Knowing how to address a cover letter can be frustrating when that information isn’t readily available.
Many times, there are steps you can take to figure out who exactly the person reading your letter will be.
But in an absolute pinch, certain ways of addressing your cover letter are more off-putting than others.
Some of the worst ways to address a cover letter include “Dear HR professional” and a simple “Hi!”
We know it’s frustrating when a job posting doesn’t include the name of the person in charge of the hiring process.
We also know that’s not an excuse to slap any salutation on your cover letter and send your application off.
You can even play it safe by writing at the beginning of your cover letter: “I noticed you’re working in [whatever department] at [whatever company],” so you show that based on your research, it looks like they’re involved in the hiring process.
In the case that you absolutely, positively can’t find a person’s name, Augustine said certain ways of addressing your cover letter are more off-putting than others.
For example, “Dear Hiring Manager” and “Dear Recruiter” aren’t great openings, but they’re the best of many bad options.
Here’s the full list of cover-letter openings, ranked in reverse order of egregiousness.
Sincerely,Business Insider staff
P.S. This advice doesn’t apply in the case of an anonymous job posting, when a company is deliberately keeping their name and the names of their employees confidential.
5. ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or ‘Dear Recruiter’
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The language in your cover letter should be at once professional and conversational, Augustine said. And these openings aren’t overly formal or casual, which is a plus.
But the lack of customization — you could submit this letter to any company you’re applying to — will still stand out.
“You’re not earning brownie points” with this salutation, Augustine said. “But you’re not putting people off” either.
4. ‘Dear HR Professional’
Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr
Augustine said this opening isn’t necessarily accurate.
The person reading your application might not work in the company’s human resources department, or they might call themselves a recruiter instead of a human resources professional.
3. ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’
With “Hello” and no name after it, you’ve gotten the conversational part down, but you’ve still failed to customize your letter.
“Hi” is a double whammy, since not only is it not customized, but it can also be considered slang, Augustine said.
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