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2 Cover letter mistakes that are killing your application

Cover letter tips.

When it comes to finding a job, cover letters are possibly the most underrated part of the whole application process. Mainly due to the fact that most people think that nobody is actually reading them but you couldn’t be more wrong! A well written cover letter is the perfect way to set yourself apart and help sell your application, not to mention convince a recruiter you’re the right person for the role. To put it simply, your cover letter is the easiest and most effective way to stand out from the crowd. It brings something extra to the table when you apply for a job – the employer will learn more about you, your personality, what you actually want from the job and gain insight as to why you’re applying. And, as your CV is supposed to be short and sweet, your cover letter is the perfect way to elaborate on your achievements. To make sure your cover letter lands you job interview, here are two mistakes you should avoid making in your cover letters. MISTAKE #1 NOT PERSONALISED ENOUGH There are so many people out there who use the same cover letter to apply for hundreds of different job positions. They think that it is enough just to change the name of the company and the name of the job position but this means that your cover letter is ultimately very general and will not convince a company that you want to work for them. Don’t make an employer feel that you have just sent out a cover letter to hundreds of different companies hoping that something will stick. And even if you are doing that, it shouldn’t be obvious! The key to a successful cover letter is to show how you connect on a personal level with the employer and that’s what’s going to get a recruiter to put your cover letter into the “yes” pile. How to make your cover letter more personalised? Well, the first thing you should never do in your cover letter is start it with “To Whom It May Concern” . This is so impersonal, it shows that you couldn’t be bothered to do your homework and find out more about the company to which you are applying. And it’s so old-fashioned! It’s also what people used to write 10 years ago! So you definitely don’t want to do this. Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Recruitment Team are also not great choices. Instead, you should try to find the name of the person dealing with the recruitment for the position and use it in your cover letter. You can use LinkedIn, Google or the company’s website to find this information. Even if you have to pick up a phone and call the company, do it! It will only take a few minutes of your time. And if you haven’t managed to find out the name, at least you know that you tried your best. Secondly, a great way to demonstrate that you connect with your potential employer on a personal level is to explain why you chose them. Make the reader feel that they are the only company you want to work for (even if it’s not true), make them feel special and make them special not by saying how great they are, how professional or how exciting it would be for you to work there, that is way too general and everyone can see through those buzz words. You need to be as specific as possible! You need to find an emotional attachment. How do I do this Evelina? I’m glad you asked, here are some ideas on how you can do this: 1. Tell them how you came to learn what the company does is special. Use your personal life experience to describe how you found out what they do is different, better or unique compared with their competitors. Tell them how you connect with their brand 2. Tell them about the time when you used their products or services. What better way is there to demonstrate that you connect with the company than by telling them a personal story about your unique experience with them. 3. Tell them about how your overall life experience made you connect with what the company does. MISTAKE #2 NOT IDENTIFYING THE KEY SKILL REQUIRED FOR THE POSITION   The second mistake I so often see in cover letters is using a cover letter to recap all the information you already mentioned on your CV without identifying the key skills required for the position you are applying for. After you have convinced the company that they are the only company you want to work for, it’s time for you to convince the company that you are the best candidate for the job. This is how you do it. You need to very carefully read the job description identifying the key skills required for the job you are applying for. In job descriptions companies describe the qualities their ideal employee should exemplify. Basically, you want the reader to be convinced that you are that person. A lot of people decide that they are good at a particular task or are skilled in a particular way and keep using this information in every single cover letter, but what if the prospective company has no need of these attributes? This will be the reason your cover letter will be put into the “no” pile. You only need to focus on the skills the job requires, also don’t forget to add a narrative as to how and where you developed these skills. Only after giving this granular detail then you can add additional features of your skill-set, but you should really only add them if the company would actually benefit. And also be sure to explain how these additional skills would add to the company’s success. If you are struggling with writing cover letters, I suggest you to enrol to my online course "GET THAT INTERVIEW" where I will explain step by step how to write a strong and compelling cover letter, in addition to creating a targeted CV and eye-catchy LinkedIn profile. 

