The 3 Rules of Addressing Your Cover Letter in 2023

person sitting at a table, typing on a laptop with a dog sitting on the table between their arms

You’ve finally sat down to write that cover letter (good for you!), but immediately you run into a roadblock: How do you even start the darn thing? Who do you address it to? Should you use Mr. or Ms.? Do you include a first name? And what if you’ve searched high and low, but can’t find the hiring manager’s name? 

Don’t fret! Follow these three rules for cover letter salutation salvation.

Rule #1: Address your cover letter to the hiring manager using a formal, full-name salutation (if possible).

For a cover letter, you should always default to addressing it to the hiring manager for the position you’re applying to. Unless you know for sure that the culture of the company is more casual, use the hiring manager’s first and last name. You can include a title, such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” (never Mrs. or Miss). But if you aren’t crystal clear on whether to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” and can’t find their pronouns with a little Google and social media searching (and you don’t have an easy way out with a “Dr.”), just drop the title. Omitting it is infinitely better than accidentally misgendering someone .

Most letters I see still use the “Dear” greeting, though I’ve seen a growing trend of people dropping it and starting with “Hello” or just the name. Any of these works. The most important part is having the actual name . Never use “ To Whom it May Concern ” or “Dear or Sir or Madam”—nothing could be more generic (not to mention archaic). Your cover letter could be the first opportunity you have to make an impression on the hiring manager, so make sure you show that you did your research .

For example, you can address your cover letter by saying:

  • Dear Ms. Jacklyn O’Connell,
  • Hello Mr. Kevin Chen,
  • Dear Niko Adamos,
  • Hello Jean Butler,
  • Tiana Richards,

Rule #2: If you don’t know the hiring manager, guess.

Sometimes, even after hours of online searching ( try these tips ), you still might not be able to definitively figure out who exactly the hiring manager for the position you’re applying for is—and that’s OK.

If you can only find a list of the company’s executive team, use the head of the department for the position you’re applying for. In the end, no one will fault you for addressing the letter higher up than necessary. This approach is definitely better than not using a name in your cover letter, because it still shows the time and effort you took to find out who the department head is.

Rule #3: Be as specific as possible.

So you’ve done your due diligence and after an exhaustive search—nothing. You just can’t find a single name to address your cover letter to. If that’s the case, don’t worry. The company is likely privately held with no reason to share who its employees are—and, more importantly, is aware of this.

If this is the case and you don’t have a name to use, try to still be as specific as possible in your greeting. Consider using “Senior Analyst Hiring Manager” or “Research Manager Search Committee”—something that shows that you’ve written this letter with a particular audience in mind and aren’t just sending the same generic letter for every job opening.

For example:

  • Dear Software Developer Search Committee,
  • Hello XYZ Co Marketing Team,
  • Dear Junior Accountant Hiring Manager,

Ultimately, you want your cover letter to convey your interest in the position. To start off on the right note, make your salutation as specific as possible—ideally with the name of the hiring manager. Of course, that can’t always happen, but as long as the effort is clearly made, you’ll be showing whoever reads your cover letter that you’ve put time into your application and are truly excited about the opportunity. 

Regina Borsellino contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

How to Start a Cover Letter To Keep Recruiters Reading

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Customers Interviewed by:

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Writing a good cover letter starts with the first word, so you need to know how to start a cover letter right.

Starting a cover letter on the right note is crucial to grab the recruiter’s attention. Whether you’re struggling with a blank document or have a solid foundation, a cover letter needs a punchy opening to make an impact on the hiring team.

What are the key ingredients to starting the perfect cover letter?

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • What to include in your cover letter header.
  • How to start a cover letter greeting.
  • How to write an impressive cover letter opening paragraph.
  • How to start a cover letter off strong.
  • Examples of how to start a cover letter.

Each puzzle piece of your cover letter opener creates a detailed picture of who you are as a candidate. It proves to the recruiter that you’re worth contacting for a job interview . Make a standout first impression with your cover letter by including:

  • A header with your contact information.
  • A personalized greeting.
  • A powerful opening statement.

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

Create your cover letter with AI to customize it for the job description. Optimize your cover letter and resume with Jobscan to get more interviews.

What to include in a cover letter header

The top of your cover letter should include a header with your critical contact information, like:

  • Your name and professional title.
  • Your phone number.
  • Your email address.
  • Your LinkedIn profile link.

You can also include other relevant links. These could be to your portfolio website, GitHub, Medium profile, or other industry-specific resources. They will help the recruiter understand your skills.

Include the date, the recipient, the company name, and the address or location of the organization. (This will depend on whether it’s an in-person, hybrid, or remote environment.)

Below is an example of a cover letter including personal information in the header with the date and company information below. This example was created with the Jobscan Cover Letter Generator .

a screenshot of a cover letter header with personal information and contact details

Use our Cover Letter Generator to save yourself time writing your cover letter. The header section will auto-populate based on your resume, so all the details match perfectly.

How to write a cover letter greeting

If you usually start your cover letters with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern,” it’s time to reinvent your greetings. Not only is this a boring way to start a cover letter, it can come across as lazy.

With a little investigation, it’s easier than ever to find the names of the recruiters or hiring teams. By taking a little time, you can personalize your greeting to boost your chances of a recruiter reading your cover letter from start to finish.

Beat out the 84% of job seekers who don’t find the hiring manager’s name to personalize their applications and go the extra mile.

How can you find the right person to address in your cover letter?

Turn to LinkedIn or the organization’s website.

On LinkedIn, you can either search for the company’s recruiter or talent acquisition team members. Or you can go to the “People” tab of their LinkedIn page to explore the current employees.

Suppose you’re looking for a job at PCL Construction and want to find the name of the recruiter who will likely be reading your cover letter. You can go to the search bar and find the recruiter managing that department by city.

With just a quick search, you’ll find the hiring team members in charge of the role you’re applying for!

A screenshot of a LinkedIn search for a recruiter

You can also go directly to a company’s website and look for the “Team” or “About Us” page for information.

Targeting a greeting to a specific person is easier to do in smaller organizations. If you’re applying for a role at a large company, you can still write an engaging but more general greeting on your cover letter, such as:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Department] Team,
  • Dear [Director of or Head of] Department,
  • Dear [Company Name] Hiring Manager,

How to write a powerful cover letter opening paragraph

Recruiters spend just seven seconds scanning a candidate’s application , so it’s critical to capture their attention in the first line.

Be concise in your cover letter and choose your words with the desired impact in mind. Avoid falling into the old traps of opening your cover letter by stating what role you’re applying for and how you found it. Remember, you have a precious few seconds to illustrate how you can help the organization fulfill its needs, so make every sentence count.

Read the examples below and ask which one will have a greater impact on employers.

“I am thrilled to apply for the Research Analyst position at YouGov, where my experience in leading market research projects that boosted client engagement by 25% and my expertise in data interpretation have consistently delivered actionable insights and strategic recommendations. Using my skills in analyzing primary research data, I’m looking forward to helping your organization make data-backed decisions to drive growth and profitability in your projects.”

“I am excited to apply for the Research Analyst position at YouGov, an esteemed global online research company well-known for its accurate data and market insights. With my background in managing market research projects, interpreting data, and delivering actionable recommendations, I believe I can contribute significantly to your team.”

The point of your cover letter isn’t just to restate your skills from your resume . You need to prove the impact of your skills and how you’ll bring that impact to the organization.

It’s not about you, it’s about the company’s needs.

a breakdown of a cover letter template

Tips for writing a strong cover letter opener

Now that you know what puzzle pieces you need to start a cover letter right, here are some tips to help wow the recruiter with its content.

1. Let your enthusiasm and passion shine through

Your resume illustrates your skills and qualifications , but your cover letter is the place to tell a story. Share what company qualities excite you, what draws you to the organization’s mission or values, and what direct experience you have with the company’s product or service.

Communicating your enthusiasm gives the recruiter an idea of how engaged and dedicated you’ll be to your performance.

With over five years of hands-on experience in property management, I am deeply passionate about creating exceptional living experiences for residents. Your industry-leading services and premium standards in property management systems make me excited about the opportunity to bring my dedication and expertise to your esteemed team.

2. Mention any mutual connections

If you have a professional connection in the company or were referred to a position, name-drop that connection at the top of your cover letter. A connection can help boost your chances of getting an interview, especially if that person can act as a reference.

Give your connection a heads-up if you discovered the opportunity on your own without a referral. That way, if they’re asked about you informally by the hiring team, they’ll know to expect questions.

If you want to give your cover letter a boost with a connection, you can reach out to someone in the company before you apply. Be genuine and try to connect with someone on the team you would be working with. Ask an authentic question or reach out to discuss their experience in the company. Tell them you want to apply for an opening. But don’t try to reach out to anyone just to get a name to plug in your cover letter. It can come across as disingenuous.

My interest in the Health Systems Analyst role was significantly piqued after speaking with Jane Doe, an eHealth Policy Analyst at your organization. Jane highlighted the cutting-edge technology initiatives and collaborative atmosphere within your IT department, which align perfectly with my 7 years of experience in healthcare IT, focusing on electronic health records (EHR) systems and data security.

3. Incorporate your company research

Writing a compelling cover letter requires that you do some research to show the recruiter that you’re aligned with the company’s values, mission, and culture. You need to express to the recruiter why you want to work at their specific organization .

Keep an eye on industry news and learn about the company’s latest projects. By incorporating details about what the organization is currently achieving, you position yourself as a better interview candidate over other applicants.

Your recognition as an industry leader, demonstrated by winning the Best Employer Award for three consecutive years and your successful launch of the community outreach initiative, highlights [Company Name]’s dedication to both employee well-being and social responsibility. I have a track record of increasing employee satisfaction by 20% through strategic wellness programs and look forward to contributing to your continued success.

4. Highlight your most impressive achievement

A well-written resume illustrates your achievements , but your cover letter is the best vehicle to add context and tell a compelling story to show off your impact. You can directly tie it into the role you’re applying for and help the recruiter forge connections between what you have accomplished in the past to what you can achieve for the future—particularly for their company.

In my previous role as a project manager at Apex Management Co, I spearheaded a comprehensive cost-reduction initiative that saved $500,000 annually by optimizing supply chain operations and renegotiating vendor contracts. This accomplishment directly relates to the efficiency and budget management skills required for the Operations Manager position at your organization, where I am eager to contribute to your mission of streamlining processes and enhancing operational efficiency.

5. Clearly state your unique value

In a sea of applicants, it can feel difficult to set yourself apart. But the truth is, no one has the same combination of experience or skills you do. The key to standing out is learning how to frame your unique value to solve a company’s problems. Expand on the key skills listed in the job description and draw on your research of the organization to explicitly spell out how you’ll benefit the team.

