How to Address a Cover Letter When the Name Is Unknown
by Steve McDonnell
Using a generic address or salutation can leave a bad impression on people at the company to which you're sending your resume. To some, it implies that you are either not really very interested in the position, too lazy or not resourceful enough to discover who the hiring manager or HR recruiter is for the role. When you address the letter to a person, it immediately puts your resume in the hands of an appropriate contact, rather than in a stack of other unsolicited resumes.
Call the company and ask for the Human Resource department. Explain to an HR representative that you don't want to send your cover letter without a specific name and ask if you can have the name of the hiring manager or the HR recruiter for the position. Introduce yourself and get the name of the person with whom you speak. Because you've been introduced over the phone, the person may be a good contact to use when following up on the status of your resume or application.
Determine if you have friends or
colleagues who work at the company to which you're sending your resume. Join or log in to LinkedIn (see website in Resources) or another business social networking site and run a search for the company name in your network. Ask a friend or colleague who works at the company if she can discover the name of the hiring manager or recruiter for the position. You may want to suggest that your friend submit your resume on your behalf if the company has an employee referral program that pays a bonus when employee-recommended candidates are hired.
If you cannot find a person to whom you can address the letter, be specific in your generic address and salutation. Address the letter either to the hiring manger or recruiter for the position and include the name of the position so it's immediately apparent what job you're applying for when someone opens the mail and reviews your cover letter. For example, use "Hiring Manager for ABC Position" or "HR Recruiter for XYZ Position" to help get your resume and cover letter directed to the right person as quickly as possible.
Category: Application letter