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cover letter dear recruiting team

Quick Tip: Use 'Dear Hiring Team' On Your Cover Letter

Woman writes her cover letter on her laptop

You’ve always been told that you shouldn’t write, “To Whom It May Concern,” on your cover letter. But what should you do when you don’t have the name of the hiring manager?

First, Track Down The Name

Obviously, it’s ideal to use the hiring manager’s name in your cover letter . So, the first thing you should do is try to track down the hiring manager’s name online (i.e., the company website, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).

You can also call up the company directly to ask for the name. Simply call up the company and say, “Hi, my name is ____ and I’m applying for a position at your company. Would it be possible for me to get the name of the hiring manager so I can address him or her in my cover letter?”

If All Fails, Use 'Dear Hiring Team'

If the hiring manager’s name is nowhere to be found and the company is unwilling to give you his or her name, you should use “Dear Hiring Team” in your cover letter salutation. By addressing your cover letter to the hiring team, you increase your chances of getting it in front of the right pair of eyes.

Why Can't You Use Someone Else's Name?

But what if you know the name of someone else (not involved with hiring) who works at the company? Can you just address it to them instead?

Absolutely not!

“That person may not be the person that’s hiring, and they could easily throw [your cover letter] in the trash,” says J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It Daily. “You don’t know if they’re going to forward it to the right person or not. You DO NOT want to risk that.”

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

  • 5 Crucial Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid - Work It Daily ›
  • 3 Ways Your Social Media Is Scaring Off Hiring Managers - Work It ... ›
  • Why "To Whom It May Concern" Doesn't Belong On Cover Letters ... ›
  • 5 Parts Of A Cover Letter (A.K.A. How To Write A Good One!) - Work ... ›
  • Top 2 Common Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid - Work It Daily ›
  • FAQ: Should You Use "Dear Hiring Manager" on a Cover Letter ... ›
  • How To Use “Dear Hiring Manager” On Your Cover Letter – Zippia ›
  • Should You Use 'Dear Hiring Manager' On a Cover Letter ... ›


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How To Use “Dear Hiring Manager” On Your Cover Letter

  • How To Write A Cover Letter
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  • Use Dear Sir Or Madam?
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Find a Job You Really Want In

Summary. Use “Dear Hiring Manager” as an acceptable alternative when you are unable to address your cover letter directly by name, which is always preferable.

While writing a cover letter, it can be a little nerve-racking if you don’t know who you are sending it to.

We’ll walk you through how to address your cover letter , provide tips to help you decide which greeting to use, and provide examples of the different options for addressing your cover letter.

Key Takeaways:

Addressing your cover letter professionally is crucial for making a good first impression and catching the eye of hiring managers and recruiters.

It’s not always easy to find the person the company wants you to send your resume and cover letter to. While you should do your best to find a person’s name, using “Dear Hiring Manager” might be your best bet in certain scenarios.

When addressing a cover letter make sure you start with what you know and don’t assume to much on what you know about the person.

How to use 'dear hiring manager

How to Use “Dear Hiring Manager” on Your Cover Letter

Why addressing your cover letter correctly is important, examples of how to address a cover letter, how to find the hiring manager, tips for using “dear hiring manager”, alternatives to “dear hiring manager”, “dear hiring manager” faqs, final thoughts.

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While saying “Dear Hiring Manager” on a cover letter is entirely professional, it’s also super generic. You should only use it if you can’t find the name of the recipient despite your best efforts.

There’s an order of operations that should be followed every time you go to address a cover letter, and which step of the process you eventually settle on should depend on what kind of information you have available.

Here are the steps you should take any time you go to address a cover letter — your goal is to stop at the earliest step you can manage:

Start with what you know. Do you know their name? How about their gender and preferred pronouns? If so, then address the letter to “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” followed by just their last name. This is the most preferred method of address — it’s personal and unpretentious.

Don’t assume too much. Don’t know their gender? Still use “Dear” to address the letter, but instead of using just the last name, used your contact’s full name. It’s still personal, perhaps a little less “professional,” but it’s better than being presumptuous.

Last resort. If all else fails, then just writing “Dear Hiring Manager” is acceptable, but be aware that a name is preferred in almost all cases.

