When trying to make a good first impression, a greeting is vital. If you say to your new employer, “Yo, what’s up?” It will evoke a different, and probably more negative, reaction than, “Hello, it’s nice to meet you.”
A greeting for a cover letter is just as important as your first personal salutation. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate professionalism and even effort. For example, if you address your hiring manager by first and last name, you have done your research.
Here are the best cover letter greetings to help ensure your cover letter is well received.
Cover letter, salutation and greeting examples
Sometimes job vacancies tell you who is responsible for your application process, but sometimes not. Let’s consider how to address your cover letters for both situations. Please note that it is always important to capitalize the nouns for all of your greetings.
- Dear Personnel Administrator,
- Dear [name of team or department you’re applying for a position in],
- Dear [company name] Recruiter,
- To the [name of team you are applying for a position in] Department,
- Dear [title of the person you would report to],
- Dear [position title] Personnel manager,
- Dear [hiring manager, recruiter, or name of point of contact],
- Dear HR manager.
The following is an example of starting a cover letter greeting when you have the name of the hiring manager, recruiter, or contact for your application process.
How to start a cover letter greeting
1. Use “Hello” or “Dear” followed by your first and last name.
If the job description includes the hiring manager’s name or research found it out (which we will discuss below), a simple greeting uses a full name with a “Dear” or “Hello” in front of it. It also prevents anyone who can be used by “Dear Ms./Mr.” From being misled.
2. Provide the title if possible.
When you come across a hiring manager with a title like “Dr.” or “Professor”, include it in your greeting. It shows a degree of respect and that you have done your research. It’s also not gender specific, which in turn reduces the likelihood of failure.
For example, you could start your cover letter like this: “Dear Dr. Grace [Insert Last Name]. “
3. If you don’t know her name, you can still make it specific.
If you’ve done your research and can’t find a specific person hired for the role, it’s likely because the company has put together a team that delegates hiring responsibility. To direct a letter to a team, you need to identify the department or group that the role falls into. Then follow this formula – “Dear [Department] Hiring team. “
For example, if you’re applying for a job in customer service, you might say, “Dear Customer Service Hiring Committee,” or “Dear Customer Service Hiring Team”.
However, it is worth the effort to find out who the hiring manager is as the information is sometimes easy to find.
How to address a cover letter without a name
An individual greeting is essential to ensure that your cover letter stands out in a sea of ”Who it concerns”. Let’s see what you can do to find out who the hiring manager or the person in charge of the application process can be.
Find recruiters on the company’s website
An easy way to find the person directly responsible is to go to the company’s website and look for an “About Us” tab. Some companies list names of people who work there, and you can search the list to see if you can find the recruiter for your position or department.
Find recruiters on LinkedIn
Some companies have teams so large that each department has its own recruiter or hiring manager. LinkedIn can come in handy here, as you search for keywords like “hiring manager + department to apply to” or “department to apply to + recruiter” on the People tab to find out who the direct employee is Responsible person is for different departments.
Find recruiters on Twitter
Twitter is also a great social media tool for identifying a recruiter or hiring manager. You can search for keywords related to the company you want to work for and browse profiles to see what you can find. Most professionals who use Twitter have a description of their professional position in their bio so you should be able to identify them when you see them.
You can also search for the title you’re applying for on Twitter to see if a recruiter has tweeted a link on their profile.
If you’ve done all of your research and can’t find a hiring manager to direct your letter to and you haven’t been given a name during the application process, there are still a few alternatives:
- Dear HR Manager
- Dear [name of team or department you’re applying for a position in]
- Dear [position title] personnel manager
- Dear HR manager
Whom it concerns is a commonly recommended option, but most would say you shy away from it as it is considered a dated and less personalized greeting than others on this list. It would be safe to consider it as a last resort.
Ultimately, your ultimate goal is to make a good impression while writing your cover letter. If you can find the name of the recruiter or hiring manager, use their name. If not, one of the greetings recommended in this post will do.