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Who To Address Cover Letter To If Unknown (With Examples)

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What to Avoid When Addressing a Cover Letter to an Unknown Recipient

The importance of addressing your cover letter correctly, how to find out who to address your cover letter to, tips for addressing a cover letter, example cover letter, addressing a cover letter faq, final thoughts, expert opinion.

Summary. When the hiring managers name is unknow, try to be as specific as possible by using their job title or company name such as “dear [company name] hiring manager ” or “dear [department name] hiring manager.” Make sure to use a persons title, and avoid assuming their gender based on their name. ​ Writing the body of a cover letter is difficult enough without the added challenge of not knowing who to address it to. Since such a significant part of the job search and application process is now automated, it can be difficult to find out who is going to be reading your application. This isn’t necessarily a problem until you need to write a recipient’s name in your cover letter salutation. ​ If you’re struggling to figure out who to address your cover letter to, keep reading. We’ll give you some tips and examples that you can use to make your cover letter’s opening lines as strong as possible — even without a name. Key Takeaways: Try to find the name of the person you are addressing using the job listing, company website, or contacting the company. Don’t assume someone’s martial status and avoid using “Miss” and “Mrs.” whenever possible. Use a professional and appropriate greeting and avoid sounding like you would when addressing your friend. Examples of How to Address a Cover Letter if You Don’t Know the Recipient’s Name

If you are applying to a small company, a startup , or a local business, chances are good that you will probably find a name to address a cover letter to. If you are applying through online job sites or to a federal job , you may never know the name of the hiring manager until you are contacted about your application. ​ Not knowing who to address the cover letter to doesn’t mean you have free reign to just say, “Dear person who will read this” or “Good morning!” as your greeting on a cover letter. There are preferred ways to address a cover letter if you don’t know who the cover letter will be read by.

Dear Sir or Madam Dear Hiring Manager Dear Talent Acquisition Team Dear [Company Name] HR Department Dear [Company name] Hiring Manager Dear Human Resources Manager Dear Human Resources Department Dear [Company Name] Recruiter Dear [Department Name] Hiring Manager Dear [Department Name] Hiring Team

​ By using these greetings to address your cover letters, you will avoid major problems. For example, all of the above greetings don’t assume a specific gender, can be used regardless of honorific the person may hold, and are professional.

They also don’t sound like you are writing to your grandmother about your vacation. These greetings will look professional and well put together, making them an excellent start to any cover letter.

We recommend always being as specific as you possibly can. For example, if you know your cover letter will be read by the hiring manager for the marketing team, use “Dear Marketing Hiring Manager” instead of just “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Also, don’t assume someone from human resources will be the hiring manager unless your research indicates that’s the case. While reaching out to HR might be the best way to find the name of your cover letter recipient, there’s no guarantee that that person works in HR.

Here are some things you should try to avoid when addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient:

Assuming the person is a certain gender. If in doubt, just use their full name. For example, instead of saying, “Dear Ms. Hopkins,” you’d say, “Dear Alex Hopkins.”

Assuming the person’s marital status. Avoid using the titles of “Miss” or “Mrs.” before someone’s name before you know for sure what they prefer. Instead, use “Ms.” or simply stick to their full name.

Addressing the reader as if you were addressing a friend. Your cover letter can be friendly, but it should still be professional, erring on the side of formal. Using words like “hi,” and “hello,” or using exclamation marks is simply too casual and familiar for a cover letter.

Not addressing the reader at all. Not including a greeting is just as bad as using the wrong one.

Not only does it look like you didn’t put in any effort at all to find out who you’re writing to, but it also looks like you just copied and pasted your cover letter for multiple applications, which hiring managers do not want to see.

Here are some examples of how not to address a cover letter:

Good Morning

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Mrs. Smith

Hi Sebastian!

Hey Sales Team

When applying for jobs, one of the most important things you can do is find a way to make sure your name, face, or correspondence matches up with your application.

So when hiring managers sort through a pile of sometimes hundreds of applicants, they can say, “Oh yeah, this person contacted us the other day and seemed great and professional — let’s see what their application looks like.”

Now, this doesn’t mean that calling the HR department of the place you are applying to 24/7 is a good idea. You don’t want to seem needy or impatient. But you can still show that you are genuinely interested in the position by attempting to find out who will read your cover letter.

Making an effort to find out who the recipient of your cover letter will go to, especially if that information is easily available, shows that you have a real interest in the position. You are willing to take an extra few minutes to do some digging to make sure your application stands out. ​

There are a few ways to go about finding who you should address your cover letter to.

Check the job listing. One simple way is to look at the application and double-check that the hiring manager’s name isn’t on the main listing. Sometimes the information isn’t on the application, but rather on the job listing. If it isn’t there you will then have to start doing a little bit more investigative work.

Check LinkedIn. You can check on LinkedIn and on the company’s website to find the hiring manager’s name. If nothing shows up, then you will have to start contacting someone at the company to find out.

Contact the company. Now, this does not mean you should contact some random person at the company who lists the company’s name on their profile. Find the contact information for the HR department, for someone who works in HR, or for the head of the department you are trying to work in and ask them if they know the name of the hiring manager for your application.

Sometimes, they will not give this information, simply so that the hiring manager can stay anonymous and not get a billion emails from applicants. This situation is more likely to happen with massive companies like Google or Apple.

If they give you a name, use it. If they don’t, then you will have to then move on to the next step of figuring out how to address a cover letter to an unknown recipient.

Here are some tips for addressing a cover letter :

Attempt to find out who your cover letter will be read by.

Use the person’s title (Dr./Ms./Prof./etc.); use Ms., not Miss.

For non-gender-specific names, use the recipient’s full name.

Always use “Dear” to start your address

If you cannot find the name of the hiring manager/ reader , use a generic greeting to address your cover letter.

Be as specific with your generic greeting as you can be.

Make sure your greeting sounds professional and appropriate for the position.

How to write a cover letter

Remember that cover letters should be short and tailored for each individual job.

When emailing your cover letter , make sure the subject line is clear and direct. Identify the job you’re applying for and yourself so that the recipient knows who you are and what you want right away.

After your greeting, let the reader know what position you’re applying for.

Then, get into the body of your letter by highlighting your most impressive key skills , qualifications, and professional experience. Let the reader know what value you’ll bring to the new job. Also, emphasize your enthusiasm for the specific company.

Use a call-to-action like “I look forward to hearing from you.” Finish by thanking the reader for their time and consideration and sign off with a proper email closing and signature.

Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager, As a fan of XYZ Inc.’s impressive technology products, I was ecstatic to see an opening for a Junior Sales Representative . After reading the job description, I am confident that I’m the right person for the job. With 4 years of experience selling cloud computing products and services, I would bring a unique perspective to the role. In my current role as a Sales Representative at ABC Corp., I’ve created technology presentations for all my clients, driving interest in new product sales and subscriptions by 84% year-over-year. Additionally, I’ve reduced the cost of customer acquisition by over 15% and consistently topped sales quotas by over 20% since starting at ABC. I know XYZ has amazing products and services that I would be honored to promote and sell. With my background in cloud computing, I would be able to hit the ground running and communicate your product’s benefits to customers. Please contact me if you have any further questions about my application or resume. I look forward to speaking with the Sales Team more about the role in an interview. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Malia Freeman [email protected] 555-777-9999

Who do I address my cover letter to if there is no contact name?

Address your cover letter to “Hiring Manager” or “[Department Name] Hiring Manager.” Always do whatever you can to try to find the name of the person you’re addressing, but if you can’t, address it to the generic position or team you’re trying to get in contact with.

Is To Whom It May Concern rude?

Yes, To Whom It May Concern is rude. Not everyone will agree that it’s rude, but many people do find it rude, or at least impersonal and lazy on a cover letter, so it’s best to avoid this greeting

Is it OK to use Dear Hiring Manager?

Yes, it is okay to use Dear Hiring Manager as a cover letter greeting.

Who is the best person to address a cover letter to?

The best person to address a cover letter to would be the hiring manager. This should be their first and last name if you know it, but “dear hiring manager” is acceptable if you are unsure of their name. If you are using their name, make sure to include titles such as “Ms.” or “Mr.” infront of their name.

If you are applying for a job and writing a cover letter, make sure you take the time to look over all the details in the cover letter. Not taking the time to look for the recipient of a cover letter or using a professional greeting will look lazy. ​ Your greeting is a small part of the cover letter. However, it’s one of the most important pieces because it’s the first thing the hiring managers will read. Using an appropriate generic greeting will set the tone for your cover letter, making you sound professional and willing to put in the effort to make your cover letter flawless. ​ Now that you know how to address a cover letter if the reader is the recipient is unknown, check out our other articles about cover letters and the job application process.

Applying for jobs can be stressful and tedious, but taking the time to learn tips on how to improve your application will help put you one step closer to landing your dream job .

Mypath Blog – No Name? No Company Address? Here’s How to Address Your Cover Letter

Who To Address Cover Letter To If Unknown

cover letter to address unknown person

Vimari Roman Career Strategist Coach Be Productive Coaching

My recommendation is to always send a customized cover letter when applying for any job and when in doubt, address your letter to the hiring team using “Dear Hiring Team.” In most cases the application will end up on a recruiter’s or an HR Business Partner’s desk, and if they like your cover letter and resume, then they will pass it on to the hiring manager or the hiring team. By addressing your letter to the “team” you’ve got everyone covered and they will all feel as if the letter was written directly to them.

Expert Tip To Find Contact Infoformation

cover letter to address unknown person

Sally Mikhail Founder of Recruit Petra LLC

Use LinkedIn to find out who to address your cover letter to you with a search of company personnel on the company careers page . However, if you are sending out a cover letter to an unknown hiring influence, you can address it to “Dear Hiring Team” or “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Who To Address Cover Letter To If Unknown Tip

cover letter to address unknown person

Chelsea Jay Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach

Make sure that you review the company’s “About Me” or “Staff” to view their leaders which often lists direct managers, HR professionals, and executive leadership staff. If you know what department you’ll be working for, I recommend addressing the leader of that department. If the website is for a larger organization and does not list individual staff, I recommend utilizing LinkedIn. You can do a quick company search and find employees who are currently working there. You may even find the original posting with the hiring manager’s name attached.

If you cannot find the hiring manager’s name based on the posting, I recommend taking time to learn more about the specific department you’ll be working in. For example, if you discover that you’ll be working in the Communications department, the next step would be to learn about the specific team you’ll be part of. If you find out that it is the Public Affairs team, I encourage you to address “Public Affairs Team” at the beginning of your cover letter.

If you’re up for a bolder approach that is sure to get attention, address someone on the executive leadership team. I recommend addressing the President or Vice President of the organization (they should be easy to find since they are often the “face” of the organization). Of course, address them with a salutation along with their first name, last name, and title. In the beginning of the cover letter make sure to distinguish what department and position you are applying for. For example, Dear Mr. John Smith, President.

As an applicant, your goal is to stand out and showcase that you are informed and willing to go the extra mile (by doing research!).

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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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3 Tips on How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Recipient Name

Erin Carini

Last Updated: May 19, 2022

Using a formal full name salutation to the hiring manager or recruiter is the best way to address a cover letter , but what do you do if you just can't find a name? You don't want to look like you didn't do your homework, and you also don't want to create a cover letter that sounds too informal.

Related Content

Follow the methods below for addressing a cover letter when you don't have the name of the hiring manager. And get help writing the opening, body and closing paragraphs of your cover letter by using our Cover Letter Builder.

How to address a cover letter without a recipient name: 3 tips

1. do your research.

How you address a cover letter can be challenging, especially if you don't have a contact name or you don't know whether the person is male or female.

A personalized salutation helps differentiate you from other candidates, which is the main goal of your cover letter.

For this reason, it's important to at least try to find a name or department listing.

Start your search with Google. Go to the company website and do a quick human resources search. Many times, this alone will net you the hiring manager's name and email address.

LinkedIn and Twitter are also excellent places to search. Search first for the company and see if there's a list of employees. If not, look for human resources employees following the page.

2. Check the job description

Reread the job description to figure out who the hiring manager is . You may find a name and email address you missed the first time. If the listing includes an email without a name, search Google for the email address.

Jobs posted on LinkedIn often show the name of the individual creating the ad. Even if it isn't the individual who's doing the hiring, they are likely involved in the process.

Check the job posting to see who you will be reporting to. If it states you will answer to the head of IT, run an advanced search on LinkedIn for any current IT managers to see what you come up with.

As a last resort, there's nothing wrong with contacting the company by phone or email and ask the name of the hiring manager. Be professional and explain why you need the information. Tell the individual you're about to apply for a position and need to know to whom to address the cover letter.

There's nothing wrong with contacting the company by phone or email and ask the name of the hiring manager. Be professional and explain why you need the information. Tell the individual you're about to apply for a position and need to know to whom to address the cover letter.

3. Use an alternative greeting

After searching, if you still come up empty-handed, it's time to consider a few alternative ways to address. But how do you address a cover letter when you don't know who it is going to?

Whatever you do, don't skip writing a cover letter just because you can't find the name of the right person. Writing a cover letter, regardless of how it is addressed, still puts you a step ahead of the 45 percent of job seekers who skip writing one altogether.

