Cover Letter To Unknown Person Examples Of Personification

Cover Letter Salutation Examples

Get Formatting and Punctuation Tips

What is a cover letter salutation? A salutation is the greeting you include at the beginning of a cover letter written to apply for a job. In your salutation, you will set the tone for your letter, which should be professional and appropriate. Avoid casual salutations (“Hey There” or “Hi” or “Hello”) in your job search correspondence.

How to Write a Cover Letter Salutation

When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job, it's important to include an appropriate salutation at the beginning of the cover letter or message.

Standard business correspondence formatting requires that, after providing your own contact information and the date of your letter, you then write down your contact person’s name, the company’s name, and the company’s address.

The formal salutation / greeting comes next: “Dear [Contact Person’s name].” If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their personal title and name in the salutation (i.e. "Dear Mr. Franklin"). If you are unsure of the reader's gender, simply state their full name and avoid the personal title (i.e. "Dear Jamie Smith"). Leave one blank line after the salutation.

You should always make every effort to find a contact name to use in your letter. It leaves a good impression on the hiring manager if you have taken the time to use their name, especially if you needed to work a little to find it.

If this information was not provided in the job announcement and you cannot find it on the company’s web site, then it is a good idea to call the company, ask to be forwarded to their Human Resources department (if they have one), explain that you will be applying for a job there, and ask for the name of their hiring manager.

When you can't find a contact person or if you are unsure of who will be reading your cover letter, you can use a generic salutation (i.e. “Dear Hiring Manager”).

When You Have a Contact Person

The following is a list of letter salutation examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment-related correspondence when you have the name of a contact.

  • Dear Mr. Jones

  • Dear Ms. Brown

  • Dear Riley Doe

  • Dear Dr. Haven

  • Dear Professor Lawrence

Punctuation

Follow the salutation with a colon or comma, and then start the first paragraph of your letter on the following line. For example:

Dear Mr. Smith:

First paragraph of letter.

When You Don't Have a Contact Person

Many companies don't list a contact person when they post jobs, because they have a team of hiring staff who sort through cover letters and resumes before passing them to the hiring manager for the appropriate department.

They prefer to leave the hiring manager anonymous until he or she contacts you for an interview.

An organization may also not want to disclose who the hiring manger is to avoid emails and phone calls from applicants, particularly if they anticipate receiving a large number of applications from potential job candidates. So, don't worry if you can't find someone to address your letter to. It will be forwarded to the correct department and recipient.

If you don't have a contact person at the company, either leave off the salutation from your cover letter and start with the first paragraph of your letter or, better yet, use a general salutation. When using a general salutation, capitalize the nouns.

Examples of General Salutations

Punctuation

Follow the salutation with a colon or comma before beginning your first paragraph on the following line. For example:

Dear XYZ Enterprises Recruiter,

First paragraph of letter.

Dear Reader,

We know it's frustrating when a job posting doesn't include the name of the person in charge of the hiring process.

We also know that's not an excuse to slap any salutation on your cover letter and send your application off.

According to Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume, you should always do some research to figure out who exactly the person reading your letter will be.

You can even play it safe by writing at the beginning of your cover letter: "I noticed you're working in [whatever department] at [whatever company]," so you show that based on your research, it looks like they're involved in the hiring process.

In the case that you absolutely, positively can't find a person's name, Augustine said certain ways of addressing your cover letter are more off-putting than others. For example, "Dear Hiring Manager" and "Dear Recruiter" aren't great openings, but they're the best of many bad options.

Here's the full list of cover-letter openings, ranked in reverse order of egregiousness.

Sincerely,
Business Insider staff

P.S. This advice doesn't apply in the case of an anonymous job posting, when a company is deliberately keeping their name and the names of their employees confidential.

5. "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Recruiter"

The language in your cover letter should be at once professional and conversational, Augustine said. And these openings aren't overly formal or casual, which is a plus.

But the lack of customization — you could submit this letter to any company you're applying to — will still stand out.

"You're not earning brownie points" with this salutation, Augustine said. "But you're not putting people off" either.

4. "Dear HR Professional"

Augustine said this opening isn't necessarily accurate.

The person reading your application might not work in the company's human resources department, or they might call themselves a recruiter instead of a human resources professional.

3. "Hello" or "Hi"

With "Hello" and no name after it, you've gotten the conversational part down, but you've still failed to customize your letter.

"Hi" is a double whammy, since not only is it not customized, but it can also be considered slang, Augustine said.

2. "Dear Sir or Madam"

You might think you're being clever by covering your bases in terms of gender, Augustine said. But you're actually making a big mistake by being so formal.

If you're applying to a startup, for example, Augustine said this kind of language probably wouldn't fit the company culture.

Even if you're applying to a more traditional company, the fact that your opening isn't customized at all is a big turn-off.

1. "To Whom It May Concern"

"It's so incredibly formal in its language," Augustine said of this opening. "I read that and I think, 'This person doesn't care at all.'"

If they did care, they would have tried to figure out who exactly the recruiter or the hiring manager is.

Moreover, "To Whom It May Concern" conveys exactly the opposite impression of professional and conversational that you're trying to project.

Augustine's rule of thumb when writing cover letters is to ask yourself: If this letter was coming to me, would I want to read it? Chances are good that, if someone addressed you this way, you wouldn't be so intrigued.

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