Consider alternatives. “To Whom It May Concern” might be your first instinct, but as salutations go, “Dear” is a warmer and more congenial way to address someone. “To Whom” sounds a little robotic, and is never a good option. We’ll cover other alternatives below.

People react to greetings in different ways, depending on the context.

People can often have big reactions to even small nuances in behavior depending on the context — and those reactions are only exacerbated in a situation as stressful as a job application.

This is because the person on the other end of the line — the hiring manager, recruiter , or whoever has to sift through the mountain of other applications to find yours — has no obligation to you whatsoever.

That means that if something about the way that you greet them turns them off to you as a candidate, they can just decide not to contact you.

You’ve got one small chance to prove that you’re worthy of their attention, and you have to go into your application and cover letter with the understanding that a hiring manager could stop reading at any time.

So you have to do everything in your power to make sure that they don’t do that.

Here’s a good example of following the above process, starting at a place of having full information about your contact and ending up at a place where you don’t even know if the person reading your resume is just a robot .

Full knowledge: “Dear Mrs. Belvedere” Name known, no known gender or gender is non-binary: “Dear Ramona Belvedere” Gender known, no name: “Dear Mrs.” When you know that they’re a doctor: “Dear Dr. Belvedere” When they’re a doctor but not an MD: “Dear Professor Belvedere” When you don’t know who they are at all: “Dear Hiring Manager”

We’ve got a whole article about how to find the hiring manager , but we’ll cover the steps briefly here:

Check the job advertisement. Sounds like an obvious first step, but we have to start somewhere. If you can’t find a full name, check the email address they want you to send your application to.

If it indicates an individual, use that information in the following steps. (Sometimes it’ll be really obvious though, like [email protected]).

Check the company’s website . Either look at the job application section or the “about us” page . You can sometimes find more information about department heads here. See if any names align with the email address provided in the job opening.

Call the company. Finding the right number to call might be tricky, but once you reach someone in HR or the front desk, they should be able to help you out. Mention the job posting and ask for the hiring manager’s name — easy peasy.

Use LinkedIn . Look for the company’s employees on LinkedIn. You might not be able to definitively determine the hiring manager from your research alone, but you might find somebody you can ask.

For example, an HR head or someone who works in the department you’re interested in.

Use an inside source. If you have a friend in the company, we’re surprised you’ve made it this long without reaching out to them!

People like to help, and if this person is an internal reference for you as well, they surely want you to make the best impression. That means avoiding “Dear Hiring Manager” if you can.

If you’ve tried everything and still can’t find the hiring manager’s name or a relevant department head, it’s not the worst thing to use “Dear Hiring Manager.” However, you should keep these tips in mind if you do:

Customize your cover letter . “Dear Hiring Manager” is about as generic as it gets as far as salutations go. Don’t let the rest of your cover letter be equally generic. Otherwise, the recipient may think you’ve just copy-pasted this cover letter all around town, which is always a turn off for employers.

Open with a strong first sentence and use the body to express your enthusiasm for the specific job and company. Cover your most significant qualifications and accomplishments. Utilize keywords from the job description when discussing your skills and relevant experience .

Use a clear subject line. Most cover letters are sent via email these days. Since you couldn’t find the hiring manager’s name, it’s likely you’re sending it to a generic, company-wide, job application email address.

Ensure that your subject link provides a clear explanation of why you’re writing. The standard “[Full Name] – _______ Position” is a safe bet.

Send from a professional email address. Your email might look a bit spammy with “Dear Hiring Manager” — don’t compound the recipient’s instinct to immediately delete your email by sending it from [email protected].

Choose a professional email address, but be careful of using one tied to your current place of employment. They may be able to see your activities, and that would be awkward.

We’re going to start off by reiterating that “To Whom It May Concern” is never an option. That said, “Dear Hiring Manager” isn’t the only choice you have available. In a scenario where you’re reaching out to a recruiter or a recruiting team, it might actually sound odd to address your cover letter to the hiring manager.

