Our Answers On Who Should I Address My Cover Letter To

A supplementary letter with a sound description of the best sides you have can facilitate any job hunting process dramatically. Many people believe that recruiters devote a greater portion of attention to CVs/resumes and nearly skip all first supplementary texts they see. Yes, recruiters and HRs pay approximately 30 seconds to review a CV/resume. But, the biggest portion of their attention employers devotes exactly to a supplementary text. 

Are you aware of the anticipation of forming the first impression about a person? This is the exact cause. If you salute a reviewer in a supplementary text right, you increase your chances of forming a positive first view about you as an applicant. But, if you fail to do this well, you risk reaching the opposite result. So, look more precisely at how a good supplementary text should be referred to.

“Who Do I Address My Cover Letter to?”: Rules about Things to Follow and Avoid

To render maximally concrete pieces of advice for your question, “Who do I address my cover letter to?” the most workable rules are waiting for you next. Strategies we offer you are prioritized from more to less preferable:

Rule # 1 – Refer to an HR directly 

Grasp these details from your target vacancy posting or the company’s web presence; never neglect it. Your good research signifies the right attitude about this job-hunting process from your side. And it is pleasant when somebody calls on a name. 

Rule #2 – What if you are unaware of who is an HR? Refer to a possible future head

You may spend a lot of time and energy looking for HR’s last name at least and with no results. That may appear when a company doesn’t want to disclose the personal details of its employees. Or an HR may be exhausted from communication with people from outside and intends to limit this way contacts only to preselected job applicants. The reasons may be different but remain concrete at this point too. 

If it is feasible to find out who is the director/head of a unit where a target vacancy is, surely, refer to this person in your supplementary text. This will signify plenty of time spent on reviewing info about a target organization. Also, this will empathize with the dedicated attitude to the job-hunting process –  that it is far from formal. It is a good sign for recruiters. 

Rule #3 –If there are no names, still remain concrete

Surely, we encourage job-hunters to be dedicated to searching the exact reviewer to refer for a supplementary text. But, you may spend days searching Google for that and with no results. In some cases, this can be even hardly possible. For instance, you may apply for a privately owned company by one person for a small enterprise that does not have a sufficient web presence. It may even don’t have an HR. So, what is better to do in this case? 

If you know the title of a direct head, you may potentially work with, refer to this person and indicate one’s position. Sometimes, “Chief accountant” is better than nothing. Again, if you are confident that your target organization has a hiring manager, you may simply indicate in a supplementary text “Hiring manager.” This will sound better. 

There is also another suggestion. If you intend to work for a small organization, you need to find out who the director or owner is. Sometimes even an owner for oneself can perform all managerial work. So, it will be suitable to refer in a supplementary letter to such a person directly. Here the final strategy depends on your case. Perform Google searches well and form a more or less clear picture of who will likely appear as a reviewer or decision-maker for this recruiting process.

Rule # 4 – Avoid these phrases 

If you lack the relevant details we have suggested above, avoid becoming desperate. And avoid indicating some phrases as “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Madam/Sir”. Such phrases are treated as outdated nowadays. It is even better to indicate more formal greetings instead, like “Hello” or “Good morning/afternoon,” emphasizing the style of communication a target company likely possesses. How to identify such a style? Simply be attentive to the manner of presentation on social media accounts they hold or a website. In case of uncertainty, use a more neutral “Good morning/afternoon,” this will work in any case.

To sum up all the previous points, we want to emphasize one simple aspect. It is wise to search for a decision-maker(-s) at the first or next stages of the recruiting process. This may be a hiring manager or recruiter. This may be the head of a target department who can also test your skills later and give one’s conclusion about whether to hire you for a certain job opening. This decision-maker may sometimes be a director. Still, we encourage you to range your priorities from the most specific person, like an HR, to all other concerned persons. This is important. If a company shows the name of one’s HR, it is not very good to address a supplementary text to the director/head of a target department first. You will still negotiate job-related matters with HR.

How to Address a Cover Letter with One’s Name Right 

Let’s presume you have searched well and got the name of the exact person you need. Here you may get another question on how to address a cover letter with a name. Three simple approaches are here:

  1. Indicate the first and last name – the safest option without risk to offense anybody if you are unsure about gender:
    1. Dear Jessie Richards.
    2. Dear John Reynolds.
  2. Indicate Ms./Mr. before the person’s name if you are confident about the person’s gender. But, at this point, note that it is better to avoid indicating “Mrs” or “Miss” because of emphasizing the marital status of a person. First, the mistake is not excluded here sometimes. And, at last, these details are not so relevant for a supplementary text. So, don’t waste time attempting to guess and simply indicate a referral in this manner:
    1. Dear Mr. Johns.
    2. Dear Ms. Abrahams.
  3. In some cases, it is also a good-looking idea to indicate professional or academic titles your contact person has:
    1. Prof. Reynolds (the abbreviation stands for a professor).
    2. Sgt. Smith (the abbreviation stands for a sergeant).

These approaches are workable. So, you may choose any you like or for which there is enough sufficient info. 

Still, we want to emphasize also certain other valuable points that are frequently underestimated.

Important but not so Obvious Points about How to Address a Cover Letter 

Let’s presume you have already decided to whom you will refer in your supplementary letter. But, there are other valuable aspects of your question, “Who do I address my cover letter to?” Here we have decided to cover important but frequently underestimated aspects.

First, we emphasize attitude. This may become apparent from the first lines of the supplementary letter. Frequently, job applicants think that an employer/HR is somebody unreachable or who will not devote plenty of time or don’t care about all applicants. On the other side, some candidates may think that exactly their application is something exceptional. 

In fact, the right approach is somewhere in between. You should not underestimate or overestimate either yourself or a future reviewer. The secret is simple here – there is an ordinary human on the other side who has their own feelings and a sense of dignity. The same thing is for you. Try to consider this application and a cover letter as a chance for establishing other human relations between you and the other person.

But, these relations have to appear professional in any case. It is wise to sound in this manner only. This will facilitate your work of creating the right first view to present your candidacy and promote your future career with this company. So, referring to a cover letter should be polite and neutral in tone by default. 

Any referring in a cover letter also may be emphasized in a certain manner. The best approach we suggest is Italics. It appears more elegant in the content of a supplementary letter. It is visible but does not overtake attention. You could also type your full name and surname in Italics closely to the final of your supplementary letter. This appears good from an esthetical perspective.

Final Words

Never underestimate or be afraid of drafting a well-crafted cover letter for your CV/resume. Yes, never afraid. The right attitude should precede your drafting in any case. Try to appear as a professional who has something to offer your target company, who values it. When you are referring to an HR or recruiter, you may think you address this company entirely. 

The best approach here is treating your future reviewer as an ordinary person with one’s feelings and attitude toward oneself and the company he/she works in. Treat this supplementary letter as another opportunity to establish good human relations with a reviewer. At the same time, you should appear as a professional and cover all points you want to communicate politely. 

When referring to your cover letter, indicate precise info only. The best strategy here is to rely on the info indicated in the vacancy description. If the name of a recruiter or HR is included there, start your cover letter by referring to this exact person.

If any searches are required, we suggest you are reviewing a company’s website or LinkedIn profile. This will facilitate your life dramatically. These sources can provide you with accurate info about the exact decision-maker you require to contact. 

If you have not found any official info, it is better not to lose time and risk picking inaccurate info. Wrong referring is worse than the absence of any of them. So, indicate some formal and polite salutation only. 

Do your research, refer to your future reviewers correctly, present yourself well, and never be afraid of making another good step in your career.

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