How not to address a cover letter

When you address a cover letter, consider how you would want it to read if you were the one receiving it. A personalized letter leaves a professional impression on the reader.

About the Author

Erin Carini

Career Advice Expert

Erin is a Content Writer at LiveCareer and a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW). She has facilitated creating and demonstrating product examples across all of LiveCareer’s brands both in the U.S. and internationally. Before providing in-depth guidance for resumes and cover letters, she taught English and Creative Writing for grades K-8. With a B.A. in English and MFA in Writing, she has contributed to several online outlets as a creator of ad copy, articles and short fiction.

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*As seen in :

cover letter to address unknown person

Click here to directly go to the complete cover letter without name sample

How to address a cover letter without name?

According to a study, every corporate job opening gets roughly 250 resumes , out of which only 3-4 applicants land an interview.

That means if your cover letter feels generic and lacks personal touch, it may end up in the trash.

However, what if there is a circumstance for addressing cover letter with no name?

Read on to get an insight into the following FAQs:

Whom to Address a Cover Letter To?

Who do you address a cover letter to when there is no name?

To understand how to address a cover letter, you need to know to whom to address it.

A cover letter should be addressed in the following ways:

There is no point in sending the cover letter to the CEO or founders because they are not the ones who usually handle the recruitment process.

Also Read: How to address a cover letter?

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Name?

A cover letter for a job is not similar to a letter to a friend.

The purpose of a cover is to impress the hiring manager with your professional expertise to score an interview.

But addressing cover letters with no name may get rejected by the recruiters.

According to a survey, 92% of managers prefer some kind of address in the cover letter as opposed to only 8% of hiring managers who are okay with no address at all.

We understand how important it is to know how to write a cover letter without a name as per these statistics.

Also Read: How to write a cover letter?

Here are some steps on how to address a cover letter without a name:

1. Address the Cover Letter with “Dear Hiring Manager”

It is the most common way to address a hiring manager with no name and 40% of hiring managers prefer this salutation over no salutation at all.

This salutation allows the hiring manager to quickly focus on the main body of the cover letter, instead of rejecting the cover letter right away.

However, the best way to address a cover letter is by personalizing it.

2. Address the Cover Letter to the Team

When in doubt, you can address the whole team so that anyone from the team can receive your cover letter and respond accordingly.

It can be the hiring manager, assistant, or anyone from the department who may interview you during the job application process.

You can phrase it as:

3. Maintain Professional Approach

Maintain a professional approach and avoid informal phrases or words such as "Hello!", "Good Evening/Morning", or "Hi!"

Keep it simple and professional by using the term, "Dear" followed by the designation.

For Example:

4. Do Not Assume Gender or Marital Status

You often know the hiring manager’s name but do not know their gender or marital status.

Assuming someone's gender may seem disrespectful and unprofessional hence you should avoid making such mistakes by keeping it gender-neutral. Avoid the term "Sir" or "Madam" and simply address the recipient as "Dear (Profile)".

The best way to find the hiring manager’s gender is by doing a quick LinkedIn search.

The LinkedIn profile may contain a profile picture wherein you can determine the hiring manager’s gender.

If the hiring manager’s gender is Male, address the hiring manager with “Mr.”.

If the hiring manager is female, it can be confusing.

As you don’t know the marital status, avoid using Miss. or Mrs. to address the hiring manager. Instead, use a generic “Ms..”

Also Read: How to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn?

5. Include Job Profile and Professional Titles

Are you asking yourself continuously, “How to address a cover letter without a contact name?”

Here is the answer for you.

Instead of using only “ Dear Hiring Manager ,” include the department name or the title of the person who will be reading the cover letter to make it more specific.

By personalizing the addresses in this way, you can grab the hiring manager’s attention to read your resume.

This shows that you are not throwing a rock blindly. You have done your research and have some idea about the company.

Don’t forget to include the hiring manager’s academic title or professional title in the cover letter address.

These types of hyper-personalization can grab the hiring manager’s attention even more and entice them to read your cover letter.

How to Write the Academic Title in the Cover Letter Address?

You can write the academic title in full form.

Alternatively, you can use the abbreviation of the titles as well.

Where to Place the Cover Letter Address?

Not just the proper format, but the placement of the cover letter address also plays an important role.

Cover letter without name

Best Way to Address a Cover Letter with No Name or Email

Writing an email cover letter address is fundamentally similar but with some tweaks.

If you are sending a digital cover letter, you need to start with a professional subject line.

John Doe: Application for Video Editor Position, Reff: Anthony Moore

Then add your cover letter salutation based on the same rule.

Add a line space and then start your cover letter by adding the necessary information that gives an insight into your professional experience and skills.

Subject Line: John Doe: Application for Project Manager Position, Reff: Charles Moore

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am a 5+ years experienced project management professional…

Appropriate Method of Delivering a Cover Letter

Inappropriate Method of Delivering a Cover Letter

Also Read: How to draft a professional message to hiring manager?

How to Find the Hiring Manager's Name?

How do you write a cover letter if you don't know the name?

Well, you can simply address your cover letter as, "Dear Hiring Manager". But if you feel the need to add the name of the hiring manager then there are ways to do so.

Finding the hiring manager’s name is the best way to address a cover letter.

So, before calling it quits, let us look at some ways to find the hiring manager’s name.

Read the Job Description Thoroughly

Always read the job description carefully!

Usually, the hiring manager’s name or the title of the reporting manager is given in the job description or under the job description.

For instance, “ The digital marketer will report to the Marketing Manager. ”

You can use the title to then find their name on the company website or LinkedIn.

Sometimes the job description includes the hiring manager’s email address.

For Example: “ Send your cover letter and resume to [email protected][dot]com" .

You can find the hiring manager’s name in the email address.

Visit the Profile of the Job Publisher

Sites like LinkedIn or AngelList have this unique feature to show you the name of the one who posts the job.

You can go to their profile to see if they are the hiring manager and include their name in the cover letter.

Call the Company Front Desk

Calling the company is the easiest way to find the hiring manager's name. But, job candidates reserve it as the last option.

Here’s an example of the script:

“ Hi, my name is Alex, and I’m currently applying for the video editor position in your company. Would it be possible for you to provide me the name and email id of the hiring manager so that I can address the cover letter properly?”

Do a Quick LinkedIn Search

According to a study, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn regularly . That means, if you search for the hiring manager of a certain company on LinkedIn, there is a high chance for you to find their name.

Many job descriptions specifically tell the reporting manager’s title in the job description. Then you need to address the cover letter to the reporting manager.