Let’s take a look at other appropriate ways to start your cover letter when you don’t know the recipient’s name:

Dear Recruiter

Dear Recruitment Team

Dear Hiring Team

Dear [Department] Manager

Dear [Department]

Dear Recruitment Committee

Dear Hiring Committee

Dear Recruiting Manager

Dear Human Resources

Dear [Title of person you’d report to]

Can I put “Dear Hiring Manager” on a cover letter?

Yes, you can put “Dear Hiring Manager” on a cover letter. However, it is better to find a name if possible. Addressing a cover letter directly to a person gives your letter more of an impact. It shows that you either followed directions or put in extra effort to locate a name. If you can’t find a name, then “Dear Hiring Manager” is an acceptable alternative.

What can I say instead of “Dear Hiring Manager”?

Instead of “Dear Hiring Manager”, you can say:

Dear Human Resources Representative

These titles are helpful alternatives, but as you may notice, they also have their limits. Without a name, any choice with sound slightly vague.

How do I find the hiring manager name?

There are several steps you can take to find the hiring manager’s name:

Read over the job description for clues

Look on the company’s website

Search LinkedIn or other social media

Call the company

Ask anyone in your network who may know

Finding the hiring manager’s name can take time and effort. If you succeed, then it shows your commitment to the job and helps your cover letter stand out just a little more above the competition.

Do hiring managers read cover letters?

Hiring managers may or may not read cover letters, but it is always good to assume they will. Hiring managers in general don’t spend a lot of time with cover letters or resumes . They are going to quickly skim your application and look for qualifications that stand out. That is why addressing the cover letter correctly is important, because it can be the first step to convincing the hiring manager to keep reading.

That’s the long and short of it. Follow this process and you’ll never go wrong when it comes to addressing your cover letter.

While you should always try your best to find the hiring manager’s name and address your cover letter personally, it’s not always possible.

Just remember the other do’s and dont’s of cover letter formatting and professional letter writing. Keep your cover letter to one page with three to four paragraphs. Show enthusiasm for and knowledge of the role, emphasize your qualifications and accomplishments, and use language from the job description .

Draft a few sample cover letters before hitting “send,” and you’re certain to be called in for a job interview .

Internal Revenue Service – Cover Letter Tips

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Ryan Morris was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog who tried to make the job process a little more entertaining for all those involved. He obtained his BA and Masters from Appalachian State University.

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HR Recruiter Cover Letter Example (Free Guide)

Create an hr recruiter cover letter that lands you the interview with our free examples and writing tips. use and customize our template and land an interview today..

cover letter dear recruiting team

If you're looking to stand out from the competition and land an HR recruiter position, a great cover letter can make all the difference. Our HR Recruiter Cover Letter Guide will give you the tips and tools you need to create a compelling and effective letter that will help you get noticed and move forward in your career.

We will cover:

  • How to write a cover letter, no matter your industry or job title.
  • What to put on a cover letter to stand out.
  • The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
  • How to build a cover letter fast with our professional Cover Letter Builder .
  • What a cover letter template is, and why you should use it.

Related Cover Letter Examples

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HR Recruiter Cover Letter Sample

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Dear HR Recruiter:

I am writing to apply for the HR Recruiter position at your company. With my exceptional skills in recruitment, I am confident that I can be a great asset to your team.

I am a highly motivated HR professional with five years of recruitment experience. I have a proven track record of success in finding and hiring top talent for my employer. I am well-versed in a variety of recruitment techniques, including cold calling, sourcing, and interviewing. I have an in-depth understanding of the local job market and am adept at leveraging my network to uncover the best candidates. In addition, I am well-versed in the latest HR technology and tools, including applicant tracking systems and video interviewing platforms.

I am a people-person and a natural problem-solver. I take pride in my ability to build strong relationships with candidates and employers alike. My excellent communication skills and attention to detail allow me to effectively identify and match the right candidates with the right position. I am also experienced in providing support to the HR team on a wide range of tasks, from onboarding to employee relations.

I am confident that my extensive recruitment experience, knowledge of the local job market, and strong interpersonal skills make me the perfect candidate for the HR Recruiter position. I am excited to learn more about the role and how I can contribute to your team. I look forward to discussing my qualifications in further detail.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Why Do you Need a HR Recruiter Cover Letter?

