5 Common Mistakes in Cover Letter Greeting

mistakes in cover letter greeting

What can be easier than writing a general cover letter greeting? Is it even possible to do it wrong? What is the difference anyway?

We often underestimate the importance of this short line that makes the first impression and sets the tone of the whole letter. An experienced cover letter helper knows how to make a cover letter greeting to an unknown person look respectful, appealing, and formal.

If you are about to write a cover letter greeting, consider checking this article to make it perfect. It will give you some good cover letter greeting examples and teach you how to make a cover letter greeting without a name seem more personal.

It also covers the most common mistakes in creating cover letter greetings and ideas to avoid them. Is a generic cover letter still used? When is it appropriate to refer to a recipient by a first name? Is “To Whom It May Concern” not enough anymore? What is wrong with greeting “Dear Mr. Carrel”?

Here you will find the answers to these and other important questions.

Meanwhile, a lot of job seekers continue to make the same mistakes that jeopardize their future career development. In this article, the most common five ways of ruining a cover letter greeting are described in detail. It may show you not only what is wrong, but also how to make it right.

This works for any kind of cover letter including professional entertainment resume writing. Keep reading, if you do not want a poorly written greeting to spoil your efforts of creating a great cover letter.

Cover Letter Greeting to Unknownmistakes in cover letter greeting

“To Whom It May Concern” is a standard greeting, when the name of a person is unknown. It is quite neutral, but also slightly indifferent as if the candidate does not try too hard.

If you are really interested in a position, you may show it by doing all possible to learn the name of the person you are referring to.

Visiting a company’s website might help a lot. Try to substitute this phrase with “Dear Mr./Ms. Last name” to impress the reader and make it more humanized.

Another Impersonal Greeting Mistake

Experts claim that worse than the “To Whom It May Concern” line for your cover letter could be only “Dear Sir/Madam” beginning.

It is understandable that there are situations when finding a contact’s name is hardly possible, even if you try hard, but there is a great alternative.

To make a cover letter greeting without a name more personal, a job title could be used. For example, “Dear PR Manager” sounds quite well.

Generic Cover Letter Greeting

Except for dealing with a cover letter greeting no name issue, you may also face such a disputable situation as calling someone “Dear Miss” and emphasizing the marital status of the lady.

Sometimes it is still possible to find this form among other cover letter greeting examples, but, in fact, it is a bit outdated and inappropriate.

In the modern business world, the best variant for addressing a woman in a letter is “Dear Ms. Last name”.

First Name Usage

There are people who think thatgreeting for cover letter starting a cover letter by “Dear John” will melt the ice and help to establish a connection quickly, but the experience proves this idea to be a complete failure.

An employment cover letter greeting is a beginning of business correspondence and it should be formal.

Otherwise, it might seem awkward and even disrespectful. “Dear Mr. Last name” is still the best choice.

However, some companies prefer an informal atmosphere and might offer you to move to a more casual style of communication. Let them be initiators of this anyways.

Also, if you are interested in a resume critique, make sure to read these effective resume critique writing tips!

Misspelled Last Name

Something that could definitely kill the mood and make a reader lose interest is referring to a person “Dear Mr. Carrel”, when, in fact, his last name is spelled as Carell.

This small detail could be a bit offensive and annoying. That is why it is recommended to double-check all proper names, even if they do not seem complicated.

Other typos like “contact” instead of “contract” or “mange” instead of “manage” are quite common in cover letters, but they are less noticeable than the reader’s own name at the top of the page. It must be spelled correctly if you do not want to ruin the impression.

Following these rules and avoiding the mentioned mistakes will surely lead you to your best cover letter greeting and then to a new job. As you can see, achieving this is not that difficult, but it requires just a bit of your attention.