With a unique blend of creative and technical skills, I designed a user interface for the HealthCo App that increased user engagement by 40% through user-centered design principles and rigorous usability testing. I am looking forward to bringing this expertise to your organization as a UX Designer, addressing your need for more engaging and intuitive user experiences, particularly as you expand your digital offerings.

6. Keep your cover letter short

Remember that you want the recruiter to read your cover letter from start to finish, so make sure every sentence is meaningful and cut out the fluff. There should be plenty of white space to break up the text and not overwhelm the reader.

Reference our cover letter examples for inspiration on crafting the perfect cover letter.

Let AI write your cover letter for you

Jobscan’s premium Power Edit includes a cover letter generator that harnesses the power of AI to write a customized cover letter based on your tailored resume and the job description. With one click, you’ll generate a cover letter that follows best practices.

You can use it as a framework to defeat blank page syndrome and include anecdotes, details about your mutual connections, and bits of information from your research to impress the hiring team. You can make any alterations in Power Edit and download the PDF when it’s done and ready to be attached to your tailored resume.

A screenshot of the cover letter generator in power edit

Key takeaways

Your cover letter could be the key to landing the interview. By following these essential tips on how to start a cover letter, you’ll capture the attention of the hiring team from the first sentence.

Remember these cover letter rules as you start your writing.

  • Make a clear opening statement that shows passion, knowledge, and your unique value.
  • Keep your cover letter short—stick to a few concise paragraphs to make it readable.
  • Be specific and clear about what you’ll bring to the role.
  • Stay away from humor—the tone can be difficult to read.
  • Avoid reusing the same cover letter and write a custom cover letter for each job.
  • Don’t overinflate your accomplishments or lie about connections that don’t exist.

When including your contact information on a cover letter or resume, make sure to provide the following details: Full Name: Your first and last name. Phone Number: A number where you can be easily reached. Make sure your voicemail is professional. Email Address: Use a professional email address, preferably one that includes your name. Mailing Address: Include your current street address, city, state, and zip code. LinkedIn Profile: If you have a LinkedIn profile that is up-to-date and professional, include the URL. Professional Website or Portfolio: If applicable, include a link to your personal website or online portfolio showcasing your work. This ensures potential employers have multiple ways to reach you and can view your professional online presence.

A good opening sentence for a cover letter can grab the reader’s attention and introduce your purpose for writing. Here are a few examples: For a job application: “I am excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name], as advertised on [where you found the job posting]. With my background in [your field or relevant experience ], I am eager to bring my skills and passion to your team.” For a career change: “With a strong foundation in [current field], I am thrilled to apply for the [Job Title] role at [Company Name] to leverage my skills in [new field].” For a specific achievement: “Having recently led a successful [project or achievement], I am enthusiastic about applying for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] to bring my expertise in [specific skill or area] to your innovative team.” For expressing enthusiasm: “I have long admired [Company Name]’s commitment to [specific value or mission], and I am excited to apply for the [Job Title] position to contribute to your impactful work with my experience in [relevant experience or field].” For a networking referral: “After speaking with [Referrer’s Name], I am inspired to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] where I can utilize my skills in [specific skill or area] to further your goals.” These starters aim to make a strong first impression by highlighting your enthusiasm, relevant skills, and connection to the company.

Your cover letter opening should contain the following key elements: Your Enthusiasm for the Position: Show genuine excitement and interest in the role you are applying for. This sets a positive tone and captures the reader’s attention. Specific Mention of the Job Title and Company Name: Clearly state the position you are applying for and the name of the company. This ensures the reader knows exactly what role you are interested in. Brief Introduction of Yourself: Include a concise introduction that highlights who you are and what you bring to the table. This can include your current role, relevant experience, or a key achievement. Connection to the Company: Mention something specific about the company that resonates with you, such as their mission, values, recent achievements, or reputation in the industry. This demonstrates that you have researched the company and are genuinely interested in working there. A Hook or Key Strength: Highlight a key skill or accomplishment that makes you a strong candidate for the position. This can be a significant achievement, a unique skill set, or relevant experience that sets you apart from other applicants. Here is an example that incorporates all these elements: “I am excited to apply for the Marketing Manager position at XYZ Company, where I can combine my passion for innovative marketing strategies with my skills in digital advertising. With over five years of experience in driving successful campaigns that increased brand awareness and sales, I am eager to bring my expertise to your dynamic team. I have long admired XYZ Company’s commitment to sustainability and innovative product development, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to contribute to your impactful work. My recent achievement in boosting social media engagement by 40% through targeted campaigns is a testament to my ability to drive results and my dedication to excellence.”

To start a cover letter greeting effectively, follow these guidelines: Address the Hiring Manager by Name: Whenever possible, find out the name of the hiring manager or the person responsible for hiring. Addressing the letter to a specific person shows that you have done your research and adds a personal touch. Use a Professional Salutation: Use a formal greeting such as “Dear” followed by the person’s title (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.) and last name. Avoid using first names or informal greetings. When You Don’t Know the Name: If you cannot find the hiring manager’s name, use a general but professional greeting such as “ Dear Hiring Manager ” or “Dear [Department] Team.” Avoid Outdated Phrases: Refrain from using outdated or overly formal phrases like “To Whom It May Concern.” A modern, professional greeting is more effective. Examples: When you know the hiring manager’s name: “Dear Ms. Smith,” When you know the hiring manager’s title and department: “Dear Marketing Team Lead,” When you don’t know the hiring manager’s name: “Dear Hiring Manager,” When applying to a specific department: “Dear Marketing Team,” Starting your cover letter with a proper greeting sets a professional tone and demonstrates your attention to detail.

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Kelsey is a Content Writer with a background in content creation, bouncing between industries to educate readers everywhere.

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How to address a cover letter?

I'm sure that you had to create a cover letter at some point in your job search. And like most other job seekers, you probably came across this problem: "How to address a cover letter?"

Most of the time, you have no idea who is going to read the cover letter.

So, how to address a cover letter without a name?

Hiring managers get roughly 100-200 resumes every day. And, they are already under a lot of pressure to sort the resumes.

On top of that, if they get cover letters that do not have proper formatting and do not address the hiring manager in the cover letter header, mark my words; they will surely throw your resume away.

In a resume cover letter, minute details make or break your chance of being hired.

So, you need to make sure that you know how to address cover letter correctly.

Don't worry!

In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about:

  • Who to address cover letter to?
  • How to address a cover letter without a name?
  • How to find out who to address a cover letter to?
  • How to address an email cover letter?
  • How to address a cover letter for internal position?
  • What should you not do when addressing a cover letter?
  • Example of Proper Cover letter address format?
  • Some common question about how to address cover letter

Who to Address a Cover Letter To?

Ideally, you need to address your cover letter to hiring managers , not the recruiters .

In many job postings, the name or email address of the hiring manager is given.

If you are lucky enough to find such job listings, then you are sorted. You can write a personalized cover letter addressing the hiring manager directly.

Unfortunately, not many job listing sites give the name and email address of the contact person.

Do not quit and send the cover letter without a name.

Go to the company website/about page and see if it has the list of staff.

That way, you can probably get the hiring manager's name or someone from the talent acquisition department to whom you need to address your cover letter.

The critical aspect is to do a lot of research .

Suppose you still don't find any name or contact information of anyone in the hiring department. In that case, you can also address your cover letter to someone in authority in other departments, such as the senior manager or the head of the department you are applying for.

It is a hundred times better to address your cover letter to someone in the organization than not addressing it at all.

At least, this way, they will understand that you are not throwing rocks in the dark. You have done your research and have good ideas about the organization.

Also Read: How to write a stellar cover letter in 2022?

How to Address a Cover letter Without a Name?

There are plenty of generic cover letter salutations you can use in your cover letter. These generic cover letter salutations eliminate the need to know the name of the contact person.

The only drawback is that you have no option to personalize your cover letter.

A survey conducted by Saddleback College has seen that only 8% of hiring managers are ok with a cover letter without name. But 92% of hiring managers prefer to have some address in the cover letter.

  • Dear Hiring Manager (40%)
  • Dear Sir/Madam (27%)
  • To Whom It May Concern (17%)
  • Dear Human Resources Director (6%)

However, we don't recommend you to use to whom it may concern in your cover letter address.

Instead, the best general salutation can be "Dear Hiring Manager."

If you want to personalize the address, you can address your cover letter to the specific department you are applying for. For example, "Dear Digital Marketing Department."

How to Address Cover Letter When You Don't Know Hiring Manager's Gender?

There will be times when you will find the gender-neutral name of the hiring manager. In that case, altogether avoid using gender-specific cover letter addresses. Instead, address with their both name and last name in the salutation like this:

  • Dear John Doe,
  • Dear Charlie Brown ,
  • Dear Taylor Paisley,
Hiration Pro Tip : In this type of gender-neutral name, you can search for the person on Linkedin to find out their gender. Alternatively, you can search on the company page or call the company reception to get more information about the hiring manager.

How to Address Cover Letter When You Know Hiring Manager's Gender?

If you know the hiring manager's gender, things will be much easier for you. For men, you can address the hiring manager with "Mr.," but things get a bit tricky for female hiring managers.

Imagine this,

You have addressed the hiring manager with "Miss.," and if she turns out to be married, it will not look good on your part. You definitely do not want to offend your hiring manager.

Instead of "Miss" or "Mrs.," use " Ms.," which does not focus on their marital status.

  • Dear. Ms. Moore,
  • Dear Miss Jane,
  • Dear Mrs. Black,

Should You Address the Hiring Manager With Only Their First Name?

If you know the hiring manager personally, only then can you use their first name to address the cover letter. Else, address the letter with their full name.

How to Use Professional Titles When Addressing a Cover Letter?

If the hiring manager has a professional or academic title, don't forget to address them by their title. You can write the full title like this:

  • "Dear Doctor Taylor,"

Or you can use the abbreviated form like this:

  • Dear Dr. Taylor ,
  • Dear Sgt. Park,
  • Dear Prof. Hoverman,
  • Dear Principal Fury,

Also Read: How long should a cover letter be?

How Do You Find Out Who to Address a Cover Letter To?

If you don't find the hiring manager's name and contact information on the job description, don't just leave it like that! Do some research and put some effort into finding the name and email id of the hiring manager.

It may take some extra effort, but it shows that you are interested in this job. This section will tell you everything you need to know about finding the hiring manager's name and to who you address a cover letter.

Call the Company

Calling the company to ask for a hiring manager's details is the best way to accurately determine the hiring manager's name and number.

  • Call the company desk
  • State who you are and why you are calling
  • Tell that you are applying for a job position and confirm who the hiring manager is for addressing in the cover letter.
  • Most of the time, the hiring manager will happily give you the information you need.
Tip : When taking their name, ask for the spelling of the hiring manager's name. You do not want to screw up the spelling.

