Addressing Your Cover Letters: Do You Come Across as 19th Century?

Addressing Your Cover Letters- Do You Come Across as 19th Century_.jpg

We all know that when submitting your executive resume and cover letter for an executive position opening, it is important if at all possible to address it to a specific, named person within the company. If you are responding to a blind, recruiter-posted opening (the company with the position is not revealed), you will want to address a specific person within the recruiting firm that has the assignment.

Oftentimes a job posting will not include a name, so it is necessary to do some research. Ways in which you can ferret out a contact name include:

  • Google the company for third party information or articles about them

  • Visit their corporate website

  • Call the company during business hours and just ask who is in charge of the department you would be working with

  • Call the company after business hours to see what you can glean from their automated voice mail system

  • Search LinkedIn and leverage your contacts there to get a name

  • Consult sites and databases that specialize in company information (e.g., CareerBeam, GlassDoor, Vault, Hoovers, etc.)

But what can you do if accessing all of those resources does not yield a person to whom you can address your submission?

In this case, you will have to use a generic salutation. Possible choices would be “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Hiring Executive.” Other acceptable greetings are “Good Morning” or perhaps “Good Day”–especially appropriate if you hail from Australia ;-). If you want to brand yourself as stilted and “nineteenth century,” address your letter “Dear Sir or Madam” or even worse, “To Whom It May Concern”!