Who To Address Cover Letter To If Unknown: Winning Ways To Start A Cover Letter

Heidi Cope
by Heidi Cope
Get The Job - 5 months ago

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You have written the bulk of your cover letter and it is looking flawless, but you are missing one important thing before you can press send: A recipient. These days, much of the job search is done online through job sites like Zippia and others There are many advantages to seeking jobs online, but it can limit the face-to-face aspect many older job seekers remember having when applying for jobs.

When applying for jobs now, you often are faced with a million application links and when submitting your resume or cover letter, it isn’t necessarily addressed to a certain person, but rather uploaded to a section of the application. So if you are confused about how to address a cover letter when you don’t have an obvious recipient, then you have come to the right place.


Here are some tips about addressing a cover letter if the recipient is unknown:

  • Attempt to find out who your cover letter will be read by.
  • If you cannot find the name of the hiring manager/reader, use a generic greeting to address your cover letter.
  • Make sure your greeting sounds professional and appropriate for the position.

Ready to learn more about how to address a cover letter? Read on to learn tips and tricks about who to address a cover letter to if unknown.

How to Find Out Who Will Read Your Cover Letter

When applying for jobs, one of the most important things you can do is find a way to make sure your name, face or correspondence matches up with your application. So when hiring managers sort through a pile of sometimes hundreds of applicants, they can say, “Oh yeah, this person contacted us the other day and seemed great and professional — let’s see what their application looks like.”

Now, this doesn’t mean that calling the HR department of the place you are applying to 24/7 is a good idea. You don’t want to seem needy or inpatient. But you can still show that you are genuinely interested in the position by attempting to find out who will read your cover letter.

Making an effort to find out who the recipient of your cover letter will go to, especially if that information is easily available, shows that you have a real interest in the position. You are willing to take an extra few minutes to do some digging to make sure your application stands out.

How do you find out who your cover letter should be addressed to?

There are a few ways to go about finding who you should address your cover letter to. One simple way is to look at the application and double-check that the hiring manager’s name isn’t on the main listing. Sometimes the information isn’t on the application, but rather on the job listing. If it is not there you will then have to start doing a little bit more investigative work.

You can check on LinkedIn and on the company’s website to find the hiring manager’s name. If nothing shows up, then you will have to start contacting someone at the company to find out.

No, this does not mean contact some random person at the company who lists the company’s name on their profile. Find the HR department contact information or someone who works in HR or who is the head of the department you are trying to work in and ask them if they know the name of the hiring manager for your application.

Sometimes, they will not give this information, simply so that the hiring manager can stay anonymous and not get a billion emails from applicants. This situation is more likely to happen with massive companies like Google or Apple. If they give you a name, use it and if they don’t, then you will have to then move on to the next step of figuring out how to address a cover letter to an unknown recipient.

How To Start a Cover Letter To If Unknown

If you are reading this section, then you have probably already looked at the company’s website, the full application materials and have even perhaps contacted the HR department. Despite this effort, you still have no name.

That is OK. If you are applying to a small company, a startup or a local business, chances are that you will probably find a name. If you are applying through online job sites or to a federal job, you may never know the name of the hiring manager until you are contacted about your application.

Knowing that there is no one to address the cover letter to doesn’t mean you have free reign to just say, “Dear person who will read this” or “Good morning!” as your greeting on a cover letter. There are preferred ways to address a cover letter if you don’t know who the cover letter will be read by.

Here are some things you should try to avoid when addressing a cover letter to an unknown recipient:

  • Assuming the person is a certain gender.
  • Addressing the reader as if you were addressing a friend.
  • Not addressing the reader at all.

Now that you know what to generally avoid, keep reading for our favorite go-to ways to address a cover letter if you don’t know who will read it.

How To Address a Cover Letter Examples

  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear Talent Acquisition Team
  • [Company Name] HR Department
  • [Company name] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Human Resources Manager
  • Dear Human Resources Department
  • Dear [company name] Recruiter

By using these greetings to address your cover letters, you will avoid major problems. For example, all of the above greetings don’t assume a specific gender, can be used regardless of honorific the person may hold and is professional. It doesn’t sound like you are writing to your grandmother about your vacation. It will look professional and well put together, making it an excellent start to any cover letter.

who to address cover letter to if unknown

Source: Pixnio

Why Addressing Your Cover Letter Correctly Is Important

If you are applying for a job and are writing a cover letter, make sure you take the time to look over all the details in the cover letter. Not taking the time to look for the recipient of a cover letter or using a professional greeting will look lazy.

Your greeting is a small part of the cover letter but is one of the most important pieces of it because it is the first thing the hiring managers will read. Using an appropriate generic greeting will set the tone for your cover letter, making you sound professional and willing to put in the effort to make your cover letter flawless.

Now that you know how to address a cover letter if the reader is unknown, check out our other articles about cover letters and the job application process. Applying for jobs can be stressful and tedious, but taking the time to learn tips on how to improve your application will help put you one step closer to landing your dream job.

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