  • A HR Recruiter cover letter is a critical component of a job application.
  • It is an opportunity to make a great first impression on the recruiter and demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate for the role.
  • A HR Recruiter cover letter should showcase your unique qualifications, the value you can bring to the organization, and why you are passionate about the role.
  • It should also reflect the company's culture and values, and clearly explain why you are the best fit for the job.
  • A well-crafted cover letter will give you an edge over other applicants and may be the difference between getting an interview and not.

A Few Important Rules To Keep In Mind

  • Address the letter directly to the hiring manager, if you know their name.
  • Explain why you are interested in the HR Recruiter position.
  • Highlight your relevant experience and qualifications.
  • Showcase your ability to effectively communicate.
  • Focus on the value you can bring to the company.
  • Keep the letter concise and to the point.
  • Proofread the letter for any errors or typos.
  • Include a call-to-action to encourage the reader to contact you.
  • End the letter with a polite and professional closing.

What's The Best Structure For HR Recruiter Cover Letters?

After creating an impressive HR Recruiter resume , the next step is crafting a compelling cover letter to accompany your job applications. It's essential to remember that your cover letter should maintain a formal tone and follow a recommended structure. But what exactly does this structure entail, and what key elements should be included in a HR Recruiter cover letter? Let's explore the guidelines and components that will make your cover letter stand out.

Key Components For HR Recruiter Cover Letters:

  • Your contact information, including the date of writing
  • The recipient's details, such as the company's name and the name of the addressee
  • A professional greeting or salutation, like "Dear Mr. Levi,"
  • An attention-grabbing opening statement to captivate the reader's interest
  • A concise paragraph explaining why you are an excellent fit for the role
  • Another paragraph highlighting why the position aligns with your career goals and aspirations
  • A closing statement that reinforces your enthusiasm and suitability for the role
  • A complimentary closing, such as "Regards" or "Sincerely," followed by your name
  • An optional postscript (P.S.) to add a brief, impactful note or mention any additional relevant information.

Cover Letter Header

A header in a cover letter should typically include the following information:

  • Your Full Name: Begin with your first and last name, written in a clear and legible format.
  • Contact Information: Include your phone number, email address, and optionally, your mailing address. Providing multiple methods of contact ensures that the hiring manager can reach you easily.
  • Date: Add the date on which you are writing the cover letter. This helps establish the timeline of your application.

It's important to place the header at the top of the cover letter, aligning it to the left or center of the page. This ensures that the reader can quickly identify your contact details and know when the cover letter was written.

Cover Letter Greeting / Salutation

A greeting in a cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • Personalized Salutation: Address the hiring manager or the specific recipient of the cover letter by their name. If the name is not mentioned in the job posting or you are unsure about the recipient's name, it's acceptable to use a general salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team."
  • Professional Tone: Maintain a formal and respectful tone throughout the greeting. Avoid using overly casual language or informal expressions.
  • Correct Spelling and Title: Double-check the spelling of the recipient's name and ensure that you use the appropriate title (e.g., Mr., Ms., Dr., or Professor) if applicable. This shows attention to detail and professionalism.

For example, a suitable greeting could be "Dear Ms. Johnson," or "Dear Hiring Manager," depending on the information available. It's important to tailor the greeting to the specific recipient to create a personalized and professional tone for your cover letter.

Cover Letter Introduction

An introduction for a cover letter should capture the reader's attention and provide a brief overview of your background and interest in the position. Here's how an effective introduction should look:

  • Opening Statement: Start with a strong opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Consider mentioning your enthusiasm for the job opportunity or any specific aspect of the company or organization that sparked your interest.
  • Brief Introduction: Provide a concise introduction of yourself and mention the specific position you are applying for. Include any relevant background information, such as your current role, educational background, or notable achievements that are directly related to the position.
  • Connection to the Company: Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organization and establish a connection between your skills and experiences with their mission, values, or industry. Showcasing your understanding and alignment with their goals helps to emphasize your fit for the role.
  • Engaging Hook: Consider including a compelling sentence or two that highlights your unique selling points or key qualifications that make you stand out from other candidates. This can be a specific accomplishment, a relevant skill, or an experience that demonstrates your value as a potential employee.
  • Transition to the Body: Conclude the introduction by smoothly transitioning to the main body of the cover letter, where you will provide more detailed information about your qualifications, experiences, and how they align with the requirements of the position.

