Addressing your cover letter can be challenging for many reasons, the most common ones being lack of information regarding the person’s name or gender. Of course, you should always take the time to find this information, but in case you cannot, you need to learn the best tricks on how to address a cover letter.
Wondering How to Address a Cover Letter Properly?
Choosing the wrong gender or writing the wrong name can be detrimental for your application. If you don’t take the time to find out who to address cover letter to, the reader of your cover letter may find you unprofessional and not interested enough in the job position.
A cover letter is one of the essential parts of every application, which is why it carries such great importance, so you need to realize what is the purpose of a cover letter you write. If you fail from the very beginning, it won’t really matter how well you expressed yourself or how good your qualifications are later on in the content.
Take the time to find out who you are writing to. If it is a larger group of people who check the job applications, you can always use the genetic greeting appropriate for that particular application. Using a random gender or wrong name can only do harm to your chances of getting the job.
If you cannot do the research or pick the best way to greet the reader, ask for some help or read reviews of resume writing services on ProperResumes to find a service. The addressing of a cover letter must demonstrate professionalism and respect toward the hiring manager.
Your Options on How to Address Cover Letter
If you are struggling with addressing a cover letter, you have several options to choose from. Of course, these options will depend on how much you know about the person handling your application or the company you are applying to get into.
Generally speaking, there are several tips that apply for people who struggle with the questions about:
- How to address a cover letter without a contact person
- How to address a cover letter to a company
When you are unsure to whom to address the letter or how to address it, your first option is to find the name of the person you are submitting your application to. If the name is excluded from the job listing, you may find this information on the company’s website. Therefore, this is yet another reason to research a company better before your interview.
In case the hiring manager is not listed on the official website, you may call the contact number and ask the company’s administrative assistant for this information.
Still, in some cases, you won’t be able to discover the name of the hiring manager. Sometimes the applications are looked into by several employees in the company, so you cannot really pinpoint the person looking into your cover letter.
If you cannot find the name of the contact person, you can use a general salutation or leave it blank.
A general cover letter salutation is used when the applicant does not know the name of the hiring manager. To avoid using the wrong gender or name, it is best to use this alternative. Some of the general salutations include:
- Dear Sir/Madam
- To Whom It May Concern
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Human Resources Director
All these alternatives are better than leaving the salutation blank or skipping it altogether. After all, the reader needs to know you are speaking to them directly, and not sending a template cover letter to every job post you come across.
In some cases, you will have the name, but will be unsure of the person’s gender. In this case, it is a bit strange and perhaps even offensive to call and ask about the person’s gender, which is why you should use alternative addressing to avoid making a mistake.
It is quite simple – if you aren’t sure of the hiring manager’s gender, you can use both their first and last name in the salutation, without a title that reveals their gender.
Things to Avoid and Who to Address a Cover Letter To
To help you out with your cover letter, the experts at properresume.com created a short list of things you should never do when addressing a cover letter:
- Do Not Use the Wrong Title
You may even know the gender and name of the hiring manager, but are unaware of their title. Unfortunately, using a wrong title or no title at all can often offend the reader of a cover letter, especially if you use a title they do not prefer.
For example, the person handling the employment may hold a Ph.D. and as such, expect people to address him/her with ‘Dr. Last name’ instead of ‘Mr. Last name’ or Ms. Last name’. This makes addressing cover letter very complex, but there are several tricks you can use to avoid leaving a bad impression.
Let’s say you need to write a cover letter for teachers. If you are unsure who the hiring manager is, use ‘Mr.’ and ‘Ms’ as a general title that does not denote any marital status, except in a case where you know the person prefers other titles.
- Don’t Forget to Format the Salutation
Once you have chosen your salutation, use the proper formatting. This is a short process, but you must pay special attention to the use of comma or colon, as well as spaces.
Finalizing the Addressing Process: Who Do You Address a Cover Letter To?
Once you are finally done with choosing how to address cover letter without name and formatting the salutation, you can continue with the rest of the cover letter. But, if you know who you are speaking to, you must make sure to spell check their name prior to continuing with the remaining of the cover letter. Taking care of these details is a must right after you find the best salutation since in most cases, this is the part people forget when proofreading the entire cover letter content.