The process of finding the reporting manager’s name is similar.

Also Read : How to Make the Best Use of LinkedIn Search Feature?

Network with People

LinkedIn is the best way to find and connect with people who have connections in the company you are applying for. If you can create a good rapport with these professionals, you can ask for a reference.

It is an easy but time-consuming process.

Also Read : How to Connect with People on LinkedIn?

Tips for Addressing a Cover Letter with No Name

Always use formal address in the cover letter.

Whether you know the hiring manager’s name or not, always keep the address formal in the cover letter. Even if the company has an informal culture, do not use any casual address unless you are a part of the organization.

Avoid Using “To Whom It May Concern”

This salutation is too generic and does not address anyone at all; however, according to a survey, 17% of hiring managers prefer this salutation over others .

But the problem is 83% of hiring managers don’t prefer it.

So we suggest that you avoid it altogether.

Avoid Addressing the Cover Letter to the Recruiters

A recruiter’s job is to sort the resumes based on skills and experience and pass them to the hiring managers. They don’t generally read the cover letter.

So, it’s a waste of opportunity if you address the cover letter to the recruiter.

Instead, always address the cover letter to the hiring manager.

Ensure That You Are Addressing the Cover Letter to the Right Person

Online information is not updated regularly. Often, the concerned persons leave the job, but their email id is still there on the website.

That’s why to be careful when researching the hiring manager’s name and crosscheck if you have any doubts by calling the company directly.

Do Not Mess up the Hiring Manager’s Name

There is a saying that “The first impression is the last impression.”

Try to make an excellent first impression by writing the hiring manager’s name using the correct spelling.

Don’t Stress Too Much

If you have the relevant skills and experience for a job, addressing a cover letter to the wrong person might not be a big deal. So, if you can’t find the hiring manager’s name and wondering how to address cover letter without name, just write “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Make Sure the Cover Letter is Short and Easy to Read

You should not make the cover letter more than 400-500 words long. It will make it difficult to read.

A short and crisp cover letter will intrigue the hiring managers as compared to a long one.

Also Read: How long should a cover letter be?

Cover Letter Without Name Sample

Hiration cover letter builder.

Create a polished, professional cover letter in minutes with AI-powered tool that helps you create a personalized cover letter based on the job description.

It comes with the following features:

Key Takeaways

With that, we have answered all of your questions on “how to address cover letter without a name?”. Addressing a cover letter without a name should not be difficult if you can keep some points in mind. Here are the key takeaways from the blog:

With that said, if you want to create a cover letter for yourself without a name, go to Hiration Cover Letter Builder , and choose from 20+ designs to create a professional-grade cover letter for yourself.

It has 24x7 chat support to provide you with professional assistance for all your job & career-related queries. You can also write to us at [email protected] .

cover letter to address unknown person

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How to Address a Cover Letter (And Who Should It Be To?)

How to Address a Cover Letter (And Who Should It Be To?)

Tom Gerencer, CPRW

As seen in:

Could the address on a cover letter affect your chances to land the interview? You bet it can! Hiring managers have hundreds of cover letters and resumes to read, and a generic “to whom it may concern” instead of an actual name equals an instant no-go. 

If you want the recruiter to feel good about you from word #1, you'll need to learn how to address a cover letter.

This guide will show you:

Here's an example cover letter made with our fast online cover letter tool. Want to write your introduction letter fast?  See 20+ cover letter templates and create your cover letter here .

Create your cover letter now

infographic about how to address a cover letter

Sample cover letter for a resume— See more cover letter examples here .

That example of who to address a cover letter to without a name will start your relationship off right. Now let me show you several ways to do it perfectly.

Learn how to keep it short and on point too. See our guides: Short Cover Letter Examples for a Speedy Job Application   and C over Letter Header Examples

How to Address a Cover Letter with No Name

Imagine you're reading emails.

Sounds fun already, right?

One starts, "Dear esteemed gentleman of high regard." To make things worse, your name is Nancy.

Of course you won't do anything that silly in a business letter. But if you don't know how to address a cover letter without a name, you may sound almost as tin-eared.

The first and easiest way to address a cover letter without a contact?

Leave the salutation off and start with the first paragraph.

Addressing a Cover Letter with No Salutation

Agilium's commitment to employee development is well known...

Why does that work for addressing a cover letter to unknown? It avoids the chance to make things worse .

Addressing a Cover Letter with "Dear Hiring Manager" 

Dear Hiring Manager,

That's another way to start a cover letter introduction right if you don't know the hiring manager's name. In fact, 40% of managers prefer " Dear Hiring Manager " to any other cover letter salutation .

Is it perfect? No. But it's invisible. It lets the manager get on to the important info in your letter, like why your resume is so amazing.

For the best way to address a cover letter with no name, you'll need specifics.

I'll show you a career-saving way to do that next.

Pro Tip: Should you use "dear" in a cover letter address? It's common and accepted. If you don't like it, leave it off and just say, "Hiring Manager,".

Want to save time and have your professional job application ready in minutes? Here are a sample cover letter and a matching resume made with our resume and cover letter builder. Start by picking the right resume template , then make a matching cover letter.

cover letter and resume templates

Resume and a sample cover letter for a job application. See all our resume templates matching your cover letter here .

Ready to move past the "who do you address a cover letter to" question? Need great tips and advice to write the whole thing? See our guides: " How to Write a Cover Letter [Complete Guide With Examples] " and " Are Cover Letters Necessary ?"

The BEST Way to Address a Cover Letter with No Name

"This applicant clearly has a brain."

What if I gave you a button, and by pushing it, you could make the hiring manager say the words above?

If you just want to know how to address your letter without a name, the examples above will work.

To convey high competence from the beginning, use specifics. Like this:

Who to Address a Cover Letter To [The Best Way]

Address your cover letter to the hiring manager, even if the letter will go through a recruiter.

Here are five examples of how to address someone in a cover letter when you don't know their name.

Pow. There's a switch somewhere in the hiring manager's head, and it just flipped to "Pay Attention."

Why do those examples for how to address a cover letter work?

They show you're not just scattershooting resumes from a potato gun. You actually have some idea what's going on within the company.

Pro Tip: Knowing the hiring manager's name is the best tip for addressing a cover letter. I'll show you six fantastic tricks up next.

Want to move past how to address a cover letter and on to the first paragraph? See this guide: " How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples] "

How to Find the Hiring Manager's Name without a Detective


You addressed your cover letter with "Dear Hiring Manager." The manager pictured a mouthbreather. She folded your resume into a little triangle and flicked it at the trash.

Well, that probably won't happen.

Still, if you're looking for how to address a cover letter in the best way possible, it's with a name.