If the company desk refuses to give information for any reason, don't worry; we have four other ways in our arsenal.

Network With People Working With Prospective Employer

The second best way to get the hiring manager's name and contact information is to connect with your prospective employer's employees.

This way, you can ask your connection to refer you to the hiring manager or ask for the hiring manager's contact information when a job becomes available.

It is easier than you think.

Just do a quick Linkedin search and see the employers active on Linkedin.

Now, slowly start engaging with the person you want to connect with.

After a couple of days, send them a personalized connection request and slowly build a rapport.

You do not want to ask right out for reference after introducing yourself. Instead, add some value to the conversation, and show genuine interest in them.

This process takes some time, but the connection you will make with these people will take you a long way in your professional journey.

Read the Job Description Carefully

It is a sad truth that most job seekers do not read the job description carefully. In this way, they miss vital information and potentially the hiring manager's contact name and details.

Most of the job descriptions contain the email address of the hiring manager at the end. And you can easily find the name of the contact person with the email address.

Most professional email ids contain the name of the person and the company name. For example, [email protected] has two parts- Judy.M and hiraiton.com.

And if you search on Google by the first part of the email address "Judy.M" and the company name, there is a high chance that you will find the Linkedin profile of the respective person. And you can get to know other information about them as well.

Find Out Who Will Become Your Superior or Manager

Many job descriptions include the details about the reporting manager. In such cases, you need to address your cover letter to the reporting manager.

You can find more information about the reporting manager by a quick Linkedin search with the reporting manager's job title and the company.

If the company is larger, there may be multiple individuals with the same job title. In that case, you can further narrow down your search by location.

Do an Online Search

Another easy way to search for the hiring manager is by simply doing a Google search. Google will show you the most relevant results for your search query. Example: See in this example how the first result itself answered your question.

Example-Cover-letter-address

Also Read: How to address a cover letter without name?

How to Address a Email Cover Letter?

We live in a digital age now.

Nowadays, most candidates send email cover letters to the hiring managers. And hiring managers get 100s of email cover letters daily.

To stand out from these 100s of email cover letters, you need to make sure your email cover address is perfect.

1. Subject Line of Email Cover Letter

The first thing the hiring manager will see is your email cover letter subject line. So, never leave the subject line blank.

Hiring managers sort the email cover letters by the job title. And if your cover letter does not have a subject line, it will not show in the hiring manager's list.

Here is an example cover letter subject line :

Subject line: Job Application for Video Editor Position, Ref: Hanna Moore

2. Address the Cover Letter in the Correct Way

The rules of a formal cover letter and an email cover letter salutation are similar. You can refer to the previous section of this blog to know more about it. Here is an example of an email cover letter address

  • "Dear Mr. Doe,"

Note : Recent trends have seen many job seekers do not include "Dear" in the salutation. You can do that too. There is nothing wrong with it.

Also Read: How to start a cover letter for maximum impact?

How to Address a Cover Letter for Internal Position?

If you address the cover letter to higher management or hiring manager, always use their name to address in the cover letter.

luckily, since it's an internal position, you can easily find the name of the person by asking your colleagues.

What Not to Do When Addressing a Cover Letter

Even if you did everything right on your resume and cover letter, starting it wrong may cost you a chance to get a call for an interview.

Let's see what you should not do when addressing a cover letter.

Do Not Address the Cover Letter to the Recruiter

" Recruiters do not read cover letters. "

Recruiters only sort the resumes by keywords and forward the same to the hiring managers.

This is the golden rule you need to keep in mind when addressing a cover letter. Always address the cover letter to the hiring manager.

Do Not Address the Cover Letter to an Ex. Hiring Manager

Company websites do not get updated regularly. If a hiring manager leaves the company, you may still find their name and contact information on the website or other third-party websites. So, be extra careful when addressing a cover letter.

Spelling the Hiring Manager or Company Name Wrong

Do not sabotage your first impression by making a spelling mistake on the hiring manager's name or the company name. It demonstrates a lack of attention to detail.

Do Not Start With a Bland Greeting

Avoid using to whom it may concern cover letter address. It is very generic and shows utter laziness on your part. It projects that you did not put much effort into writing the cover letter.

Example of a Cover Letter Address Format

Here is an example of a proper cover letter address format:

Cover-letter-address

Frequently Asked Questions

How to address a cover letter to a large company.

If you have to address a cover letter to a large company, and you don't know the hiring manager's name, you can always address the cover letter to the department you are applying job to. For example:

  • Dear Finance Department
  • Dear Marketing Team
  • Dear Customer Service Department

Can I get creative with my cover letter address?

There is no restriction on being creative with addressing a cover letter. It is essential to research and understand who your audience is and if he/she will appreciate your creativity.

For example, if you do something creative with your cover letter salutation to apply in a creative field, it will get the hiring manager's attention.

On the other hand, if you apply for a technical position, you might hold off from showing your creativity on the cover letter address.

Should a cover letter address the company location?

It is a traditional practice to include the company address in the cover letter. Primary because it is a formal document, it would be better to add the company address before starting your cover letter.

Should a cover letter header include the candidate's address?

The candidate's address is an essential part of the cover letter. If not the whole address, at least City, Country should be mentioned in the cover letter. Example:

  • "Pine Bluff, AR"

This helps the hiring manager sort the candidates based on location.

Also, the Application Tracking Softwares sort the resumes and cover letters based on their locations. And if your location is not mentioned in the cover letter, it might get unnoticed by the ATS software.

Should a cover letter header, and resume header be the same?

Ideally, your cover letter header should be the name of the role you are applying for. And resume heading should be your current job title. For example, if you are currently working as a data analyst, your Resume headline should be something like:

  • "Jr. Data Analyst."

And you are applying for a Data Scientist position, then your cover letter heading should be,

  • "Data Scientist"

There is no hard and fast rule, but this is the approach we at Hiration follow, and it has been working for our clients.

You can also write the same heading for the cover letter and resume if you like. It has some added advantages. If the cover letter gets misplaced, it will be a lot easier to trace it back to the resume.

How to write the intro to a cover letter?

If you want to hook the hiring manager to read your cover letter, you need to write a professional intro explaining why you are applying and what role you are applying for.

You need to remember that hiring managers are often dealing with recruitment for more than one position. And it will help them if you specifically mention what role you are applying for.

Key Takeaways

With that, we have come to the end of this blog. By now, you should get all of your questions answered. But still, if you have any questions regarding how to address a cover letter and who to address a cover letter, let's go over the key takeaways of the blog:

  • Do not send the cover letter without addressing someone.
  • If you do not know who to address, call the company desk or go to LinkedIn to search the hiring manager's name.
  • If you do not know the name, you can address the cover letter with "Dear Hiring Manager,"
  • Alternatively, you can address the cover letter to the head of the department you are applying for. For example: "Dear Sr. Marketing Manager,"
  • Make sure to use accurate professional and academic titles with the name of hiring managers.
  • Do not use "To whom it may concern." It is old-fashioned and does not impress the hiring manager nowadays.

Go to Hiration career platform which has 24/7 chat support and get professional assistance with all your job & career-related queries. You can also write to us at [email protected] and we will make sure to reach out to you as soon as possible.

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addressing a cover letter when you know the name

20 Examples Of How To Address a Cover Letter to an Unknown Recipient

Introduction.

Imagine sending out dozens of job applications, only to realize that you've been addressing your cover letters incorrectly. As it turns out, addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient can be a tricky task. In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide strategies for finding the right name, using job titles as an alternative, formatting the letter, avoiding common mistakes, leveraging professional networking, and understanding the importance of personalization. By following our advice, you can increase your chances of landing that job interview and making a great first impression.

Finding the Right Name

Before you give up on finding the recipient's name, consider these research strategies:

Check the job post for a specific name. Sometimes, the name of the hiring manager or contact person is listed in the job posting. Read the post carefully to see if a name is mentioned.

Search the company website for a company directory or listing of key personnel. Many organizations have a "Meet Our Team" or "About Us" section that introduces their staff members. Look for someone with a relevant title, such as "Hiring Manager" or "Human Resources Director."

Call the company directly and ask for the appropriate contact person. If you're unable to find the name online, consider calling the company and asking for the name of the person responsible for hiring for the position you're applying for. This approach can be particularly effective for smaller organizations.

Utilize professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to find the recipient. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers. Try searching for employees at the company with relevant titles, then check their profiles for clues about their role in the hiring process. You can learn more about how to find the name of the hiring manager using LinkedIn in this helpful article.

Personalize your cover letter. Addressing your cover letter to a specific individual shows that you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in the position. This extra effort can make a big difference in how your application is perceived by the recipient.

Using a Job Title

If you're unable to find the recipient's name, consider using a job title or department head as an alternative:

Address the letter to the job title of the reader. For example, you might write "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Human Resources Director." This approach is more specific and professional than using a generic greeting like "To Whom It May Concern."

Consider addressing the letter to the head of the department where you're applying to work. If you know the department your job falls under, try addressing your cover letter to the department head, such as "Dear Marketing Director" or "Dear IT Manager."

Explain why using a job title or department head can still demonstrate professionalism and personalization. Although it's not as ideal as using a specific name, addressing your letter to a relevant job title shows that you've put some thought into your application and have a clear understanding of the company's structure.

Provide examples of different job titles to use as salutations. You can find a list of different job titles to use as salutations in this resource.

Discuss the potential impact of using job titles on the success of the job application. While using a job title may not guarantee success, it can increase your chances of making a favorable impression. A personalized salutation indicates that you're genuinely interested in the position and have taken the time to research the company.

Formatting the Letter

When addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient, follow these formatting tips:

Always use "Dear" to start the address. This is a professional and respectful way to begin a cover letter.

Use a gender-neutral title (such as Ms.) if the recipient's gender is unknown. If you're unsure of the recipient's gender, it's better to use a neutral title like "Ms." rather than making assumptions.

For non-gender-specific names, use the recipient's full name. If you can't determine the recipient's gender based on their name, address the letter using their full name, such as "Dear Taylor Smith."

Maintain a professional tone even when the name is unknown. Even if you don't know the recipient's name, it's crucial to keep your language and tone professional throughout your cover letter.

Provide examples of well-formatted cover letter salutations.

