Do you know who to adress your cover letter to?

how to salutate on the cover letterAddressing a cover letter has always been an issue. It is the problem especially if you have no clue who will read it. And it happens quite often… Companies try to be anonymous nowadays and do not reveal too much data about HR employees, in order to ensure about the integrity and impartiality of recruiting process. That is the reason why so often you can not find the name of the responsible recruiter on the job ad. So the question is, how to address the cover letter in this situation?

Some people prefer to use “Dear Sir or Madam” formulation. Some others decide to use “Dear Hiring Manager” as a salutation at the beginning of their cover letter. Now think about it for a while? Is there really any difference in using these two formulations or any other? What do you think?

Most people believe that the best idea is to use a concrete name of the person on the cover letter. However, this is true only if you are 100% sure that this person will read your cover letter. In any other case, general formulations like Dear Sir or Dear Madam are advisable. Just try to look at it from the point of view of hiring manager…


Imagine to be a hiring manager for a moment

Let’s say that you hold this position and your name is Maria Lewis. However, you receive a cover letter that is addressed to John Smith. How would you feel? Would you feel good about this applicant? I hardly doubt so. That is the reason why you should use the exact name only if you are sure about it.


In any other case, try to use the following formulations in the following situations:

  • Dear Hiring Manager, if you are sure that hiring manager is the name of the positions. You can even use Dear Hiring Generalist or any other label if you are aware of it.
  • Dear Sir or Madam or To Whom It May Coy Concern, if you know neither the position nor the name of the person. There is not any real difference between these tow formulations.  the worst thing you can do is address the cover letter to the wrong person. Do not hesitate to use general formulation.


At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter that much, does it? You should focus more on what goes into a cover letter, how to begin it and on the content of it. That’s what matters at the end of the day. We wish you good luck in your job search!