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Should I use “To Whom It May Concern”?

You shouldn’t use “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter unless you have no other choice. But if you must, make sure you know how to vị it properly.

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When you apply for a job, your goal is khổng lồ impress the hiring manager & get called in for an interview. Using “To Whom It May Concern” in your cover letter won’t help you achieve this goal.

Addressing your cover letter in such a vague, impersonal way shows you didn’t spend any time researching the position, & isn’t a good look for someone truly interested in a job.

What about “Dear Sir or Madam”?

Similar to lớn writing “To Whom It May Concern”, avoid “Dear Sir or Madam.”

When’s the last time you’ve heard the word “madam” spoken in public? It’s simply outdated language.

If you take some time và look into the job opening, you can find a better way to lớn address the person receiving your cover letter.

5 alternatives khổng lồ “To Whom It May Concern”

Here are five better alternatives to “To Whom It May Concern” that show you’ve put in a bit more effort into your application:

1. Dear ,

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Target your cover letter with a name.

The best greeting on a cover letter is “Dear” followed by the recipient’s title & last name.

So if you find out that the hiring manager’s name is “Jake Lopez,” you can write “Dear Mr. Lopez,” at the đứng top of your letter.

Mrs., Miss, or Ms.?

If the hiring manager is a woman, use “Ms.”. Or you can use “Mrs.” or “Miss” if you know she prefers these titles. For example, if the job posting states “Please address all job applications to lớn Miss Courtney Rodham”, address your cover letter lượt thích this:

Dear Miss Rodham,

How khổng lồ Handle Ambiguous Names

The gender-neutral title “Mx.” is also becoming more popular for addressing non-binary individuals và people with unisex names, like “Jay Winter.”

Dear Mx. Winter,

However, it’s still rare, so only use it if you know the recipient prefers it. Otherwise they might think it’s a typo.


Look up the company you’re applying to lớn on LinkedIn. You can usually track down many employees và their job titles there, and figure out who you’re sending your cover letter to.


2. Dear ,

Another option for dealing with unisex names like “Jay Winter” is just to use “Dear” & their full name.

Dear Jay Winter,

This is the best option if you’re writing khổng lồ someone who identifies as a third gender or non-binary.

Foreign Names

In some countries, including Japan, Taiwan, & Hungary, the last name comes first. If you’re unsure which name is someone’s last name, it’s best khổng lồ use their full name in the greeting.

Xem thêm: Tâm Lý Học Trong Quản Trị Kinh Doanh, Tam Ly Hoc Qtkd (Ns Lam)

Dear Liao Shou-zheng,


Explore the company’s website for names and titles. You’ll often discover the names of directors and department heads with a bit of effort (and they’re usually the people reading applications).


3. Dear ,

If you can’t locate the right name, you can also get away with using just their job title:

Dear Office Manager,

Look for the hiring manager’s specific job title on the listing, under the “Reports to” heading:

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Job listings often provide information key khổng lồ addressing your cover letter.

While it’s not as personal as using an actual name, addressing the reader by their title shows you’re aware of who you’d be reporting to, và that you’ve at least looked into the role a bit.


Can’t find the hiring manager’s name online? Try calling the company. Ask whoever answers whom you should address your cover letter to.


4. Dear Head,

Still no luck finding a real name? Address your cover letter to lớn the department head:

Dear Accounting Department Head,

If you can’t find the name of the department, make an educated guess. For example, an accountant applicant would address their cover letter to the “Accounting Department Head” or “Head of Accounting.”


Use a web app lượt thích Hunter or Voila Norbert lớn find the names và job titles of employees associated with a company website.


5. Dear Hiring Manager,

Sometimes you won’t be able to lớn find any details about anything related to the job listing online.

For example, if you’re applying lớn a large Fortune 500 company, it might be unclear which department you have khổng lồ apply to, so you’ll need to address your cover letter to the hiring manager like this:

Dear Hiring Manager,

When to lớn Use “To Whom It May Concern”

“To Whom It May Concern” is OK when you’re not trying to impress the reader of the letter or email.

For example, you’re sending out a letter of complaint because you’re unhappy about the service you’ve received, or one of your colleagues has asked you khổng lồ provide a letter of recommendation for them.

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“To Whom It May Concern” is particularly effective when used on letters of complaint.

How khổng lồ write “To Whom It May Concern”

When writing “To Whom It May Concern”, capitalization is key. All five words are typically capitalized.

When starting a cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern,” the format is up khổng lồ you. You can either use a colon, which is the traditional format:

To Whom It May Concern:

Or you can use a comma:

To Whom It May Concern,

Either way, remember that “To Whom It May Concern” is a traditional, formal opening, so don’t get creative and use a reworked version like “To Whomever This May Concern,” or “To Whom This May Concern.” These variations will make you look lượt thích you don’t understand how khổng lồ write a cover letter properly.


Your cover letter should summarize why the hiring manager should hire you, and every detail counts — especially if you’re writing a short cover letter that gets right to lớn the point.

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