While it's always best to try and find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter, there may be times when you just can't find that information. Don't let it deter you. Below are 20 examples of how you can address your cover letter when the recipient is unknown:

1. Dear Hiring Manager, 2. To the Recruitment Team, 3. Dear Human Resources Team, 4. Attention Hiring Committee, 5. Dear [Job Title] Hiring Team, 6. To the [Company Name] Team, 7. Dear [Company Name] Recruiter, 8. To Whom It May Concern, 9. Dear Hiring Authority, 10. Attention [Company Name] Hiring Professionals, 11. Dear Talent Acquisition Team, 12. Hello [Company Name] Selection Panel, 13. Dear Recruitment Advisor, 14. To the [Industry] Professionals at [Company Name], 15. Attention [Company Name] Talent Scouts, 16. Dear Hiring Advocate, 17. To the Selection Committee for [Job Title], 18. Dear [Company Name] Staffing Team, 19. Attention [Job Title] Recruitment Panel, 20. Dear [Company Name] Hiring Panel,

Remember, the goal is to be as respectful and professional as possible in your salutation. Even if you don't know the recipient's name, demonstrating courtesy in your greeting will set a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter.

Also, avoid overly casual greetings like 'Hello' or 'Hi there,' which might seem unprofessional, and stay clear of outdated phrases such as 'Dear Sir or Madam.' Instead, opt for more modern, inclusive alternatives. Be sure to follow your greeting with a comma or a colon, then leave a space before starting the body of your letter.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient, it's essential to avoid these common mistakes:

Using generic greetings like "To Whom It May Concern." This phrase is outdated and impersonal, and using it can make your application seem generic and unprofessional. Instead, try to find a specific name or use a job title, as discussed in previous sections.

Using incorrect titles or making assumptions about the recipient's gender. Making assumptions about someone's gender or using an inappropriate title can potentially offend the recipient and hurt your chances of landing an interview. Stick to gender-neutral titles or use the recipient's full name when in doubt.

Addressing the letter to the wrong department or job title. Be sure to double-check that you're addressing your letter to the appropriate person or department. Sending your application to the wrong person can result in your application being overlooked or discarded.

Failing to proofread the cover letter for errors, even in the salutation. Typos and other errors can make a poor impression on the recipient. Be sure to proofread your entire cover letter, including the salutation, before submitting it.

Provide examples of mistakes that could hurt the applicant's chances of landing an interview. Some examples of common errors include misspelling the recipient's name, using an informal greeting (such as "Hey"), or addressing the letter to an unrelated department (e.g., "Dear Accounting Manager" when applying for a marketing position).

Utilizing Professional Networking

Leveraging your professional network can be an effective way to find the name of the recipient for your cover letter:

Use platforms like LinkedIn to research the company and its employees. As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a valuable resource for job seekers. You can use the platform to find employees with relevant titles, learn more about the company culture, and even discover mutual connections who might be able to provide an introduction or additional information.

Connect with current employees or alumni of the company. Networking with people who work at the company or have worked there in the past can give you valuable insights into the hiring process and help you identify the appropriate contact person for your cover letter.

Search for the appropriate contact person within your professional network. Use your connections to find people who work at the company you're applying to, and ask if they know who the hiring manager for your desired position is.

Networking can help job seekers get noticed by potential employers. Building relationships with people at the company can increase your chances of getting noticed and potentially even lead to a referral. Learn more about how networking can help job seekers get noticed by potential employers in this article.

Offer examples of successful job seekers who found the recipient's name through networking. For instance, this cover letter that landed a job seeker a role at LinkedIn is a great example of how personalizing your cover letter and leveraging your network can help you stand out.

Importance of Personalization

Personalizing your cover letter can make a significant difference in the success of your job application:

Discuss the impact of personalization on the reader's impression of the applicant. A personalized cover letter demonstrates that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the position, which can make a positive impression on the recipient.

Provide statistics on the success rate of personalized cover letters compared to generic ones. According to resume statistics , candidates with typos in their cover letters or resumes are 58% more likely to be dismissed, while those who do not include specific employment dates are 27% more likely to be dismissed.

Offer expert opinions on the importance of addressing cover letters to specific individuals. Many career experts agree that addressing cover letters to specific individuals can increase your chances of landing an interview.

Explain how personalization demonstrates research skills and genuine interest in the company. Taking the time to research the recipient and tailor your cover letter to the specific position and company shows that you're not only a thorough and detail-oriented candidate, but also genuinely interested in the opportunity.

Share anecdotes of successful job seekers who personalized their cover letters and landed interviews. For example, one job seeker found the recipient's name through LinkedIn and personalized his cover letter , which helped him land an interview and ultimately secure the position.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

In summary, addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient can be challenging, but by following our tips and strategies, you can make a strong impression on potential employers. Remember to:

  • Research the recipient's name or use a relevant job title.
  • Personalize your cover letter to demonstrate genuine interest in the position.
  • Maintain a professional tone and formatting throughout your cover letter.
  • Avoid common mistakes that can hurt your chances of landing an interview.
  • Leverage your professional network to find the appropriate contact person.

By applying these tips to your job search, you'll increase your chances of success and make a lasting impression on potential employers. Good luck with your job applications!

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  • Career Planning
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  • Cover Letters

How to Address a Cover Letter With Examples

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

Options for Addressing a Cover Letter

  • Letter Without a Contact Person
  • Non-Gender-Specific Names

What Title to Use

  • Address an Email Cover Letter
  • Review a Sample Cover Letter

Before You Send Your Letter

One of the trickiest parts of writing a cover letter comes at the very beginning. Much of the time, you won’t know exactly who will read your letter. How do you address your cover letter when you don’t have the contact person’s name and/or gender ?

First of all, try to find out the name of the contact person. Some employers will think poorly of an applicant who does not take the time to learn the hiring manager’s name. Also, take care not to assume that you know the gender of the recipient based on the name. Many names are gender-neutral, and some hiring managers may identify as a gender other than male or female.

It’s also possible that you’ll do your research and still be unable to figure out to whom you are addressing your letter. In that case, it's better to be safe and use a generic greeting . It's also acceptable to start a letter without a greeting and start with the first paragraph of your letter .

You have a lot of options when addressing your letter. Learn more about the possibilities before you make your choice.

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Contact Person

There are a variety of general cover letter salutations you can use to address your letter. These general cover letter salutations do not require you to know the name of the hiring manager.

In a survey of more than 2,000 companies, Saddleback College found that employers preferred the following greetings:  

  • Dear Sir/Madam (27%)
  • To Whom It May Concern  (17%)
  • Dear Human Resources Director (6%)
  • Leave it blank (8%)

Do keep in mind that terms like "To Whom It May Concern" may seem dated, so the best options may be either to use "Dear Hiring Manager" or not to include a greeting at all. Simply start with the first paragraph of your letter.

How to Address a Cover Letter for a Non-Gender-Specific Name

If you do have a name but aren't sure of the person's gender, one option is to include both the first name and the last name in your salutation, without a title that reveals gender:

  • Dear Sydney Doe
  • Dear Taylor Smith
  • Dear Jamie Brown

With these types of gender-ambiguous names,  LinkedIn  can be a helpful resource. Since many people include a photo with their profile, a simple search of the person's name and company within LinkedIn could potentially turn up the contact's photograph.

Again, you can also check the company website or call the company’s administrative assistant to get more information as well.

Even if you know the name and gender of the person to whom you are writing, think carefully about what title you will use in your salutation.

For example, if the person is a doctor or holds a Ph.D., you might want to address your letter to “Dr. Lastname” rather than “Ms. Lastname” or “Mr. Lastname.” Other titles might be “Prof.,” “Rev.,” or “Sgt.,” among others.

When you address a letter to a female employer, use the title “Ms.” unless you know for certain that she prefers another title (such as “Miss” or “Mrs.”).

“Ms.” is a general title that does not denote marital status, so it works for any female employer.

How to Address an Email Cover Letter

Hiring managers get a lot of emails each day. Make it easy for them to scan your email and follow up by including a clear subject line and a signature with your contact information. It's important to address the email cover letter correctly, including the name of the person hiring for the position if you have a contact, to ensure that your letter gets noticed.

Subject Line of Email Message

Never leave the subject line blank. There is a good chance that if a hiring manager receives an email with no subject line, they’ll delete it without even bothering to open it, or it could end up in their spam mailbox. Instead, write a clear subject indicating your intentions.

List the job you are applying for in the  subject line of your email message , so the employer knows what job you are interested in. They may be hiring for multiple positions, and you will want them to identify the position you’re interested in easily.

How to Address the Contact Person

There are a variety of  cover letter salutations  you can use to address your email message. If you have a contact person at the company, address the letter to Ms. or Mr. Lastname. If you aren’t given a contact person, check to see if you can  determine the email recipient's name .

If you can’t find a contact person at the company, you can either leave off the salutation from your cover letter and  start with the first paragraph  of your letter or use a  general salutation .

How to Format the Salutation

Once you have chosen a salutation, follow it with a colon or comma, a space, and then start the first paragraph of your letter. For example:

Dear Hiring Manager:

First paragraph of the letter.

Body of Email Cover Letter

The body of your cover letter  lets the employer know what position you are applying for, and why the employer should select you for an interview. This is where you'll sell yourself as a candidate. Review the job posting and include examples of your attributes that closely match the ones they are looking for.

When you're sending an  email cover letter , it's important to follow the employer's instructions on how to submit your cover letter and resume.

Make sure that your email cover letters are as well-written as any other documents you send.

If you have attached your resume, mention this as part of your conclusion. Then finish your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Include information on how you will follow up. Include a closing, then list your name and your  email signature .

Your email signature should include your name, full address, phone number, email address, and  LinkedIn Profile URL  (if you have one) so it is easy for hiring managers to get in touch.

Firstname Lastname  Street Address  (optional) City, State Zip Code  Email  Phone  LinkedIn

Sample Cover Letter

This is a cover letter example. Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Sample Cover Letter (Text Version)

Mary Garcia 12 Rogers Avenue Townville, New Hampshire 03060 555-555-5555 mary.garcia@email.com

February 17, 2021

Franklin Lee

CBI Industries 39 Main Street Townville, New Hampshire 03060

Dear Mr. Lee:

I was excited to see your ad for the operations assistant position in your Townville offices.

I have five years of experience as an operations assistant/associate. In my most recent role at ABC Corp., I fulfilled orders, resolved customer issues, ordered supplies, and prepared reports. In previous roles, I’ve done bookkeeping, data entry, and sales support. Basically, anything your department needs to run smoothly, I can do – and most likely, I already have experience doing it.

My other skills include:

  • Strong communication skills, in person, in writing, and on the phone
  • Excellent attention to detail and organization skills
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Experience in the industry and passion for the product
  • Adept at all the usual professional software, including Microsoft Office Suite

I’ve included my resume for your review. Please contact me if you have questions or would like to schedule an interview. Thank you for your consideration.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Mary Garcia

Review Cover Letter Samples: It’s hard to write cover letters from scratch. To make life easier – and to make sure you don’t forget any of those pesky formatting rules —start by reviewing cover letter samples . Sending an email version instead? Look at a few examples of email cover letters to get started.

Customize Your Cover Letter: Why personalize your cover letter every time you apply for a job? Because even similar job titles have different requirements. The goal of a cover letter is to show the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate for this particular job. Customizing your cover letter will help you emphasize your skills and experience and how they fit with the job requirements .