You know that, but you're not Miss Marple. You don't have time to show the manager's picture around a bunch of coffee shops.

So, do these things:

How to Find Out Who to Address a Cover Letter To

Don't create a generic letter address until you've tried these tips to find a name:

Double check the job posting. Make absolutely sure the name's not in it. If it is and you miss it, you'll have enough egg on your face to make a double omelet.

Examine the email address in the job description. If it's [email protected] , do a Google search for "p fudderman" and "amible.com." Chances are, you'll find your manager's full name.

Check LinkedIn. Job offers on LinkedIn often identify the one who did the posting. Also, look at the company page or do a LinkedIn company search.

Check the Company Website. Try to find the head of the department on the company's staff page.

Ask friends. You can use LinkedIn to check if you've got contacts at the company. A Facebook shout-out may work too. If you're six degrees from Kevin Bacon, you're probably even closer to the hiring manager.

Call. If all else fails, call the receptionist and ask who the contact person is.

Use a Title in Your Address

If the hiring manager has a title like Dr., Professor, Reverend, or Captain, use that in place of a first name. She'll notice the respect and it'll give her a good feeling.

Pro Tip: Still can't find the hiring manager's name? Don't panic. Just use one of our excellent tips above for how to address a cover letter without a name.

Finished your cover letter and need to close it? See our guide: " How To End A Cover Letter [Complete Guide With Examples] "

How to Address a Cover Letter with Ms. or Mrs.

Picture a pencil.

It's full of bite marks.

You put them there because you're not sure whether to use "Miss" or "Mrs."

Mmm. Graphite.

Is she married? Isn't she? You don't want to insult her.

Gender rules can make it hard to know who to address a cover letter to.

The good news is, "Ms." works great, and doesn't comment on marital status.

Don't use "Miss" or "Mrs." unless you know the manager prefers them.

You can also use the first name, or the first and last together.

Pro Tip: Don't know the recruiter's gender? Names like Pat and Adrian can be tricky. A glance at a LinkedIn profile photo can clear up the confusion. Or use both names.

Need to know how to address a general cover letter? See this guide: How to Write a Letter of Interest [Complete Guide & 15+ Examples]

What's the Proper Cover Letter Address Format?

Visualize the ultimate success:

You got the job. You're earning a fat paycheck. Your quality of life would make Mark Zuckerberg jealous.

Is it because you used the right cover letter format?

Knowing how to address a cover letter with the proper format is just a way to sidestep looking sloppy.

But doing that will help you get the interview.

Write your name and address in the upper left.

After a line space, write the date.

After one more space, write the hiring manager's address.

Add one more space and then the salutation.

Barrett Miller, IT Professional

3367 Jewell Road

Minneapolis, MN 55415

IT Hiring Manager

Ideonix, Inc.

341 Lodgeville Road

Dear IT Hiring Manager,

I've been interested in Ideonix since...

How to Write a Cover Letter Email Address

Need to know how to address a cover letter when sending an electronic cover letter?

If you're formatting an email, start with a 6-10 word subject line.

Use a salutation, add a line space, then begin your letter.

Subject Line: Job Application for Nursing Position, Referred by Gregory Torres
Dear Dr. Appleton,
When Mr. Torres told me about the opening...

For emails, use that cover letter address format without the address of the company.

Pro Tip: There's a trend for modern job applicants to leave out "Dear." There's nothing wrong with doing that. It all comes down to preference.

Want to know how to format the rest of your cover letter? See this guide: " Cover Letter Formats: A Complete How-To Guide [10+ Examples] "

How NOT to Address a Cover Letter [Mistakes]

Will you sink your chance to land the interview if you don't know how to address a cover letter?

Probably not.

But addressing a letter incorrectly sets the wrong tone. It can make the hiring manager doubt you. And that can hurt your chances.

Avoid these addressing mistakes:

Addressing a cover letter with "Hello" or "Hi" comes off too informal. It sends a message that you don't quite grasp the rules.

The exclamation point is a bonus no-no.

Don't use "Dear Sir or Madam"  when you don't know who to address a cover letter to. Not unless you're applying for a position back in 1895.

"To Whom it May Concern" in a cover letter salutation may seem old fashioned or even archaic. Some managers (about 25%) claim they like the "To Whom it May Concern" cover letter address. The trouble is, the other 75% don't.

That last example looks fine at first. But the hiring manager might not be in HR. She might be the head of Accounting, or the company CEO.

If you know the HR director is handling the talent search, you probably know her name. Use that instead.

Pro Tip: Be rigorous with spell-checking. Nothing shows you don't know how to address a cover letter like botching the manager's name.

Writing a cover letter for an internship position? See our guide: " How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship [+20 Examples] "

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Knowing how to address a cover letter is the first step to starting off on the right foot.

Keep these points in mind:

Want to know more about how to address a cover letter? Maybe you found the best way to address a cover letter? Do you think to whom it may concern cover letters are a thing of the past? Give us a shout in the comments! We love to help!

Tom Gerencer, CPRW

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To Whom it May Concern? How to Address and End a Cover Letter

We’ve put together a few tips to help you personalize your cover letter, whether you know the hiring manager’s name or not.

cover letter to address unknown person

In our modern age of personalization, To Whom It May Concern is both an antiquated and detached way to address a cover letter . It may also imply that you haven’t researched the company or that you assume the letter can be read by anyone. Below, we’ve put together a few tips to help you personalize your cover letter , whether you know the hiring manager’s name or not.

When it comes to addressing a cover letter, advice columns frequently spotlight these two pitfalls:

Most job postings don’t specify who will be reading your cover letter. This puts job seekers in a tricky situation. Fixing the first mistake could cause you to make the second. So what’s the best way to replace “To Whom It May Concern” on your cover letter?

Get instant feedback on your cover letter with Jobscan’s cover letter optimization tool. See it in action .

3 Key Tips for Addressing Your Cover Letter

1) don’t address your cover letter to the recruiter.

For many job openings, the first person you need to impress is a corporate recruiter. That doesn’t mean you should address your cover letter to them.

“Recruiters do not read cover letters,” a long-time healthcare recruiter told Jobscan . “Bottom line.”

That might be an overstatement — most don’t, some do — but many recruiters would admit that they aren’t the intended audience of a cover letter. “It’s mostly for the hiring manager,” said a recruiter in the non-profit industry. “For us [recruiters], it’s just an extra step in an already elongated process.”

The healthcare recruiter agreed: “If you’re sending it straight to a hiring manager who’s looking at a much lower number of applicants, they might actually read that.”

