How Do You Address Cover Letters?

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

While there is no right way to address a cover letter there are certainly some wrong ways!

Don’t begin a cover letter by addressing it to; “Gentlemen.” 

Recently I saw two cover letters that began that way.  Unbeknownst to the candidates, the hiring managers who were reviewing the cover letters were actually women.  By the way those candidates ended up not being considered for the position.

Don’t address your cover letter to the SVP of HR or another specific executive.

Unless one of those executives is the hiring manager don’t address your cover letter to them.  If you apply for a position they are not going to be the ones reviewing your resume nor will they be involved in the hiring process. 

Here are some good ways to address your cover letter!

  • Dear Company X Leadership Team:

              This one is one of my favorites.

  •  Dear Company X Team:

              This one is pretty good too.

  •  Dear Hiring Manager

              I like this because it is focused on the person who will be hiring you. 

  •  Dear Recruiter:

              I always liked this one but I might be biased since I am a recruiter.

  •  To Whom It May Concern:

               This one still works but I think you have better choices above. 

How are the most impressive cover letters addressed?

Find out who the hiring manager is and specifically address it to that person.

This will always grab their attention because very few people do it and it will help you stand out amongst the crowd. 

Find out who the recruiter is and specifically address it to that person

This has happened to be a few times and I’m always impressed when I see it and it always forces me to pay more attention to the cover letter and resume.

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