Spell-Check Names: Before sending your cover letter, make absolutely sure that you have spelled the hiring manager’s name correctly. That is the kind of small error that can cost you a job interview.

Carefully Proofread Your Letter: Whether you're sending an email or uploading or attaching a printable cover letter, it's important to make sure that your cover letter and resume are written as well as any other business correspondence. If you can, have a friend proofread before you hit send, to pick up any typos or grammatical errors.

Saddleback College. " Your Resume is Your 1st Interview ," Page 14. Accessed Feb. 17, 2021.

StandOut CV

How to address a cover letter | with examples

Andrew Fennell photo

The way you start your cover letter counts.

It’s the first thing a hiring manager sees when they open your application so you need to make them excited to peek into your CV .

In our guide, we’ll show you the ropes on how to address your cover letter, and even teach you how to find the recruiter or hiring manager’s name for maximum impact.

CV templates 

Address the hiring manager or recruiter directly

How to address a cover letter

Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name to start building a rapport with them.

Something simple like, “Hi Lucy” will do the trick.

According to recent research , simply seeing your own name can trigger a strong response in the brain. So, be sure to do this, to captivate the recruiter’s attention.

CV builder

How to find the recruiter or hiring manager’s name

You may be wondering, “How do I figure out their name?”

There are several ways to find out the name of the person handling the job opening, which we’ll look at below.

Recruiter's name in job advert

When you’re reading a job advert, you’ll sometimes find the name and email address of the person you need to get in touch with directly in the ad.

Look out for the section that says “For enquiries” or “Contact person”.

For example, the advert might say something like:

“For more info, please contact Susan Wright at [email protected].”

Usually, this person manages that job vacancy.

If you see this information, it’s your lucky day – job adverts are the simplest way to find the correct name.

Company website

Recruiter's name on website

If you can’t find the recruiter’s name on the job advert , and you’re applying for a job directly via a company, check out their website.

Keep an eye out for a “Who We Are” , “About Us” or “Our Team” section.

Here, you’ll usually be able to find the info about the people who work there, including the head of the department or hiring team connected to the position you’re applying for.

Look at the people’s profiles to get the one that fits your job’s department.

If you have trouble finding it directly, use the search bar on the company’s website and type in “Head of [Department Name]” or “HR Manager”.

You could also run a Google search for “[Company name] + team” for a quick way of finding an About Page for a particular team or department.

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find a hiring manager or recruiter because millions of them are registered on the platform.

Firstly, ascertain the company that posted the position and the team it’s connected with from the information provided in the job advert.

When you know the department and organisation, head over to LinkedIn . Here, you can use the search bar to look for the company name, department or job title associated with the job opening.

Let’s say you’re applying for a marketing vacancy at Tesco. You can search for “Marketing Manager” in the search bar like this:

Recruiter's name on LinkedIn

Once the search results appear, click the “People” filter button to narrow down your findings further so that you’re only seeing people (and not companies or groups).

LinkedIn people filter

Then make sure you choose your target company under “Current Company” – this ensures you only view people who are current employees.

You will need to type the name of the company into the text box like this:

LinkedIn current company filter

Click on the name of the company you typed in. In this case, it’s “Tesco.”

Then hit the blue “Show results” button.

LinkedIn show results button

And examine the profiles that come up.

LinkedIn profiles

You’ll be able to find the person handling the job applications by looking for titles such as “recruitment manager” or “team leader” .

And once you view their profiles you may even be able to get hold of their phone number or email address.

Contact info

Here is how you can find a person’s email address via the contact details, if they have entered them.

Click on their profile then seek out the “Contact info” section.

This sits under their profile picture and headline.

LinkedIn contact info

If the user has made their contact info visible, you’ll see it here.

LinkedIn user email address

About section

Often, you can locate additional contact info, such as email addresses, in the “About” or “Summary” section of their profile.

To do this, scroll down to the user’s “About” section.

If the user has decided to include their email address, you’ll see it here.

LinkedIn about section

If you can’t find an email, you can contact them directly through LinkedIn.

Here’s how you’d do this:

  • Send a connection request – Send the person a connection request and a message. When they accept your request, you’ll be able to write an accompanying message.
  • Use InMail – If this specific individual isn’t in your network, use the LinkedIn InMail. This is a premium feature which lets you send messages to LinkedIn members outside of your network – it’s useful but do. Of course, there is a fee to use this feature but it’s a useful tool.

What if you can’t find a name?

Addressing cover letter if you can't find a name

Don’t panic if you can’t find the name of the individual you’re trying to address. This will happen a lot during your job search .

In such cases, it’s absolutely fine to begin with a friendly “Hi.”

But don’t use expressions like “Dear Sir or Madam” – this sounds extremely outdated and aloof.

If you use the word “Hi”, this ensures your cover letter is more amicable and modern , even when you’re unsure of the person’s name.

This is a courteous and simple way to start if you have difficulty locating the specific hiring manager’s name.

How to write a cover letter email subject line

Cover letter email subject line

A recruiter’s inbox gets flooded with applications, so when you write your cover letter email , your initial goal is to entice them to read your email.

You must catch their attention with a compelling subject line and give a captivating reason for them to click on your message.

Avoid using generic subject lines, such as:

  • “Check This Out” – Subject lines like this sound spammy, and hiring managers may ignore it.
  • “Important” – Recruiters won’t know why your email is important – they might deem it clickbait.
  • “CV Attached” – This subject line doesn’t offer any context or engage the recruiter in any way at all.
  • “Hire Me” – This comes across as too blunt and provides no context.
  • “I Need a Job” – This sounds too direct and may sound a little too desperate.
  • “Looking for Work” – While you’re being upfront, this isn’t an engaging subject line.

Instead of including any of these generic subject lines, you must promote your selling points right off the bat.

For instance, use subject lines that highlight your skills and expertise in a concise, screen-friendly title.

Determine your main strengths as an applicant and invent a way to integrate them into your subject line.

You could say something like:

  • “Veteran Graphic Designer with a Portfolio of Projects”
  • “Registered Nurse with Intensive Care Unit Expertise”
  • “Committed Secondary School Teacher with 10 Years’ Classroom Expertise”
  • “Certified IT Professional with Experience in Network Security”

These subject lines are effective because they communicate key information and value to hiring managers clearly and concisely. Each tells the recruiter about your qualifications and expertise and is tailored to the specific job or field.

A recruiter is more likely to open an email from someone who can potentially meet their requirements.

A quick tip: Remember, subject lines have a limited amount of space – you’ll probably only be able to squeeze in between 30 and 35 characters.

How not to address a cover letter

When you’re addressing your cover letter , some things simply aren’t worth including. These old-fashioned or overly formal ways of starting a cover letter can make a negative first impression.

So, avoid the below phrases in your cover letter greeting:

  • “Dear Sir or Madam” – This is far too old-fashioned and doesn’t show much effort. It’s also fairly impersonal.
  • “What’s up, [Department Name]?” – This is excessively informal and will probably give hiring managers the wrong impression about you. It also doesn’t address the specific person.

Steer clear of these unimpressive ways to address your cover letter and plump for a more personal, engaging approach, like “Hi James” or “Hello Sarah”. Don’t forget, you need to get the perfect balance of friendliness and professionalism.

How to Address a Cover Letter in 2024

Background Image

Yes, how you address your cover letter matters.

After all, this is the first thing the recruiter reads when going through your cover letter, and yes, there is a right and wrong way to do it.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to address your cover letter in such a way that you leave a positive impression on any recruiter!

  • How to address a cover letter to a recruiter? (Casual or formal)
  • What title to use when addressing the hiring manager
  • How to address a cover letter without a contact person/to a company
  • How to address a cover letter without an address
  • How to address a cover letter in an email

How to Address a Cover Letter To a Recruiter (Casual or Formal)?

As we already mentioned, the way you address your cover letter is important because it is the very first thing recruiters see upon opening your cover letter. 

A well-formulated cover letter address means that you care enough to research the company (i.e. to find the hiring manager’s name and title) and that you show attention to detail. 

As such, you should always put some research into who you’re addressing your cover letter to and do so in a formal way.  

And yes, the formal part is important too. The recruiter isn’t your best friend - you want to maintain a sense of professionalism.

If this is how you address the recruiter in your cover letter:

  • What’s up Hiring Manager
  • Hi there Hiring Team

Then you say goodbye to the job.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how can I find out whom to address my cover letter to?

That’s what we’re about to teach you:

Who Am I Addressing My Cover Letter To?

Here are some tricks to find the full name of the hiring manager: 

  • Check the job listing. The job listing may have information about the recruiter or the department doing the hiring. Make sure to read through the entire job listing, as it might not be at an entirely obvious place.
  • Check the company website. Some websites feature the names of the hiring managers or heads of departments that may go through your cover letter. Alternatively, LinkedIn is another place where you can look for this information.
  • Check the company’s LinkedIn. You can look up who works in the company you’re applying for on their LinkedIn page.
  • Ask around. Do you have friends that work for the company? They could provide you with valuable inside info.

To avoid making a bad impression, head over to our guide on cover letter mistakes to learn about what NOT to do when writing your cover letter.  

job search masterclass novoresume

Addressing a Cover Letter With a Name

By now, you have probably found the hiring manager’s full name and gender. With this information available, it’s best to address the hiring manager formally, as follows: 

  • Dear Mr. Brown,
  • Dear Miss Fitzpatrick,
  • Dear Mrs. Lockhart,
  • Dear Ms. Walters,

If, for some reason, you are unsure about the person’s title, gender, marital status, or preferred pronouns, just address them using their entire name to avoid any mistakes. For example:

  • Dear Alex Brown, 
  • Dear Blair Fitzpatrick,
  • Dear Jesse Lockhart,
  • Dear Madison Walters,

Addressing someone with a title 

Now, if you found out that the hiring manager has a professional or academic title, then it’s more appropriate to address them using that title. If, for example, the hiring manager has a Ph.D., then it’s more respectful to address them as “Dr. Last Name,” instead of “Mr. Last Name.”  

Here are some professional titles and how they’re abbreviated: 

  • A professor is Prof. 
  • A reverend is Rev. 
  • A sergeant is Sgt. 
  • Honorable is Hon. 

If, however, you are uncertain about how a title is abbreviated, then avoid it altogether. 

Here are a few examples to give you an idea: 

  • Dear Prof. Welsch,
  • Dear Director Smith,
  • Dear Rev. Owen,

Dear Dr. Leonard,

When addressing women and you don’t know their marital status, always go with Ms., because it doesn’t comment on marital status. Some women prefer not to be addressed with Miss or Mrs. even when they’re married, so sticking with Ms. is the best choice. 

