Essential Tips on How to Address a Cover Letter

cover letter solutation

Even the easiest thing in a cover letter, such as greeting your employer, can become the first challenge to stand in your way. How to address the cover letter if you are not sure who is about to read it?

At this starting point, many job applicants already manage to make their first and biggest mistake – they do not research. At times when you are open to so many resources, finding such information is the easiest thing to do.

Just take a few moments and find out the names and gender of the company’s HR managers. Eventually, your research skills will be highly estimated by the manager.

But how to address a cover letter with no name provided? Is it fine to use a generic greeting or should it be none at all? Your cover letter helper from Resume Writing Lab will guide you through several acceptable options.

Call the Office

how to write cover letter

Imagine that there wasn’t any name mentioned on the job listing, nor were there any hints on the company website.

What you can do for sure is to find the company’s phone number and make a call. This way, you can personally find out the name of the hiring manager who will read your letter for sure.

Now, if this option wasn’t successful enough, you are left with two other ones: excluding the greeting phrase at all or using a general salutation. In any case, try to stay away from common cover letter greeting mistakes.

Cover Letter without a Name

A lot of job seekers wonder how to address a cover letter without a name. General cover letter greetings should be your very last option on the list. They are very generic and most of them do not even require knowing the person’s gender.

According to a recent Saddleback College survey with more than 2,000 companies taking part in it, there are 4 most appropriate greetings that employers would prefer to see in the candidates’ cover letters.

Certainly, this is not a good reason to fire the employee. However, you might not get a chance to attract the employer in the first place if you don’t greet them properly.

Those are Dear Hiring Manager (40%), To Whom It May Concern (27%), Dear Sir/Madam (17%), and Dear Human Resources Director (6%). Only 8% of the surveyed HR managers would prefer seeing no salutation at all.

cover letter adressing

Gender-Neutral Names

It happens though that some of the persons’ names do not show a particular identity. In this case, instead of using gender-revealing titles, you should just use the person’s full name. For example, Dear Charlie Blake, Dear Jordyn Baker, etc.

But again: knowing the person’s full name and the company he/she works for at the moment, is enough for making research on social media.

The only thing you need to do is to open the person’s LinkedIn or Facebook profile picture – quite easy, isn’t it?

Also, if you keep a LinkedIn profile, be sure to learn how to set a LinkedIn background photo yourself!

Titles to Use in a Cover Letter

If you know both the name and the gender, it’s already a great win. However, here you should be careful as well, namely with the titles in your greeting.

Not always it would be ok to use Mr. or Ms. as a salutation. For instance, if your HR manager is a doctor or has a Ph.D. degree, such titles as Dr. and Prof. are more appropriate to use.

Also, pay attention to female titles since they can be tricky too. If you are not sure about the marital status of the female employer, use a generic Ms. instead of Miss. or Mrs. – you will never be wrong.

Final Words:

Always double-check if you wrote the person’s name correctly. Such a tiniest mistake can be a decisive factor that will cost you a lot more than 2 minutes of spell-check.