If you have no idea how to address a cover letter, this article will help you with the task. Many job applicants are worried that what they write may sound unprofessional or silly, and they want to make a great first impression. Since this is the first thing a prospective employer will see, it’s important that you do it in a professional manner. Below, you will find some useful tips regarding how to address a cover letter.
1. Use the name of the person hiring if the information is available.
If you do know the name of the person responsible for hiring, use their name in addressing your cover letter. For example, if the persons name is Jennifer Jones, you may address the letter to “Jennifer Jones” or “Ms. Jones.” Unless you know for certain that a woman married, avoid using “Mrs.”
2. Avoid making it personal.
A cover letter is a professional document, and should be written in a professional manner, even in addressing. While you want to sound friendly, avoid using “Dear” or other terms of endearment.
3. Search the web.
Today, many companies have a website where you may be able to find the name of the hiring manager, or at least the department in which they work. Try to find the website by keying in the name of the company, then look for pages that say “job opportunities,” “about us,” or “contact us.”
4. Other considerations.
If you simply cannot locate the name of the person in charge of hiring and cannot contact the company to inquire about this information, consider addressing your cover letter with “Human Resources Dept.” or “Hiring Manager.” You might also want to consider “Sir/Madam Responsible for Hiring.”
5. Never do this.
For decades, people have made the mistake of using “To Whom it May Concern” in addressing a cover letter. This sounds much too formal, and is also too generic.
6. Other options if you are applying online.
If you are submitting a resume and cover letter online or through email, you might consider completely skipping the salutation. You should probably avoid doing this if you are submitting your resume by mail or in person, but it is generally accepted online.
7. Follow instructions.
In many cases, a job ad will tell you exactly who to send your resume to. For example, if the ad states you should submit your resume to the hiring manager, consider using “To the Hiring Manager at Company Name” or simply “Hiring Manager.” When a job advertisement gives specific instructions, always follow them to the letter.
The tips above should help you in determining how best to write this section of your cover letter. While it is best to use a name if possible, there are occasions when you cannot get the name of the person in charge of hiring despite your best efforts. Hopefully, the tips above will help you understand how to address a cover letter.