Want to learn more cover letter tips ? Our guide has all you need to ace your cover letter!  

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Contact Person

It might happen that, no matter how hard you search, you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or department head that will read your cover letter.

In that case, you can address your cover letter to the department, faculty, or the company.

  • Dear Software Development Hiring Team,
  • Dear Customer Service Department Hiring Team,
  • Dear Head of the Literature Faculty,
  • Dear Director of Marketing,
  • Dear Human Resources Recruitment Team,

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough information either about the department or the team, you can opt for addressing the cover letter directly to the company’s hiring staff, as follows: 

Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team 

Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Staff

If all else fails (meaning, you don’t know the name of the department head or even the exact department, in addition to the recruiter) then you can use one of the good, old-fashioned:

Dear Hiring Manager,

...but NOT the impersonal and way outdated “To whom it may concern” and “Dear Sir/Madam.” 

Starting a cover letter can be challenging. Our guide can show you how to start a cover letter that will get you results from the get-go. 

How to Format the Company’s Address

Before you reach the salutation, you have to make sure that the header with the recipient’s contact information is formatted correctly. 

It might not be the deciding point of whether you’ll secure an interview or not, but it will cost you points if it’s off. 

So, the first thing you want to do is add your name and surname on the upper left side of the cover letter. Underneath, you should write your professional title (if applicable), your email , and your phone number . 

Now, after you’ve also added the date, you should leave one more space and add the recipient’s contact information and, most importantly, the company’s address. 

It should look something like this on your cover letter: 

how to address a cover letter

When You Can’t Find the Company’s Address 

Some companies might have several addresses listed (as per their branches, for example), or even none at all. 

Since an application that doesn’t have an address line could end up lost or misplaced, make sure you do one of the following before skipping the company’s address completely:

  • Check all your resources, (pretty much like when you were looking for the hiring manager’s name) to find the company’s address. 
  • Use the company’s headquarter address. This is sometimes easier to find, especially if the company has several branches. 
  • Use the P.O. Box number for the company. This is not as specific as an actual address line, but if all else fails, it’s still something. 

Frequently, you’ll be asked to submit your job application (including your cover letter) electronically, or by email. In those cases, you can skip the address line altogether. 

Here’s how you’d go about addressing a cover letter in an email.

How to Address an Email Cover Letter

If you’re sending your job application through email, chances are you’ll need to format your cover letter in the body of the email, or as an attachment along with your resume.

First and foremost when you’re addressing a cover letter in an email is the subject line, which should be between 6-10 words long. 

Considering that hiring managers receive countless emails daily, you want to make sure that yours is a job application immediately. And the way to do that is straight through the subject line, which should indicate exactly the position you’re applying for and your name so that it’s easier to find through the recruiter’s swarmed mailbox. 

Here’ what we mean by that:

  • Subject Line:   John Doe - Software Development Job Application 
  • Subject Line: John Doe - Job Application for Marketing Manager Position   
  • Subject Line: John Doe - Stock Manager Job Application 

Afterward, if you’re including your cover letter in the body of the email (as opposed to attaching it as a document), begin by using a salutation, add space, and start your letter. 

If someone referred you for the position, make sure to mention that in the subject line of your email as well as in your opening paragraph.  

So, let’s see how all the above plays out in practice: 

Subject Line: John Doe - Carl Jacob’s Referral for Software Developer

I was very glad that Mr. Jacobs, a long-time partner at your firm who also happens to be my mentor from college, referred me for the Software Developer position. 

Do you want your style, personality, and overall personal brand to shine through your application? With Novorésumé, you can match your cover letter with your resume to make a lasting impression! 

matching resume and cover letter

Key Takeaways 

And that’s all there is when it comes to addressing a cover letter! You should feel much more confident in doing so by now. 

Either way, let’s go over the main points we covered throughout the article: 

  • Your cover letter address should be formal and well-researched. Don’t address the hiring manager with “hey,” “what’s up,” “hi there,” or even the old-fashioned “Dear Sir/Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Always try to find the hiring manager’s full name and professional title through the company’s website, LinkedIn, by calling, or by asking someone who works there.
  • If you know the hiring manager’s name, go with “Dear Mr./Miss Last Name,” but if you’re unsure about their gender, marital status, or preferred pronoun, just address them using their full name.
  • If the recruiter has a professional or academic title, it’s more appropriate to address them using their title.
  • If you can’t find the contact person’s name, then address the department, faculty, or company (i.e. Dear Microsoft Hiring Team , or Dear Software Development Recruitment Team ).

Related Readings: 

  • Do I Need a Cover Letter in 2024
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter for Internship
  • How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024

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Status.net

6 Examples: How To Address a Cover Letter Without a Name

By Status.net Editorial Team on December 25, 2023 — 11 minutes to read

Addressing the recipient without knowing their name might seem complicated, but there are ways to navigate this situation. Let’s take a look at a few strategies to make your cover letter feel personalized even when you don’t have a specific name to address.

Be Professional and Engaging

Using general salutations like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” can make your cover letter feel impersonal. Instead, opt for a more engaging opener such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Company Name] Team.” This type of greeting acknowledges the company and shows that you have researched the team you are addressing.

Focus on the Position and Company

Make sure to tailor the content of your cover letter to the job you are applying for by highlighting relevant qualifications, experience, and skills. Share specific examples of your successes that align with the responsibilities of the position. Mention the company’s values, goals, or recent successes to demonstrate how your values align with theirs. This can effectively showcase your interest and commitment to the role.

Use LinkedIn and Company Website Research

If you cannot find the hiring manager’s name in the job posting, you can turn to LinkedIn or the company website for clues. Search for professionals working in human resources or hiring roles at the company. If you find a specific contact, address your letter to that person while using their full name and title. Otherwise, continue with a professional and engaging salutation as mentioned earlier.

Here are two examples of how to start a cover letter without a name:

Dear Hiring Manager, As a passionate marketer with five years of experience, I am excited to apply for the Marketing Manager position at (…) Company. Achieving a 30% increase in leads generated through my previous campaigns, I am eager to contribute to the growth of your marketing department.
Dear ABC Inc. Team, With a strong background in project management and a proven track record of implementing cost-saving strategies, I am confident in my ability to excel as the Senior Project Manager at ABC Inc. Your company’s commitment to sustainable practices aligns with my values and I am thrilled to be considered for this opportunity.

By applying these strategies, you can create an impactful and personalized cover letter, even without knowing the recipient’s name. This attention to detail can set you apart from other applicants and leave a positive impression with your prospective employer.

How to Find the Hiring Manager’s Name

Sometimes locating the hiring manager’s name can be tricky, but there are several ways to find it. Let’s go through a few methods to help you address your cover letter without a name.

Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great resource for finding the hiring manager’s name. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Visit the company’s LinkedIn page.
  • Click on the “People” tab to browse through the employees.
  • Use the search bar and enter keywords such as “recruiter,” “hiring manager,” or the department you’re applying to.
  • Check the found profiles, and try to identify the right person responsible for hiring in your desired role.

Make sure to double-check that the person is currently working in the company to avoid using outdated information.

Checking Company Website

Another way to find the hiring manager’s name is by checking the company website:

  • Locate the “About Us” or “Team” page, where you might find a list of employees along with their titles and roles.
  • Look for a person who has a recruiting or hiring-related title within the department you’re targeting with your application.
  • If you cannot find the necessary information on the website, try checking a company’s press releases or blog. Sometimes they include names of important team members.

Making a Phone Call

When all else fails, you’re left with one more option – making a phone call.

  • Call the company’s main line and politely ask the receptionist for the name of the hiring manager or the person responsible for recruitment in the department you’re interested in.
  • Be prepared to provide the job title and a job reference number (if available) to help the receptionist find the right person.

Finding the hiring manager’s name isn’t always possible. If you cannot locate it, don’t worry. Addressing your cover letter as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern” is still better than not sending a cover letter at all.

How To Address a Cover Letter Without a Name: Sample Phrases

Starting with job title.

When you cannot find the recipient’s name, use their job title to address the cover letter. This shows that you can connect and direct your message to the relevant person. Here are some examples:

  • Dear Hiring Manager, – This is a common and universally understood phrase for addressing a cover letter without a name.
  • Dear [Job Title], – Use the specific job position that the recipient holds, for instance, Dear Marketing Director .
  • To the [Job Title] Selection Committee, – This approach can be useful when applying for a role advertised by a team or committee that will handle the hiring process, such as To the Scholarship Selection Committee .

Referring to Department

Another approach is to address the cover letter to the department that the position is within. This helps to direct your message to the appropriate team or group. Here are some examples:

  • Dear [Department] Team, – Mention the department you are applying for, such as Dear HR Team, or Dear Sales Team .
  • Greetings, [Department] Department, – Use the department name to address the letter, like Greetings, IT Department .
  • To Whom It May Concern in the [Department], – This is a formal alternative when you don’t know the recipient or department’s name, for example, To Whom It May Concern in the Finance Department .

Using these approaches will ensure that your cover letter appears professional and well-directed, even when you don’t have the exact name of the recipient. Focus on the content and the skills you bring to the position to make the best impression on the reader.

Crafting Content for Cover Letters

When you’re unsure of the recipient’s name, you might feel a little lost on how to address your cover letter. Don’t worry. You can still create an engaging and professional cover letter that gets the job done. Here are some tips and examples to help you craft the perfect content for an anonymous cover letter.

Start with a professional, yet friendly, greeting. If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, use a general opening line such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern” . These greetings are widely accepted and show respect towards the person receiving the letter.

Next, dive into your strengths, skills, and achievements. Mention the qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the position. Share relevant accomplishments from your previous roles, such as leading a successful project or boosting sales. Be specific when describing your skills and use quantifiable results when possible. For example:

“During my time at Company (…), I managed a team of 10 and successfully increased sales by 25% within six months.”

Show enthusiasm for the job and demonstrate your knowledge of the company. Research the organization’s goals, values, and recent projects, then incorporate this information into your cover letter. This will help you tailor your letter to the company’s needs and show that you’d be a good fit for their culture. You could say something like:

“As a long-time admirer of your company’s commitment to sustainability, I’m excited about the opportunity to contribute to the upcoming eco-conscious product line.”

Close your cover letter with a strong call-to-action. Express your interest in further discussing your qualifications and offer your availability for an interview. Thank the hiring manager for considering your application and include your contact information. A sample closing paragraph could look like this:

“I’m eager to discuss how my expertise in digital marketing could contribute to the success of your team. Thank you for considering my application. You can reach me at (555) 555-5555 or [email protected] to schedule a conversation.”

Keep your cover letter concise and focused on your unique selling points. Even without knowing the recipient’s name, following these guidelines will allow you to create a memorable and attention-grabbing cover letter that leaves a lasting impression on potential employers.