By following these guidelines, your cover letter introduction will make a strong first impression and set the stage for the rest of your application.

Cover Letter Body

Dear Hiring Manager:

I am writing to apply for the position of HR Recruiter. I have a deep understanding of HR processes, recruiting, and talent acquisition. I am confident that I am an ideal candidate for your HR Recruiter role.

I have a successful track record working in human resources for 3 years. During this time, I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the entire recruitment process, from sourcing and interviewing to onboarding and performance management. I have also gained experience in managing HR databases, developing job descriptions, and preparing reports.

I have a proven ability to identify and attract the best talent for a company. I am adept at creating job postings, using digital and traditional channels to spread awareness of openings. Additionally, I have experience in using social media and other networking tools to source candidates.

I am a highly organized individual who can manage the recruitment process with efficiency. I am skilled at interviewing candidates to ensure they meet the requirements of the job. I am also knowledgeable about the legal aspect of hiring, so I can ensure the hiring process is conducted in compliance with the law.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources and I am currently working towards my Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. I believe my education and experience make me a great fit for the role of HR Recruiter. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my candidacy further and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely, Your Name

Complimentary Close

The conclusion and signature of a cover letter provide a final opportunity to leave a positive impression and invite further action. Here's how the conclusion and signature of a cover letter should look:

  • Summary of Interest: In the conclusion paragraph, summarize your interest in the position and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the organization or school. Emphasize the value you can bring to the role and briefly mention your key qualifications or unique selling points.
  • Appreciation and Gratitude: Express appreciation for the reader's time and consideration in reviewing your application. Thank them for the opportunity to be considered for the position and acknowledge any additional materials or documents you have included, such as references or a portfolio.
  • Call to Action: Conclude the cover letter with a clear call to action. Indicate your availability for an interview or express your interest in discussing the opportunity further. Encourage the reader to contact you to schedule a meeting or provide any additional information they may require.
  • Complimentary Closing: Choose a professional and appropriate complimentary closing to end your cover letter, such as "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or "Thank you." Ensure the closing reflects the overall tone and formality of the letter.
  • Signature: Below the complimentary closing, leave space for your handwritten signature. Sign your name in ink using a legible and professional style. If you are submitting a digital or typed cover letter, you can simply type your full name.
  • Typed Name: Beneath your signature, type your full name in a clear and readable font. This allows for easy identification and ensures clarity in case the handwritten signature is not clear.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a HR Recruiter Cover Letter

When crafting a cover letter, it's essential to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. However, there are common mistakes that can hinder your chances of making a strong impression. By being aware of these pitfalls and avoiding them, you can ensure that your cover letter effectively highlights your qualifications and stands out from the competition. In this article, we will explore some of the most common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you create a compelling and impactful introduction that captures the attention of hiring managers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, understanding these mistakes will greatly enhance your chances of success in the job application process. So, let's dive in and discover how to steer clear of these common missteps and create a standout cover letter that gets you noticed by potential employers.

  • Not tailoring the cover letter to the specific job.
  • Focusing too much on yourself instead of the company's needs.
  • Using overly informal language or slang.
  • Making spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • Going over the word limit.
  • Not citing relevant experience.
  • Mentioning salary expectations.
  • Failing to proofread the cover letter.
  • Not including contact information.

Key Takeaways For a HR Recruiter Cover Letter

  • Highlight your experience and specific skills related to the position.
  • Show your enthusiasm for the job and the organization.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the company's values and goals.
  • Express your interest in learning more about the role and the organization.
  • Explain why you are the best candidate for the job.
  • Be professional and concise in your writing.
  • Proofread your cover letter carefully for typos and grammatical errors.