2) Search for the Hiring Manager’s Name

The best way to personalize your cover letter is to address the hiring manager by name. However, it can be difficult to identify the hiring manager, and your educated guess could cause you to address your cover letter to the wrong person. Here are some tips for finding the hiring manager.

Search the Company Website

Few job postings list the hiring manager by name but many will tell you the position to which you’d be reporting.

Addressing a cover letter: Use "reports to" to figure out who to address.

With this information, a little detective work can reveal the name of the hiring manager.

Start off by browsing the company’s website. Look for an about page, company directory, or contact page. These pages are frequently linked at the very bottom of the website. Companies that feature employees on their about page make it much easier to figure out who will be reading your cover letter.

Addressing a cover letter: Find the hiring manager on these types of pages.

You can also try searching the website. If the website doesn’t have a built-in search bar, use this syntax in Google:

“[position you’ll be reporting to]” site:company website

Addressing a cover letter: Use google to search for the hiring manager's name

This will reveal hard-to-find about pages or other mentions of the position in the company’s blog posts, press releases, and other pages.

Search LinkedIn

If a company doesn’t list the hiring manager on their website, LinkedIn is your next best resource.

Start off by searching for the company page on LinkedIn. Once you’re on the company’s LinkedIn page, click “See all X employees on LinkedIn” near the top.

Addressing a cover letter: Find the hiring manager on LinkedIn. See all employees on LinkedIn

Depending on the company size, you can either browse all positions or narrow your results by adding search terms to the search bar (e.g. “Marketing Manager”) and utilizing the “Current companies” filters on the right side of the screen.

Addressing a Cover Letter: Use LinkedIn filters to find the hiring manager's name

Search for the “reports to” position from the job listing. If it wasn’t provided in the listing, search for keywords related to your prospective department (e.g. “marketing”). If the company uses an intuitive corporate hierarchy you should be able to determine who will be reading the cover letter.

Contact the Company Directly

There is nothing wrong with calling or emailing the company to ask for the name of the hiring manager. Be polite and honest with the administrative assistant or customer service representative. Explain that you’re about to apply for a job and you’d like to know who you should address in your cover letter.

If they aren’t able to provide an answer or transfer you to someone who knows, let it go. The last thing you need is word getting back to the hiring manager that you were pushy with one of their colleagues.

3) Use a More Personalized “To Whom it May Concern” Alternative

You can still personalize your cover letter, even when you don’t know the identity of the hiring manager. Instead of “To Whom It May Concern,” which casts a wide net and is specific to no one, try addressing your cover letter to one specific person.

The most generic version of this is:

Dear Hiring Manager,

But job seekers can often be more specific. Take a look at these examples:

Dear Customer Experience Manager, 

Dear Customer Experience Hiring Team Manager, 

Some other alternatives include addressing your cover letter to an entire department:

Dear Engineering Team, 

OR addressing the entire team:

Hi Jobscan Team,

Dear Jobscan Team,

As with many aspects of the job application process, demonstrating that you put in some extra effort can make a difference. Doing some research before addressing a cover letter contributes to a positive first impression.

8 cover letter salutation examples

Here are eight standard cover letter openings you can choose from. Select the one that best suits the energy of the company you’re applying to and use either a specific name or department depending on the information you have available.

How to end a cover letter

Just as important as beginning your cover letter is ensuring you end it on a strong note. Your cover letter ending should not be underestimated in its ability to help you move forward in the hiring process. After making your case in the previous paragraphs, you need to end your cover letter with a strong call to action to entice the recruiter to invite you for a job interview.

Madeline Mann , an HR leader in the technology industry and creator of Self Made Millennial , says that while no conclusion will save a bad cover letter, it can distinguish you from another good candidate.

It’s all about enthusiasm, according to Madeline. “Companies want people who want them,” she says. If you can draw to the company’s values and show how interested in working with them you are, that’s a substantial advantage. You want to create a lasting impression by incorporating that enthusiasm in your cover letter ending.

“Companies want people who want them” – Madeline mann

A good conclusion, in fact, should reflect the rest of your cover letter.

Set up the end of your cover letter with a strategic middle section

If you want your cover letter ending to be effective, you first need to build momentum. Most recruiters and career coaches agree that by the time you get to the end of your cover letter, it needs to possess the following three elements:

Julia Reiter, a career coach based in Toronto, suggests that you lead up to your cover letter ending by showing that you understand the company’s current challenges and are equipped to solve them. This will make your cover letter call to action all the more effective.

Although the job description will give you information about what the company is looking to accomplish, it will not help you distinguish yourself from other applicants. Show the company you are willing to go the extra mile by researching the key industry challenges and the particular issues they might be facing (beyond the obvious ones).

For example, you can read articles from industry-related publications and get acquainted with the numbers and statistics about the particular business areas your company is engaged in. By being aware of the particular issues they are facing, you can more easily make your skillset and experiences relevant.

When you talk about your past experiences and accomplishments , make sure you mention the problems the company is facing. For example, if you are applying for a customer success manager position at a Software-as-a-Service company, a relevant issue might be high churn rates.

Instead of writing something like “my experience in customer success makes me confident I will be a great addition to your team,” write something like “When I worked at XYZ company, I was able to reduce the churn rate by 30%. With this experience and my deep knowledge of B2B consumer psychology, I am prepared to ensure we have one of the lowest churn rates in XYZ industry.”

End your letter with a call to action

You may be tempted to write that “I’m looking forward to hearing from you” for your cover letter ending. That isn’t a call to action. For Madeline, the end of a cover letter serves to give one last push and show interest and enthusiasm in a way that stands out.

Likewise, Julia says, “now that the company knows you are aware of their current challenges and are equipped to solve those challenges for them, don’t leave them hanging. Tell them how they can make your skills and experiences a reality on their team. What number can they reach you at for an interview?”

How do you conclude a cover letter? Here are 3 examples

Mistakes to avoid when ending a cover letter

The mistakes people make when they end their cover letter are often the same ones they made earlier in the piece. However, they can be particularly detrimental to your chances of landing an interview if they constitute the final impression a recruiter has of you.

When ending a cover letter, avoid:

Making it about yourself instead of the company: use sentence constructions that make the recruiter see how the company is going to benefit from hiring you. For example, try to use “you” or “we” instead of “I.”

Sounding generic or robotic: we’ve all seen these cover letters that end with the same plain paragraph. If you write one of those, the last impression you’re giving is not different from those given by all other applicants.

Selling yourself short: the conclusion is your last chance to show off the value you can bring to the company. Emphasize it and use it as a segue into your call to action.

How to end a cover letter with the appropriate salutations

Always remember that recruiters review hundreds of applications for each position. When you are competing with that many candidates, the slightest mistake will disqualify you immediately Although you may not think too much of the salutations, they can hurt your chance of landing an interview.