Tips on Prefix Usage

When you’re addressing a cover letter without a specific name, it’s good to think about the appropriate prefix to use. Here are some tips to help you choose the right one:

First, consider using a general and gender-neutral prefix like Dear Hiring Manager . It will work well if you don’t know the recipient’s name or aren’t aware of their gender. This is a widely accepted way to address a cover letter without a specific name.

Dear Hiring Manager, I came across your job posting for a Graphic Designer, and I am excited to apply for the role.

If you happen to know the job title of the person who will read your cover letter, you can use it. This shows that you have put effort into researching the company and position.

Dear Marketing Director, I am writing to express my interest in the open Digital Marketing Specialist position at your company.

In some cases, you might know the name of the department that the job is in. In this case, you can address your cover letter to the entire department.

Dear Finance Team, I was thrilled to see an opening for a Financial Analyst at your company and would like to apply for the position.

When you’re unable to find any specific details or when addressing a larger company, you can opt for a broad salutation like To Whom It May Concern . Just be aware that it may come off as impersonal, so it’s best to use this as a last resort.

To Whom It May Concern, I am submitting my application for the Content Writer position posted on your careers website.

The key is to maintain a professional tone throughout your cover letter. Regardless of which prefix you choose, always customize your content to suit the specific job and company you’re applying to. By doing so, you demonstrate a genuine interest in the role and leave a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Sending a cover letter without addressing it to a specific person can be a pitfall. It might make the recipient feel unimportant or signal that you didn’t do your research. To make your application stand out, be mindful of these common mistakes:

  • Not being specific about the role: Your cover letter should not only address the person but also the specific role you’re applying for. Tailor your letter according to the job and the company. For instance, instead of writing “I wish to apply for the marketing position”, be more specific like “I am interested in applying for the Digital Marketing Specialist role at [CompanyName].”
  • Focusing too much on yourself: Although your achievements are important, the cover letter should focus on how your skills can benefit the company. Frame your accomplishments in a way that highlights the value you can bring to the organization.
  • Being overly formal or stiff: While it’s important to maintain a professional tone, being too formal might come across as insincere or impersonal. Use a friendly tone and avoid jargon or buzzwords to keep your cover letter genuine and relatable.
  • Spelling errors and typos: Even the smallest of typos can create a negative impression. Double-check your cover letter to make sure there are no mistakes. Keep an eye out for incorrect spellings, especially when addressing the recipient.

The goal of your cover letter is to make a personal connection and showcase how you are a great fit for the company. Taking the time to address your letter properly, proofread for errors, and customize your content demonstrates your attention to detail and commitment to the position.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i properly address a cover letter when the recipient’s name is unknown.

If you don’t know the recipient’s name, consider using a general salutation instead. For example, “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruitment Team” acknowledges the recipient without using a specific name. You can also research the company’s website or LinkedIn to try to find the appropriate contact person.

What alternatives are there to ‘To Whom It May Concern’?

There are several alternatives to ‘To Whom It May Concern’ that can help make your cover letter stand out:

  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear [Company] Team
  • Dear [Department or Job Title] Hiring Team
  • Dear [Company] Recruitment Team

How do I determine the appropriate salutation for my cover letter?

To determine the right salutation for your cover letter, do a bit of research on the company or organization you’re targeting. This may help you uncover the specific department or hiring manager’s name. If not, use one of the general salutations mentioned earlier to address your cover letter in a more personalized manner.

What are examples of cover letter openings without using names?

Here are some examples of cover letter openings without using specific names:

  • “Dear Hiring Manager, I am excited to submit my application for the [Job Title] position at [Company].”
  • “Dear [Department or Job Title] Hiring Team, As a passionate professional with experience in [Industry], I am eager to contribute to [Company] as a [Job Title].”
  • “Dear [Company] Team, I recently came across the [Job Title] opening at [Company], and I am confident that my skills and experience make me a strong candidate.”

How can I avoid common mistakes when addressing cover letters without names?

To avoid mistakes when addressing cover letters without names, follow these tips:

  • Do thorough research on the company and the job posting
  • Be concise and professional in your language
  • Use an appropriate general salutation if you can’t find a specific name
  • Double-check for spelling and grammatical errors before sending the cover letter
  • Avoid using outdated or overused phrases, such as ‘To Whom It May Concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’

By following these guidelines, you can create a strong and effective cover letter that stands out to hiring managers, even if you don’t have a specific name to address.

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How to address a cover letter when the name is unknown.

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Most advice about cover letters instructs job applicants to personalize these documents, but that can be tricky when you don’t know exactly who you are sending the letter to. With a little bit of research, though, you can often find a specific name, along with additional information that will help you land the interview.

Investigate

If the job listing doesn’t provide a specific name to address applications to, do some research to find a name. In some cases, companies might deliberately leave a name off the listing as a test of an applicants’ resourcefulness and willingness to learn about the company. The easiest way to get a name is to pick up the phone. Call the company directly, and say something like, “I am applying for a position in the ABC department. Can you please tell me who to whom I should address my cover letter ?” If you do not get a name, search the company website for a company directory or listing of key personnel.

If your research doesn’t reveal a specific name, the next best option is to address your letter to the general “hiring team.” Very rarely are hiring decisions made by one person, so addressing the hiring team, rather than the more specific “hiring manager,” ensures that you cover your bases. You could also use the generic “Dear Recruiter” or “Dear Recruiting Team.” Don’t address your letter to any variation of human resources, because not all companies have HR departments, and it’s likely that your resume will be reviewed by a department other than HR.

Greetings to Avoid

Never begin your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern.” Most HR and recruitment professionals note that this is the fastest way to get your resume tossed in the trash, as it tells the employer that you don’t care enough about the job or the company to do even a little bit of research or attempt to personalize the letter. Not to mention, it’s overly formal and doesn’t convey your personality.

Also avoid beginning letters with “Dear Sir or Madam,” or worse, choosing one or the other. Not only does it sound too formal, especially when you are applying for work in a creative field or a startup, but you run the risk of offending someone. At the other end of the spectrum, beginning with “Hello” or even worse, “Hi!” is too informal, and again, shows that you haven’t done any research at all to customize the letter.

Going the Extra Mile

The research you do for the correct name can reveal additional information you can use to customize and personalize your cover letter and application. For example, you might discover that the person doing the hiring went to your alma mater, or shares the same hobby. Even if you can’t find specifics about an individual, researching the company and its mission, vision, goals and priorities can give you some ideas on how to write a better cover letter that gets you noticed.

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  • University of Pennsylvania: Cover Letter Guide for Undergraduates
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  • IT World: How to Address a Cover Letter if You Don't Know the Hiring Manager's Name
  • Job Star Central: Job Search Guide

An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.

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TopCV writing services and how to choose the best one

7 min read · Updated on January 31, 2024

Lauren Settembrino

You've decided to work with a CV writing service, but how do you know which is best?

Following proper formatting, choosing strategic language and having an eye for even the smallest of details ‒ writing a curriculum vitae (CV) isn't easy. Still, an impactful CV is essential to finding success in your job search. That's why there are services out there where professional writers will take your CV and craft it into a document that will take you further. Making the choice to work with a CV writing company when job searching is an investment in your career ‒ one that will help to show your true value as a professional.

However, there are lots of CV writing services out there to choose from, so how do you know which ones will get you the best results? After all, when you put your money towards something, you want to know that the investment will be worthwhile. Asking these questions will help you to identify which services to pass on and which will help you to land more job interviews – and ultimately your dream job.

Is this company reputable?

Online reviews, video testimonials, customer success stories ‒ these can all offer an idea of the kind of work the company puts out. Do some sleuthing into the company's history as well. Have they established themselves in the industry, or are they just starting out? Reviewing information on the "About Us" or "Company History" sections of their site will give some insight into their level of expertise in the field. You want to make sure the people you are entrusting with your CV know what they're doing.

Is their pricing competitive?

Depending on the service, a professionally written CV can cost upwards of £500. While that price tag may suggest a higher-quality product, it isn't feasible for everyone. Take a look at your finances to see what you are able to spend. While there may be variations in quality and assets, this investment in your career still needs to be affordable. TopCV offers services at many different price points , so you can choose the one that's best for you.

What will I get for my money?

Of course, you want your investment to give you the most value per pounds spent. This value can take many forms. For example, will you have a chance to edit a draft with your writer before finalising your CV? Maybe your purchase can include other services, like an expertly written cover letter or LinkedIn makeover. All-inclusive packages like these equip you with a powerful, comprehensive arsenal as you take on the challenges of the job search. Click here to learn more about the packages TopCV has to offer .

Start with a free CV review

Will my writer understand my field?

In order to craft a successful CV, a writer needs to be familiar with your industry. Since it isn't always possible to find a professional CV writer who has worked in your field first-hand, search for writers who have experience writing CVs for others in your industry. A good CV writing service will match you with the writer who is most well-versed in your profession.

Can my writer help me beat the ATS?

To expedite the job application process, most companies now use applicant tracking systems. Your key to ensuring that your CV is accurately read by an ATS is peppering your it with the keywords, skills, and industry-specific jargon it is searching for.

To ensure that your investment in a CV writing service is worthwhile, your writer needs to understand how applicant tracking systems work . Only then will your CV truly shine.

Are there any guarantees?

There are many variables in the hiring process that are out of a writer's control after finishing your CV. As a result, it's not possible for a CV writing service to guarantee a job offer. Still, there are ways they can assure you that you will get a return on your investment. Some services, like TopCV, will rewrite your CV for free if you don't receive twice as many interviews within 60 days of receiving your final copy. Guarantees like these are key when you're choosing a CV writing service, because they can give you the confidence that your CV will deliver positive results.

What are my needs?

Every person works differently. Likewise, every service has its own approach to the CV writing process. Find the one that works best for you.

TopCV, for example, allows you to submit all of your information online and collaborate with your writer via email, making it a great option for someone who doesn't have a lot of free time on their hands. For someone who prefers phone calls, an online service probably isn't for you.

Working with a CV writing service isn't just a way for you to get a quality CV ‒ it's an investment in your career. When you take this step, consider the questions above to ensure that the service you choose will provide you with the best possible product and, ultimately, the best possible outcome of your job search.

Best CV writing services

Industry leader with thousands of positive reviews

Cost: Multiple careers packages from £99 to £219

Good for you if: You need an industry-specific CV with guaranteed results

Top tip: “Have more than one CV and cover letter, particularly if you're a gig worker. This means you can match specific job roles and showcase skills relevant to those opportunities.”

CV Shed Ltd

Independent CV writer, certified by the British Association of CV Writers, providing personal CV writing, cover and LinkedIn services.

Cost:  £40-£265, depending on service

Good for you if:  You're looking for a personal service with a phone consultation from an established writer skilled at producing CVs for professionals in all industries and at all levels. 