How to Address a Cover Letter in 2023

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Yes, how you address your cover letter matters.

After all, this is the first thing the recruiter reads when going through your cover letter, and yes, there is a right and wrong way to do it.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to address your cover letter in such a way that you leave a positive impression on any recruiter!

  • How to address a cover letter to a recruiter? (Casual or formal)
  • What title to use when addressing the hiring manager
  • How to address a cover letter without a contact person/to a company
  • How to address a cover letter without an address
  • How to address a cover letter in an email

How to Address a Cover Letter To a Recruiter (Casual or Formal)?

As we already mentioned, the way you address your cover letter is important because it is the very first thing recruiters see upon opening your cover letter. 

A well-formulated cover letter address means that you care enough to research the company (i.e. to find the hiring manager’s name and title) and that you show attention to detail. 

As such, you should always put some research into who you’re addressing your cover letter to and do so in a formal way.  

And yes, the formal part is important too. The recruiter isn’t your best friend - you want to maintain a sense of professionalism.

If this is how you address the recruiter in your cover letter:

  • What’s up Hiring Manager
  • Hi there Hiring Team

Then you say goodbye to the job.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how can I find out whom to address my cover letter to?

That’s what we’re about to teach you:

Who Am I Addressing My Cover Letter To?

Here are some tricks to find the full name of the hiring manager: 

  • Check the job listing. The job listing may have information about the recruiter or the department doing the hiring. Make sure to read through the entire job listing, as it might not be at an entirely obvious place.
  • Check the company website. Some websites feature the names of the hiring managers or heads of departments that may go through your cover letter. Alternatively, LinkedIn is another place where you can look for this information.
  • Check the company’s LinkedIn. You can look up who works in the company you’re applying for on their LinkedIn page.
  • Ask around. Do you have friends that work for the company? They could provide you with valuable inside info.

To avoid making a bad impression, head over to our guide on cover letter mistakes to learn about what NOT to do when writing your cover letter.  

job search masterclass novoresume

Addressing a Cover Letter With a Name

By now, you have probably found the hiring manager’s full name and gender. With this information available, it’s best to address the hiring manager formally, as follows: 

  • Dear Mr. Brown,
  • Dear Miss Fitzpatrick,
  • Dear Mrs. Lockhart,
  • Dear Ms. Walters,

If, for some reason, you are unsure about the person’s title, gender, marital status, or preferred pronouns, just address them using their entire name to avoid any mistakes. For example:

  • Dear Alex Brown, 
  • Dear Blair Fitzpatrick,
  • Dear Jesse Lockhart,
  • Dear Madison Walters,

Addressing someone with a title 

Now, if you found out that the hiring manager has a professional or academic title, then it’s more appropriate to address them using that title. If, for example, the hiring manager has a Ph.D., then it’s more respectful to address them as “Dr. Last Name,” instead of “Mr. Last Name.”  

Here are some professional titles and how they’re abbreviated: 

  • A professor is Prof. 
  • A reverend is Rev. 
  • A sergeant is Sgt. 
  • Honorable is Hon. 

If, however, you are uncertain about how a title is abbreviated, then avoid it altogether. 

Here are a few examples to give you an idea: 

  • Dear Prof. Welsch,
  • Dear Director Smith,
  • Dear Rev. Owen,

Dear Dr. Leonard,

When addressing women and you don’t know their marital status, always go with Ms., because it doesn’t comment on marital status. Some women prefer not to be addressed with Miss or Mrs. even when they’re married, so sticking with Ms. is the best choice. 

Want to learn more cover letter tips ? Our guide has all you need to ace your cover letter!  

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Contact Person

It might happen that, no matter how hard you search, you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or department head that will read your cover letter.

In that case, you can address your cover letter to the department, faculty, or the company.

  • Dear Software Development Hiring Team,
  • Dear Customer Service Department Hiring Team,
  • Dear Head of the Literature Faculty,
  • Dear Director of Marketing,
  • Dear Human Resources Recruitment Team,

Alternatively, if you don’t have enough information either about the department or the team, you can opt for addressing the cover letter directly to the company’s hiring staff, as follows: 

Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team 

Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Staff

If all else fails (meaning, you don’t know the name of the department head or even the exact department, in addition to the recruiter) then you can use one of the good, old-fashioned:

Dear Hiring Manager,

...but NOT the impersonal and way outdated “To whom it may concern” and “Dear Sir/Madam.” 

