The first step to beginning your cover letter is understanding the right cover letter salutation. Finding the appropriate individual to approach also demonstrates initiative and that you have done comprehensive research on the situation. T

The hiring manager will be impressed if you take the time to determine who to mail a cover letter to and how to address them properly.

Addressing a cover letter

The first thing the recipient sees when opening your cover letter is how and to whom you are addressing it. For this reason, establishing a good impression on hiring managers requires knowing how to address a cover letter in a professional and effective way.

Here, we’ll go over the reasons why it’s crucial to know how to address a cover letter, the procedures to follow when writing both physical and email cover letters, and several instances of various approaches.

Why is the address on a cover letter important?

Because it is frequently the first thing the reader sees when reading the letter, a cover letter address is crucial. Your chances of impressing the hiring manager or recruiter reading your cover letter increase if you address it professionally and appropriately.

In the long run, this will aid you in your job search efforts and enable you to land more job interviews than if you failed to address your cover letter or did so in a bad way.

A cover letter address is crucial since it indicates your focus on detail and readiness to conduct research when required. This is especially true if your address includes the hiring manager’s name.

By doing this, you demonstrate your dedication to professionalism and help the reader form a favorable opinion of you.

How to Address a Cover Letter?

Depending on the circumstance, you should address a cover letter in one of the following ways:

1. When you know the recipient’s name

Instead of utilizing a generic address, it is usually best to address your cover letter to a specific person. When the recipient’s name is not immediately available, using their name creates a personal connection and showcases your research skills.

Do your homework by conducting a search to determine the recipient’s name if you are unsure of it. If you’re applying to a company’s marketing department, for instance, you may locate the manager’s name on the company website.

You can use the recipient’s complete name in your cover letter address if you are certain of their gender but only know their full name. For instance, addressing a cover letter as “Dear Austen Myers” is appropriate and regarded as professional.

Include either “Ms.” or “Mr.” if you know the recipient’s gender and want to use a title in the address to prevent misrepresenting the recipient’s marital status.

2. When the recipient has a professional title

It is regarded as best practice to incorporate the recipient’s professional or academic title in your cover letter address if you do know their name and they hold one. You would use their academic or professional title in place of “Ms.” or “Mr.”

3. When the recipient’s name is not known

Use a more general beginning for your cover letter if you looked up the recipient’s name but were unable. The best way to ensure you leave a favorable impression on the reader is to use general cover letter salutations, which don’t require you to know the recipient’s name or gender.

When you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, the following are the most typical ways to address a cover letter:

  • Dear [company name] Recruiter
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To Whom It May Concern
  • Dear Sir/Madam

You should be sure that the individual who will receive your cover letter has the title you include in the address, such as “hiring manager,” before using it. Use a more general salutation, such as “To whom it may concern,” if you’re not sure who will be reading your letter.

How to address an email cover letter

Nowadays, sending cover letters by email is more often than not, therefore being how to address one effectively will be crucial to the success of your job hunt. Follow these guidelines to send a cover letter by email:

1. Make a compelling topic line.

When sending a cover letter to a hiring manager through email, subject lines are an essential part of business emails and must be included. A succinct and clear subject line makes it easy for the receiver to understand what the email is about and prevents it from being ignored or forwarded to their spam bin.

Include the title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email so the hiring manager will know which position you are interested in.

You should also include a brief phrase or word that summarizes the contents of the email along with your full name. A suitable subject line would be, “John Yates – Assistant Manager Position – Resume and Cover Letter.”

2. Use a professional address in your cover letter

The salutation you use in your email cover letter should be appropriate and professional, just like it would be if you were mailing a cover letter in a more conventional method.

When addressing a cover letter to someone you know their name, use their full name or the title “Mr.” or “Ms.” followed by their first and last name. If they have a formal title, use that instead of “Mr.” or “Ms.”

In the absence of the recipient’s name, use a generic salutation or omit it altogether. In contrast to a hard copy cover letter, it is OK to skip the salutation while sending a cover letter via email.

3. Verify the recipient’s email and name.

It’s crucial to double-check the email address before submitting a cover letter via email. Compare the email address to the one listed in the job posting or have a human resources representative at the company you’re applying with double-check it.

Call the company and ask to check or receive the email address if you’re unsure of it.

Also, make sure the name you use in your cover letter is correct. A name spelled incorrectly might appear professionally or even disrespectful in some circumstances. Do not be scared to ask the business to check the recipient’s name spelling.

Avoid these Cover Letter addresses

While there are undoubtedly some addresses that belong in a cover letter, there are also a few that you should stay away from putting. Avoid using salutations like “Hi” or “Hello,” which are overly informal.

This informal welcome may come off as unprofessional to the reader and may harm your impression with the recruiting manager. When sending a personal message or email, you can use this form of welcome, however doing so when filling out a job application is often discouraged.

Furthermore, as was already indicated, you should only use the salutation “To Whom It May Concern” in cover letters when you are unsure about the name, title, or department of the recipient.

For instance, if you are applying for a company where you know the individual is the head of the human resources department, you should start your cover letter with “Dear Human Resources Department Head” rather than “To Whom It May Concern.”

This is due to the fact that some individuals think the phrase “To Whom It May Concern” is excessively impersonal and implies that you did not thoroughly investigate the recipient.


In the end, you want your cover letter to demonstrate how interested you are in the job. Make your salutation as detailed as you can, ideally include the name of the hiring manager, to get things started off well.

Of course, it won’t always be possible, but as long as the effort is evident, you’ll be able to convince whoever reads your cover letter that you’ve given the application some thought and are genuinely enthusiastic about the job.

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