How to Address a Cover Letter

Although you will have the best resume possible, it means little unless it is sent along with a great cover letter.

However, one of the biggest problems for job seekers is they may struggle with creating a cover letter.

Although the content is vital, signing off a cover letter is as important as addressing a cover letter. The reason being, you could struggle to find names, so who to address cover letter to in this situation?

Creating a Proper Cover Letter

There are right ways and wrong ways of addressing a hiring manager, so here you will find all you need to know about writing a cover letter to the right person.

What is the Proper Way to Address a Cover Letter?

A salutation on your covering letter is a greeting to the hiring manager or another relevant person who is in the position of employing a person for a job. A cover letter salutation has to be both appropriate and professional.

Before seeing the right way to address your cover letter, it is good to see how not to address your cover letter.

How to address cover letters the wrong way.

Casual greetings like Hi or Hello are unprofessional and are more geared toward personal communications with friends.

While it may appear appropriate “To Whom It May Concern,” is in fact a salutation that comes across as impersonal, and can make a hiring manager think you don’t care enough to find out the name of the person the cover letter should be addressed to.

This salutation should only be used as a last resort if you can’t find the manager’s name or any person who to address the letter to.

Addressing Cover Letters with a Known Contact

Addressing cover letters to an employer once you have the right information can be much easier.

Here are a few examples of the right salutations you should use if you have the name of the person the application and resume is going to.

Ideally, you will use their title in the address as it shows respect.

  • Dear Dr. Who
  • Dear Professor Keating

General salutations can include the following:

  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • Dear Mr. Black
  • Dear Human Resources Manager
  • Dear (company) Recruiter

While these can be suitable, they are again generic and don’t really portray you spent much effort searching out names.

This leads to an area that can be even more daunting, and that is of gender for women.

How Do You Address a Woman in a Cover Letter?

When the person you are writing to is female, it can be more important to get this right because of the number of ways a cover letter can be addressed. Here are ways you can go about writing to a female hiring manager.

First Name: If you happen to meet the person involved before sending the letter and she gives her name, you can use it.

  • Mrs: Mrs followed by last name will be how she is referred t in the posting of the job.
  • Miss: Like the above, it will be used to address a woman from a job posting when you know she isn’t married.
  • Ms: Dear Ms is the safest way of writing a cover letter to a female when you are unsure of her marital status and last name. You can use it to avoid the mistake of using Mrs or Miss incorrectly. Dr. and surname will take precedence if this title is known.

Cover Letter for the Unknown Recipient

How to Address a Letter to an Unknown Recipient

If you can’t find the hiring manager name all is not lost because you can address directly. Dear Hiring Manager – If you can’t find the hiring manager name, use this method.

Hiring managers actually prefer this greeting more than others. You can also send it directly to Hiring Manager and choose not to use ‘Dear.’

It isn’t perfect yet it lets the reader get on with the main part of reading your letter.

In some instances, you can begin your cover letter with the first paragraph and leave off any salutation.

This is far from ideal, yet it does prevent you from making a hash of your greeting or making it worse by getting the hiring manager’s name wrong by thinking they are female when they aren’t.

Here are a few ways how to address cover letter without name:

  • Dear Finance team Hiring Manager
  • To the Finance Recruitment Team
  • To the Customer Service Research Committee
  • Dear Sales Account Hiring Manger

Although these are a little generic, they do show you know positions or areas that are in the company, even if you don’t have a specific hiring manager’s name or titles to address your letter.

Finding Out the Hiring Manager’s Name

Dear Sir or Madam can leave your cover letter on the desk, and it is better to use the employers proper name or title. However, finding this can be hard, so here are several ways how to find out who to address your letter to.

  • Make sure to read the job posting a second time to be sure the name isn’t listed and you missed it the first time.
  • Examine the email address in the job posting. You may see a name, which you can then do a search on. This can result in finding the full name and possibly department of the people you are targeting your letter toward.
  • Check LinkedIn. If the company is large, then postings on this site will often have the name of the person who carried out the posting.
  • Checking the company website is something you ought to be doing as part of your research. You may find names on a given page or if they have the job description there, it may contain the name of the name you need.


With all the above, you are well armed to be able to write a formal career cover letter. If you have friends in the same firm, you can ask them if you need to write to Mr or Ms, or whatever the right greeting will be.

Knowing this is a great start to what you have written. You can follow an example, yet try to use your own skills and experience to keep the greeting personal between you and the person you are applying to for a job.

How to Address a Cover Letter

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