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How You Should Address a Cover Letter

One of the difficult parts of composing a cover letter is addressing. Often, you do not know who will read it. So how to address it if you do not know the contact person’s name? We have gathered several crucial do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind when addressing someone in your letter. These do’s are what may eventually lead you to a job interview, while the don’ts may leave your letter in the wastebasket.

How to Find Out Who to Address a Cover Letter To

So the first thing you should do is to find out the name of the person. Do not create a generic letter address if you have not used the following tips to find a name:

  • Try to find the name in the job posting.
  • Read carefully the email address in the job description. If it is [email protected], do a Google search for “d williams” and “srundle.com.” It is likely that you will find the hiring manager’s full name.
  • Check LinkedIn. Usually, job offers on this website identify the person who did the posting. Besides, you can do a LinkedIn company search.
  • Go to the company website and search for the name of the required person there.
  • Call the receptionist and ask about the contact person.

Do’s of Addressing a Cover Letter

As we have already said, proper addressing is critical in a cover letter. Here are some tips you should do.

  1. Always use their name

You have to always use a person’s name when addressing this type of letter. This demonstrates that you really care enough about this position to find out a name. Also, it is personal, which also demonstrates that you are not simply copy-pasting your cover letters to different companies.

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Do not assume that you know the recipient’s gender based on their name. Do not forget that multiple names are gender-neutral. If you do have a name but are not sure of the gender, it is a good idea to include both the first and the last name in the greeting and not include a title revealing the gender. For example:

  • Dear Christian Bale,
  • Dear Taylor Mosizki,
  • Christian Bale,
  • Taylor Mosizki.

Again, consider the option to check the company website or call its administrative assistant to get more information.

  1. Use a personal title

You can also address someone using their personal title. But this is much trickier than simply using their first and last name. If you choose to address a person using a personal title, you must be positive about their personal title. For example, do not guess that someone is a professor and then be incorrect in it.

  1. Other options

What if there is no name? What to do if you have searched for the name using all of the pieces of advice above and still do not have a name?

Here are some more examples of how you can address a person in a cover letter when you do not know their name:

  • Dear Project Manager Hiring Team,
  • To the Customer Service Search Committee,
  • Dear Sales Associate Hiring Team.

All of the above are still considered professional and personal. Make an effort and direct your cover letter to the actual department you are applying to.

Don’ts of Addressing a Cover Letter

Please remember that using any of the options below in the cover letter might get your letter tossed directly into the trash.

  1. Being too informal
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When you are informal in addressing your cover letter, you demonstrate that you are not a professional. Therefore, they will think you might not be professional with their clients, as well. Furthermore, they may even think you are unprofessional in other fields, too. For example, they will think that you are disrespectful and not punctual.

It means you should never address a person in a cover letter in such a way as writing “Hey” or “What’s up.” Yes, although most people would not do this, you might be surprised that some people are unaware that such greetings are absolutely inappropriate in cover letters.

  1. Being overly impersonal

If you ask any hiring manager, almost all of them will say that they hate it when they see “To whom it may concern” in cover letters. This way of addressing someone in a cover letter is too impersonal and outdated. Forget about it.

  1. Skipping it Altogether

Do not think that it is OK to skip the addressing entirely if you cannot find a name or think your greeting is not good enough. But lack of greeting is something any hiring manager will count rude. It is pretty disrespectful and demonstrates that you did not dedicate your time to write a greeting. In any case, even saying “Hello” is better than nothing at all.