+ Examples

    And if your cover letter does not have a subject line, it will not show in the hiring manager's list. Here is an example cover letter subject line : Subject line: Job Application for Video Editor Position, Ref: Hanna Moore. 2. Address the Cover Letter in the Correct Way.

  13. How to Address and End a Cover Letter: 25 Examples & Tips

    When it comes to addressing a cover letter, advice columns frequently spotlight these two pitfalls: Mistake 1: Failing to address your cover letter to a specific person. Mistake 2: Addressing a cover letter to the wrong person. Most job postings don't specify who will be reading your cover letter.

  14. How to Address a Cover Letter (With Examples)

    Since you need to change your cover letter address for each application you send in, you need to proofread it every time. Ensure you have the correct company name, address and date. This step makes sure your cover letter looks professional. Use the right font and format. For paper cover letters, make sure you use 2.5-cm margins.

  15. How to Address a Cover Letter to Recruiter or Hiring Manager

    Whoever it is, use their full name (first and last name) in the greeting. If you cannot definitively tell the gender of the hiring person, do not use a gender-based title such as "Mr." or "Ms." in the greeting. Instead just use the person's full name. For example, Alex Johnson could be male or female. To avoid a gender mistake, use Dear ...

  16. How to Address a Cover Letter: A Complete Guide

    Be respectful: Always use the formal "Dear" when addressing someone in a cover letter. When in doubt, use their full name: Don't try to guess someone's gender. Use their first and last names if you don't know their preferred pronouns. If they have a professional title, use it: The person worked hard for years to earn that title. It ...

  17. How to Address a Cover Letter in 2024

    Dear Human Resources Recruitment Team, Alternatively, if you don't have enough information either about the department or the team, you can opt for addressing the cover letter directly to the company's hiring staff, as follows: Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team. Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Staff.

  18. How to Address a Cover Letter. Who to Address?

    Cover letters should always be addressed to the hiring manager of the company. Always use the hiring manager's full name to show respect, even if you're applying to a more informal workplace. Titles like " Mr. " and " Ms. " are acceptable. Don't use 'Mrs.' or 'Miss.'.

  19. How to Write a Cover Letter to Someone You Know?

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  20. How to Address a Cover Letter in 2024 [19+ UK Examples]

    Here are some ways to address a cover letter that are suitable for most situations: Dear Mr/Ms/Mx [Last Name], Dear [Full Name], Dear Dr [Last Name], Hello Mr/Ms/Mx [Last Name], (but note that 'Hello' is only appropriate if you know the person) If you're unsure what the person's gender or title is, do a little research on their social ...

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    Cover Letter Builder Create your Cover Letter in 5 minutes. Land the job you want. Cover Letter Templates Find the perfect Cover Letter template.; Cover Letter Examples See perfect Cover Letter examples that get you jobs.; Cover Letter Format Choose the right Cover Letter format for your needs.; How to Write a Cover Letter Learn how to write a Cover Letter that lands you jobs.

  22. 7 Smart Cover Letter Tips To Get You Hired

    T he job market has a reputation for favoring employers, which could make standing out from the pack a challenging task. Matched with a decline in hiring — a whopping 23.8% a year in the United ...