You’ve just seen a listing for your dream job. You read the job description and realize you’re more than qualified, so you quickly begin your application. You carefully upload your resume and start drafting a cover letter—only to realize you don’t know who to address it to.
Baffled, you double-check the job description, but the name of the hiring manager isn’t listed. So, what do you do?
Below, we go over a few steps you can take to address your cover letter when you don’t have a name.
Search for the Hiring Manager’s Name
Conduct an online search to find the name of the hiring manager. Tools like LinkedIn can be great for this. You can search a company’s LinkedIn profile to find the name of the person in that position.
For example, if you know the job ad says you’d report to the senior software engineer, you could use the company’s LinkedIn page to search for employees that hold that title. Then, once you find the name, address that person in the cover letter (make sure to double-check the spelling!).
Focus on Their Position
If you absolutely can’t find their name, focus instead on the position the person holds. For example, if you’re reporting to the content manager, you might try “Dear Content Manager” or “Dear Content Team” when addressing your cover letter.
A Last Resort
If you’ve tried the first three steps with absolutely no luck, it’s OK to use “Dear Hiring Manager.” If you have a name or title, that is preferable to something more generic. But using “Dear Hiring Manager” in your cover letter will suffice when all else fails.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
There are some common cover letter mistakes that can be costly for job seekers. Even if you don’t know who the hiring manager is, avoid using “To Whom It May Concern,” as this is too vague. At the same time, “Dear sir or madam” is too formal (in addition, some people may not identify with these personal pronouns).
Also, avoid time-specific greetings. “Good morning” or “Good evening” aren’t considered a best practice for cover letters, since you have no idea when the hiring manager will be reading them.
Address Your Cover Letter to the Right Person
Cover letters are still a necessary part of the job search process. However, it can be challenging to craft a compelling cover letter when you don’t know who to address it to. If a name isn’t provided, do your research to find out who your recipient is. And if all else fails, “Dear Hiring Manager” will suffice in a pinch.
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