Top tip:  "A CV is your personal sales brochure, so don't be afraid to show off your achievements and align the content with what the company needs."

Elizabeth Openshaw

Trading under the business name of OpenDoor CV Expertise Ltd, Elizabeth has 12 years under her belt of high quality CV-writing following a successful, national career as a Journalist and Features Editor. She is a member of both the British Association of CV Writers and the Institute of Employability Professionals.

Cost: £50-£525 across a range of services and packages including executive, middle management, and graduate

Good for you if: You've been long-term unemployed or out of the job market for a while, for example having had a family or suffered from health problems.

Top tip: “Stick to a two-page CV, so keep it concise, yet informative and readable. If you're a graduate, you can offer up a well-written one-page CV that is stuffed full of academic prowess and valuable work experience, where you can show off any transferable skills.”

Sarah Lovell

Employment consultant working one-on-one with professional and C-suite clients

Cost: Professional CV writing from £75 - £375

Good for you if: You have an established career and are looking for senior executive or niche positions

Top tip: “Keep the CV within two pages, results-focused and ATS friendly, whilst also updating your LinkedIn profile in line with your CV. Take the time to review your CV for key words against the person specification, so recruiters can identify you as a suitable match.”

Ready to take the next step in your career? Learn more about TopCV's professional CV writing services .

This article was first posted in 2018 and has been edited in 2024 to include updated information.

Recommended reading:

5 signs it's time to hire a professional CV writer

Is your CV ready to send? Ask yourself these 14 questions

How to brag on your CV without sounding arrogant

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The value of critical thinking in the modern job market

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Rooftop where gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability before rally: sources

The rooftop where a gunman shot at former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally was identified by the Secret Service as a potential vulnerability in the days before the event, two sources familiar with the agency’s operations told NBC News.

The building, owned by a glass research company, is adjacent to the Butler Farm Show, an outdoor venue in Butler, Pennsylvania. The Secret Service was aware of the risks associated with it, the sources said.

“Someone should have been on the roof or securing the building so no one could get on the roof,” said one of the sources, a former senior Secret Service agent who was familiar with the planning. 

Understanding how the gunman got onto the roof — despite those concerns — is a central question for investigators scrutinizing how a lone attacker managed to shoot at Trump during Saturday’s campaign event.

The Secret Service worked with local law enforcement to maintain event security, including sniper teams poised on rooftops to identify and eliminate threats, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. But no officers were posted on the building used by the would-be assassin, outside the event’s security perimeter but only about 148 yards from the stage — within range of a semiautomatic rifle like the one the gunman was carrying.

The Secret Service had designated that rooftop as being under the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, a common practice in securing outdoor rallies, Guglielmi said.Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said his office maintains an Emergency Services Unit team, which deployed four sniper teams and four “quick response teams” at the rally. But he said the Secret Service agents were in charge of security outside the venue. 

“They had meetings in the week prior. The Secret Service ran the show. They were the ones who designated who did what,” Goldinger said. “In the command hierarchy, they were top, they were No. 1.”

Goldinger said the commander of the Emergency Services Unit told him it was not responsible for securing areas outside the venue. “To me, the whole thing is under the jurisdiction of the Secret Service. And they will delineate from there,” he said.

The former senior Secret Service agent also said that even if local law enforcement “did drop the ball,” it’s still the agency’s responsibility “to ensure that they are following through either beforehand or in the moment.”

“Just because it is outside of the perimeter, it doesn’t take it out of play for a vulnerability, and you’ve got to mitigate it in some fashion,” the source added.

Donald Trump Rally Shooting

A volley of shots rang out minutes into Trump’s speech. He reached for his right ear — he said later it was pierced by a bullet — then dropped to the ground as Secret Service agents rushed to shield him. Trump emerged with blood on his ear and his face. One attendee was killed , and two others were injured.Witnesses listening to Trump’s speech from outside the event’s security perimeter recalled pointing out the gunman to law enforcement a couple of minutes before the shooting began. After the gunfire started, Secret Service personnel shot and killed the 20-year-old gunman, Thomas Matthew Crooks .

The clamor over the Secret Service’s biggest failure since the shooting of President Ronald Reagan in 1981 is coming from both political parties, from former agents and from security experts.

“My question is: How did he get onto that roof undetected?” said Anthony Cangelosi, a former Secret Service agent who worked on protective details for presidential candidates, including John Kerry in 2004.

The Secret Service’s work on campaign events like Saturday’s begins with advance planning, setting up a security perimeter and positioning teams on the ground and on rooftops — often in partnership with local law enforcement. The ground deployments include a counterassault team, and the rooftop personnel include counter-sniper teams.

Police officers at Donald Trump's Rally

Guglielmi, the Secret Service spokesman, said the agency had two of its counterassault agents at the event and filled out the rest of the platoon with at least six officers from Butler County tactical units. The Secret Service also deployed two counter-sniper teams. Two other security units needed for the event were staffed by local law enforcement agencies, Guglielmi said. Those details were first reported by The Washington Post.Investigators will want to examine the Secret Service’s site security plan for the rally, said Cangelosi, the former Secret Service agent. He expects they’ll discover one of two things: Either officials failed to make an effective plan for keeping potential shooters off the building Crooks fired from, or officers on the ground failed to execute the plan.

“I don’t like making any assumptions, but it does look like some mistakes were made, that this was preventable,” said Cangelosi, now a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Although it’s common to task local law enforcement agencies with patrolling outside an event’s security perimeter, Cangelosi said, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that all vulnerabilities are covered rests with the Secret Service.

If officials had placed an officer on the building where the gunman fired from, Cangelosi said, chances are he “wouldn’t even attempt what he attempted.”

“You don’t surrender the discretion of what’s supposed to be done to the local police,” he said. “In other words, you guys have the outer perimeter, but you would want to say, ‘We need an officer on that roof.’ Not ‘that’s your responsibility; do what you see fit.’”

Jim Cavanaugh, a retired special agent in charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who has worked on Secret Service details, told NBC News that while the Secret Service did a good job taking out the gunman after shots began, the failure to post officers on the building he scaled was “a tremendous lapse.”

“The only way to stop that is you have a lot of people, you get there first, and you command the high ground,” Cavanaugh said. “This is basic, and the Secret Service has done it for years successfully, so I’m really surprised that they did not have that high ground covered.”

Police snipers at Donald Trump's Rally

The questions extended to Congress, where members demanded answers from the Secret Service and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.“This raises serious concerns regarding how a shooter was able to access a rooftop within range and direct line of sight of where President Trump was speaking,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Green asked Mayorkas to provide documentation relating to the event’s security plan, the screening of attendees and the level of resources provided to Trump’s Secret Service detail. A committee spokesperson told NBC News that Republican members would hold a briefing with Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle on Monday “to voice their concerns and ask pressing questions.”

Another lawmaker, Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., wrote Cheatle asking who approved the security plan, whether a proper threat assessment was conducted, whether attendees raised alarms and whether there were failures in following protocols that allowed the attack to happen.

“I call on all those responsible for the planning, approving, and executing of this failed security plan to be held accountable and to testify before Congress immediately,” Gallego wrote in a letter to Cheatle .

Robert McDonald, a former Secret Service agent who ran protection for Joe Biden when he was vice president, told NBC News that he believes the assassination attempt will prompt soul-searching and procedural changes at the agency.

“The Secret Service is going to need to ask some hard questions of itself here and be prepared to stand up and represent why, what happened,” McDonald said.

Election 2024 Trump

Cangelosi, the former Secret Service agent, said investigators are also likely to ask when agents identified Crooks as a potential threat, how they reacted and whether it’s possible they could have taken him down before he fired at Trump.Secret Service snipers are trained to make rapid decisions, he said. But it’s possible that if they noticed Crooks on the roof but couldn’t tell whether he had a rifle, agents might have waited to fire on him.

“If the sniper can’t tell whether he has a gun, he or she is not going to take the shot,” Cangelosi said. “Because God forbid it’s a child who’s just excited to see a political candidate, right? So you want to make sure that there’s actually a threat.”

If there was uncertainty, Cangelosi said, it’s possible the sniper team would have dispatched officers to investigate and confirm. But investigating a potential threat can take minutes, he said, while a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle can fire several shots in a matter of seconds.

That’s why, Cangelosi said, the best defense would have been to plan ahead to keep the shooter off the roof in the first place.

“Who wants to be in that position?” he said of the snipers protecting Trump on Saturday. “You’ve got to make a split-second call. And imagine if you’re wrong.”

Sarah Fitzpatrick is a senior investigative producer and story editor for NBC News. She previously worked for CBS News and "60 Minutes." 

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

Julia Ainsley is the homeland security correspondent for NBC News and covers the Department of Homeland Security for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

Mike Hixenbaugh is a senior investigative reporter for NBC News, based in Maryland, and author of "They Came for the Schools."

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

Andrea Mitchell is chief Washington correspondent and chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News.

addressing a cover letter when you know the name

Jon Schuppe is an enterprise reporter for NBC News, based in New York.

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    Rule #1: Address your cover letter to the hiring manager using a formal, full-name salutation (if possible). For a cover letter, you should always default to addressing it to the hiring manager for the position you're applying to. Unless you know for sure that the culture of the company is more casual, use the hiring manager's first and ...

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    Use these steps as a guide toward addressing your cover letter: 1. First, verify your information. Once you have the name or title of the person receiving your cover letter, make sure that all of your information is accurate. Do a quick search to see if they have any honorifics such as Dr. or Prof. that you can include in your greeting Avoid ...

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    While it's always best to try and find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter, there may be times when you just can't find that information. Don't let it deter you. Below are 20 examples of how you can address your cover letter when the recipient is unknown: 1. Dear Hiring Manager, 2.

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    What Title to Use. Even if you know the name and gender of the person to whom you are writing, think carefully about what title you will use in your salutation. For example, if the person is a doctor or holds a Ph.D., you might want to address your letter to "Dr. Lastname" rather than "Ms. Lastname" or "Mr. Lastname.".

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    When you're reading a job advert, you'll sometimes find the name and email address of the person you need to get in touch with directly in the ad. Look out for the section that says "For enquiries" or "Contact person". For example, the advert might say something like: "For more info, please contact Susan Wright at susan-wright ...

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    Adding titles when addressing a cover letter. It is acceptable to use a title and the recipient's surname when addressing a cover letter. You could write "Dear Mr Nelson" instead of "Dear Chris Nelson.". You might do this if you do not know your recipient's first name. Call females Ms, unless you know they prefer Miss or Mrs.

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    Here are five steps on how to address a cover letter without a name: 1. Remain gender neutral. The first step to addressing a cover letter without a name is to use gender-neutral identifiers. Deepti Sharma spent several years in the corporate world before following her entrepreneurial spirit and starting her business as a human resources (HR ...

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