Make sure your salutations are formal and polite. You should be respectful not only by indicating your appreciation of the recruiter’s time but also by being concise. Do not overdo your salutations and do not employ informal greetings. “Sincerely,” “Thank you for your consideration,” “kind regards,” are all safe options.

When ending your cover letter, you want to balance confidence, respect, and appreciation.

17 cover letter ending examples

Depending on the energy of the business you are applying to, and your own personality, select one of the following 17 cover letter closing options.

One Final Important note: Cover letters aren’t what they say they are

Cover letters don’t introduce your resume, they supplement it.

In order to get your cover letter into the hands of a hiring manager who cares, your  resume has to get past the recruiter and, in many cases, the applicant tracking system they’re using.

Try analyzing your resume below to receive instant optimization tips and recruiter insights from Jobscan so that the time you spend crafting your cover letter isn’t a waste.

The keyword analysis also shows exactly what to focus on in your cover letter.

Jobscan Premium (one month free)  even has a cover letter scan feature.

Editor’s Note: A section of this article was originally written in a separate blog post by Léandre Larouche on June 9, 2020. It has been updated and combined with this article as of June 10, 2021.

cover letter to address unknown person

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The 3 Rules of Addressing Your Cover Letter in 2022

Hot jobs on the muse.

person sitting at a table, typing on a laptop with a dog sitting on the table between their arms

You’ve finally sat down to write that cover letter (good for you!), but immediately you run into a roadblock: How do you even start the darn thing? Who do you address it to? Should you use Mr. or Ms.? Do you include a first name? And what if you’ve searched high and low, but can’t find the hiring manager’s name? 

Don’t fret! Follow these three rules for cover letter salutation salvation.

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 last name. You can include a title, such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” (never Mrs. or Miss). But if you aren’t crystal clear on whether to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” and can’t find their pronouns with a little Google and social media searching (and you don’t have an easy way out with a “Dr.”), just drop the title. Omitting it is infinitely better than accidentally misgendering someone .

Most letters I see still use the “Dear” greeting, though I’ve seen a growing trend of people dropping it and starting with “Hello” or just the name. Any of these works. The most important part is having the actual name . Never use “ To Whom it May Concern ” or “Dear or Sir or Madam”—nothing could be more generic (not to mention archaic). Your cover letter could be the first opportunity you have to make an impression on the hiring manager, so make sure you show that you did your research .

For example, you can address your cover letter by saying:

Rule #2: If you don’t know the hiring manager, guess.

Sometimes, even after hours of online searching ( try these tips ), you still might not be able to definitively figure out who exactly the hiring manager for the position you’re applying for is—and that’s OK.

If you can only find a list of the company’s executive team, use the head of the department for the position you’re applying for. In the end, no one will fault you for addressing the letter higher up than necessary. This approach is definitely better than not using a name in your cover letter, because it still shows the time and effort you took to find out who the department head is.

Rule #3: Be as specific as possible.

So you’ve done your due diligence and after an exhaustive search—nothing. You just can’t find a single name to address your cover letter to. If that’s the case, don’t worry. The company is likely privately held with no reason to share who its employees are—and, more importantly, is aware of this.

If this is the case and you don’t have a name to use, try to still be as specific as possible in your greeting. Consider using “Senior Analyst Hiring Manager” or “Research Manager Search Committee”—something that shows that you’ve written this letter with a particular audience in mind and aren’t just sending the same generic letter for every job opening.

For example:

Ultimately, you want your cover letter to convey your interest in the position. To start off on the right note, make your salutation as specific as possible—ideally with the name of the hiring manager. Of course, that can’t always happen, but as long as the effort is clearly made, you’ll be showing whoever reads your cover letter that you’ve put time into your application and are truly excited about the opportunity. 

Regina Borsellino contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.

cover letter to address unknown person

How to Address a Cover Letter When the Name Is Unknown

What Information Should You Include in a Continuation Header for a Business Letter?

How to make a front page for a resume, how to drop off a resume in person.

Are cover letters still important when applying for a job? According to ResumeLab , the answer is yes: About 83 percent of recruiters, hiring managers and human resources staff members surveyed agreed that well-written cover letters give applicants an advantage.

It is also important to know that while some of the rules for writing effective cover letters remain the same, some have changed over the years, like how to address a cover letter when the name is unknown. What might have looked proper just a few years ago could appear awkward today.

Cover Letter Examples

There are many websites out there that offer cover letter examples, but some may be outdated, so it's important to know what to look for. The best examples will show the correct ways to address the recipient, highlight the applicant’s motivation to work with the company and their career objectives. Highlighting professional achievements is also important. In some cases, applicants may also explain any employment gaps or the reasons for a change in careers.

The Muse points out that cover letter opening paragraphs should start by grabbing the reader’s attention. Instead of starting with something such as “I would like to apply for the [position],” it is better to be less generic. Examples of more memorable openings might include an anecdote or something about the applicant is inspired by the company’s biggest successes. The remaining paragraphs should be almost like a sales pitch, explaining why the applicant is the one who is best qualified for the position.

At the end of a cover letter, a great closing can also serve to create a lasting impression. It is always good to thank the recipient for their consideration, but being more assertive can work better for nabbing an interview. Suggesting that the reader contact the applicant to set up a time to further discuss the position and their experience can be the nudge needed to get to the next step.

How to Address Cover Letters

These days, most resumes and cover letters are sent through emails, job boards and company websites, so a few questions about how to address the letters come to mind. Many of the current rules are more relaxed than in the past, and not all the advice is the same. Monster writers recommend using the standard business letter format, which is a formal style that is single-spaced and left justified.

The top should have the applicant’s contact information, which can be on a personal letterhead. This is followed by the date, a single space and the recipient’s contact information, including name, title, company name and address. Then, another single space, followed by the opening salutation.

The paragraphs should follow the business letter format, with single spaces in between each. The concluding paragraph should have a single space after it, and then the closing salutation goes in, followed by the applicant’s signed or typed name. If unsure, it is always best to make the cover letter look formal. As a guideline, creative industries like art and design or marketing might be more casual, while law firms and corporations tend to be more formal.

Cover Letter Salutations

These can also be formal or casual and again, it is better to stay formal if the applicant is unsure. “Mr.” and “Ms.” can be used, but “Mrs.” and “Miss” should be avoided as they assume that the recipient is married or not married. Although using “Dear” or “Hello” in front of the name is acceptable, it is not required. However, writing “Dear Jane Doe” looks awkward; “Dear Ms. Doe” looks better. In casual cover letters, the first name followed by a colon might be acceptable.