Starting a cover letter can be challenging. Our guide can show you how to start a cover letter that will get you results from the get-go. 

How to Format the Company’s Address

Before you reach the salutation, you have to make sure that the header with the recipient’s contact information is formatted correctly. 

It might not be the deciding point of whether you’ll secure an interview or not, but it will cost you points if it’s off. 

So, the first thing you want to do is add your name and surname on the upper left side of the cover letter. Underneath, you should write your professional title (if applicable), your email , and your phone number . 

Now, after you’ve also added the date, you should leave one more space and add the recipient’s contact information and, most importantly, the company’s address. 

It should look something like this on your cover letter: 

how to address a cover letter

When You Can’t Find the Company’s Address 

Some companies might have several addresses listed (as per their branches, for example), or even none at all. 

Since an application that doesn’t have an address line could end up lost or misplaced, make sure you do one of the following before skipping the company’s address completely:

  • Check all your resources, (pretty much like when you were looking for the hiring manager’s name) to find the company’s address. 
  • Use the company’s headquarter address. This is sometimes easier to find, especially if the company has several branches. 
  • Use the P.O. Box number for the company. This is not as specific as an actual address line, but if all else fails, it’s still something. 

Frequently, you’ll be asked to submit your job application (including your cover letter) electronically, or by email. In those cases, you can skip the address line altogether. 

Here’s how you’d go about addressing a cover letter in an email.

How to Address an Email Cover Letter

If you’re sending your job application through email, chances are you’ll need to format your cover letter in the body of the email, or as an attachment along with your resume.

First and foremost when you’re addressing a cover letter in an email is the subject line, which should be between 6-10 words long. 

Considering that hiring managers receive countless emails daily, you want to make sure that yours is a job application immediately. And the way to do that is straight through the subject line, which should indicate exactly the position you’re applying for and your name so that it’s easier to find through the recruiter’s swarmed mailbox. 

Here’ what we mean by that:

  • Subject Line:   John Doe - Software Development Job Application 
  • Subject Line: John Doe - Job Application for Marketing Manager Position   
  • Subject Line: John Doe - Stock Manager Job Application 

Afterward, if you’re including your cover letter in the body of the email (as opposed to attaching it as a document), begin by using a salutation, add space, and start your letter. 

If someone referred you for the position, make sure to mention that in the subject line of your email as well as in your opening paragraph.  

So, let’s see how all the above plays out in practice: 

Subject Line: John Doe - Carl Jacob’s Referral for Software Developer

I was very glad that Mr. Jacobs, a long-time partner at your firm who also happens to be my mentor from college, referred me for the Software Developer position. 

Do you want your style, personality, and overall personal brand to shine through your application? With Novorésumé, you can match your cover letter with your resume to make a lasting impression! 

matching resume and cover letter

Key Takeaways 

And that’s all there is when it comes to addressing a cover letter! You should feel much more confident in doing so by now. 

Either way, let’s go over the main points we covered throughout the article: 

  • Your cover letter address should be formal and well-researched. Don’t address the hiring manager with “hey,” “what’s up,” “hi there,” or even the old-fashioned “Dear Sir/Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern.”
  • Always try to find the hiring manager’s full name and professional title through the company’s website, LinkedIn, by calling, or by asking someone who works there.
  • If you know the hiring manager’s name, go with “Dear Mr./Miss Last Name,” but if you’re unsure about their gender, marital status, or preferred pronoun, just address them using their full name.
  • If the recruiter has a professional or academic title, it’s more appropriate to address them using their title.
  • If you can’t find the contact person’s name, then address the department, faculty, or company (i.e. Dear Microsoft Hiring Team , or Dear Software Development Recruitment Team ).

Related Readings: 

  • Do I Need a Cover Letter in 2023
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter for Internship
  • How to Write a Cover Letter in 2023

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