Many job postings do not include the hiring manager or recruiter’s name, and for good reasons. There could be several people who are accepting the applications, or the person in question might want to protect their privacy. Novoresume posts that including a salutation is still important; otherwise, it may seem like the applicant was careless. What can one do in this case?

Without a specific name, it is never a good idea to write “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” A writer from Zety explains that both are outdated and impersonal. It is best to use phrases like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Hello Customer Service Hiring Team.” If that seems strange, rest assured that it is very common to send a cover letter to an unknown person.

It is always recommended to tailor cover letters to the job description, but without a name to use, applicants cannot tailor the salutation to the recipient in the same way.

More Cover Letter Tips

Salutations like the last two just described solve the problem of the unknown hiring manager. Zety also suggests a few more salutations to use, such as “Dear Recruiting Manager” and “Dear Hiring Team.” They also claim that a personalized salutation is always a better choice, so doing some investigating may reveal the right person’s name.

If a name was not found during the first look at the job posting, it should be looked at more carefully a second time in case it was missed. If not, the fastest way to find out might be to call the company and ask for the person who will be doing the hiring. These names can also sometimes be found on company websites and on LinkedIn.

It can also help to see Dear Hiring Manager cover letter samples online. This way, applicants can look at several examples to see which looks the best. There are also cover letter samples designed for different job industries and skill levels, as well as examples that show how to apply when there is no job opening advertised. Copying and pasting is never recommended though, because hiring managers recognize that (and it could also constitute plagiarism).

Closing the Deal

Closing salutations have also changed over the years, and you should no longer use old-fashioned ones like “Very Truly Yours” or “Sincerely Yours.” More formal cover letters can be closed with a “Sincerely” or “Respectfully Yours,” while casual ones often end with “Yours,” “Regards,” “Best Regards” or “Best.” Again, looking at cover letter samples online will give applicants a better feel for what looks right.

Hiring managers and teams receive countless cover letters and resumes, so following a few guidelines and finding ways to make a cover letter stand out can really give applicants an edge. The sheer volume of applications means that in the majority of cases, applicants do not hear back from the companies they apply to. Sending a follow-up email is an option; it may do nothing at all but on the other hand, it might catch a hiring manager’s eye.

Betterteam writers recommend waiting two weeks to write an email follow-up. It should have a clear subject line that includes the applicant’s name and the job title. The body should state the purpose of the of the email and include a short reminder as to why the applicant is the best fit for the position. It should be kept concise and to the point, with a sincere thank you at the end.

Finally, always proofread your cover letters, resumes and follow-up emails before clicking send – imagine how disappointing it would be to lose a job over a typo.

Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.

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How to Address a Cover Letter With Examples

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

cover letter to address unknown person

Options for Addressing a Cover Letter

What Title to Use

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:  

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:

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:

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.

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The absolute worst ways to address a cover letter

Charlotte Grainger

Hoping to land an interview? Avoid these greetings in your cover letter!

Is your cover letter landing you interview after interview? Probably not. Shockingly, there's only a 17% chance that your cover letter will actually be read, according to recent statistics . So if you want to give yourself the best chance at success, you need to catch the reader's attention. The opening line of your letter has to be just right.

You may already be wondering how to address a cover letter that will dazzle employers. Well, why don't we take a moment to talk about what not to do? Here are some of the worst ways you could address a cover letter to an unknown recipient. Avoid them at all costs!

"Hey" or "Hi"

You're not texting your mate. When you're addressing a cover letter to an unknown person, the last thing you want to do is get overly familiar with them. Greetings such as "Hey," "Hi," and even "Hello" are strikingly casual. You should only use them when you know someone or are in a social environment.

Needless to say, your cover letter is neither the time nor the place for these greetings. When you start a letter this way, it's unlikely that the employer or recruiter will read the whole thing. Your lack of professionalism and awareness is likely to lose you the opportunity before you've even received it.

"Dear Team"

Who exactly are you addressing here? Are you sending a letter (or email) to the whole company? No, you are not. This rookie mistake shows that you have no idea how to address a cover letter.

You're writing to one or two individuals ‒ the people who have hiring power within the company. The fact that you don't know who they are already puts you at something of a disadvantage. Don't make things worse by addressing a whole group of unnamed people.

"To whom it may concern"

You may have been taught this one in school, but that doesn't mean it's right. The working world has come a long way in the last 10 years. It's time we started to update the lingo we use to match that. For instance, if you're applying for a modern role, such as one in a marketing or a digital field, this greeting won't align with their culture.

Using this formal way of addressing a letter tells the reader two things: 1) you are lazy and 2) you can't be bothered to find out who they are. It's a real faux pas.

"Dear Sir or Madam"

You may not know whether you're writing to a man or woman, but that doesn't mean this opening will cut it. This greeting is many people's "go to" when they're addressing a cover letter with no name, but much like "To whom it may concern," this one is overly formal and outdated.

What's more, it's not likely to make any impression on the person reading it. Think about it: they have to sift through hundreds of letters. There is nothing at all that makes this bland opening stand out from the crowd.

"Dear Recruiter"

Have you ever read a duller opening line? Just because you're addressing a cover letter to an unknown person doesn't mean that you have to bore them. While this greeting is professional and will do your cover letter no real harm, it shouldn't be your first choice.

If you are going through a recruitment agency, finding out your contact's name shouldn't be all that difficult. Just ask. Whenever you can, it's good practice to address a recruiter by their name and title. This small and simple trick shows them that you have gone the extra mile and done some research.

"Dear HR Professional"

Don't presume that you know the reader's job title. You don't. Depending on the size of the company, there may not even be an HR department. Plus, the person reading your CV and cover letter may have a different title like "Talent Acquisition Manager" or "Recruiter." By assuming what the person's role is, you could get off on the wrong foot.

If you don't know the specifics about someone or their role, don't try to guess. You may think it's a pretty safe way to go, but it could end up ruffling some feathers. Instead, keep things neutral and avoid any confusion.

When you're applying for that all-important dream job, choosing the right greeting for your cover letter is essential. It's the first thing the reader will see and will set the tone of your application. Now that you understand how not to address a cover letter, you can take to writing with the confidence that you won't make a mistake. Avoiding these missteps is sure to give you a real advantage.  

Once you've written a sparkling cover letter, make sure your CV is up to scratch too. Submit it to our free CV review  service and find out now!  

Recommended reading:

What should a cover letter include? Start with these essentials

7 CV mistakes that make recruiters cringe

Is your CV ready to send? Ask yourself these questions

Related Articles:

6 CV-writing tips that will turn your good CV into a great one

How to simplify your job search in 3 easy steps

CV vs application form - what's the difference?

See how your CV stacks up.

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