How To Address a Cover Letter (With Examples)
As a job seeker, the power of a well-crafted cover letter cannot be underestimated - it's your chance to make a compelling case for why you're the perfect fit for your dream job! Even if a cover letter is not explicitly requested in a job posting, it's generally a good idea to include one with every job application you submit.
Addressing your cover letter correctly is a crucial aspect of crafting the perfect cover letter. Whether you're applying for an internship, a position at a large company, or any other job opportunity, knowing how to professionally address your cover letter can leave a lasting impression.
In this article, we will delve into best practices and provide tips on how to effectively address your cover letter, including avoiding common mistakes and using appropriate salutations. Read on to learn the dos and don'ts of cover letter addressing to enhance your job application and increase your chances of landing that dream job!
3 key takeaways you'll get from this article
- Cover letters should be address to a specific person by name, if possible.
- Be aware of mistakes to avoid when addressing a cover letter.
- Use Teal to quickly and easily generate multiple versions of your cover letter tailored to each job you're applying to.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a formal letter that accompanies your resume or job application. It's like an introduction to yourself and a summary of your qualifications, skills, and interest in a specific job or company. It's typically submitted along with your resume when you're applying for a job or internship.
Think of it as your opportunity to make a compelling case for why you're the perfect fit for the position. You can highlight your relevant experiences, express your enthusiasm for the job or internship and the company, and show why you're the best candidate.
If you're looking for any job-specific guidance with your letter, we recommend exploring our selection of 1,200+ cover letter examples to see relevant samples for your career.
A well-written cover letter should be tailored to the specific job and company you're applying to. It should be concise, professional, and error-free to help you stand out from other candidates.
Do I need to add company contact information in a cover letter?
In general, you do not need to include the company's contact information in your cover letter address, as it is typically listed in the job posting or application materials. It's important to follow the specific instructions and requirements provided by the employer or job listing. If the employer specifically requests that you include their contact information in your cover letter, then it's a good idea to comply with that request. Otherwise, it's generally not necessary to include the company's contact information in your cover letter.
Who should a cover letter be addressed to?
Ideally, a cover letter should be addressed to a specific person, such as the hiring manager or recruiter responsible for the position you are applying for. Addressing your cover letter to a specific individual shows that you have taken the time and effort to research and personalize your application, which can make a positive impression and demonstrate your attention to detail.
Once you have a full name, be sure to use their surname when you address a cover letter to them. Using only their first name comes across as too familiar. While you don't want to be too formal, you also want to avoid being too casual when you address a cover letter.
If the job description or application instructions do not mention a specific name, you can try to find out the name of the hiring manager or recruiter by researching the company website, LinkedIn, other professional networking platforms, or doing a Google search.
How to address a cover letter without a name
After conducting some company research, if you are unable to find a specific name to address your cover letter to, there are alternatives to ensure you address it in a professional manner.
A generic but still professional way to address your cover letter is, "Dear Hiring Manager,". It shows that you are addressing your letter to the person responsible for hiring, even if you don't know their name.
Another way to address your cover letter if you can't find a specific name is to address the specific department or team responsible for the position you're applying for. Here are a few examples:
- Dear Human Resources Director,
- Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager,
- To the Computer Science Recruitment Team,
- Dear Customer Service Department,
If you are unable to obtain the department or team names after your research, you can address your cover letter to the company:
- Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team,
- Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Staff,
Remember, it's always best to try and find a specific name to address your cover letter to, but if you are unable to do so, using a professional and appropriate alternative can still make a positive impression.
How to address a cover letter to a large company
When addressing a cover letter to a large company, it's important to follow professional etiquette and make your letter as personalized as possible, even if you do not have a specific name.
If you are unable to obtain the hiring manager's name and the department or team names after your research, you can address your cover letter to the company directly:
- Dear [Company Name] Hiring Team,
- Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Staff,
How to address an email cover letter
When it comes to addressing an email cover letter, it's important to strike a friendly yet professional tone and adhere to best practices.
The subject line of an email cover letter should be concise and informative. It should include key information, such as the specific job title you are applying for and your name. This helps the recipient quickly identify the purpose of the email.
A well-crafted, clear subject line can help your email cover letter stand out in a busy inbox and increase the chances of it being opened and read by the recipient. For example:
- Subject line: Tina Miller - Frontend Engineer Job Application
- Subject line: Job Application for Marketing Manager Position - Tina Miller
- Subject line: Tina Miller - Customer Success Job Application
Mistakes to avoid when addressing a cover letter
Addressing a cover letter is an important aspect of creating a professional and effective cover letter. Here are some best practices for addressing a cover letter:
Use the correct title
If the hiring manager has a professional or academic title like Dr., Professor, Reverend, or Captain, use that in place of a first name. You can shorten the title for brevity:
- Dear Dr. Miller,
- Dear Professor Miller,
- Dear Sgt. Miller,
Be mindful of gender
It's important to be mindful of using gender-specific titles like "Dear Mr.", "Dear Mrs.", or "Dear Ms." in your cover letter. These titles assume the recipient's gender based on their marital status, which may not be accurate or inclusive. To ensure a friendly and professional tone, it's best to avoid using these titles unless you are certain of the recipient's preferred title.
If you are addressing a cover letter to a person with a gender-neutral name, or if you are unsure of the recipient's gender, it's best to use a gender-neutral title such as "[Dear Recipient's Title] or [Dear Recipient's Name]".
In general, avoid assumptions or guesses about the recipient's gender, as it may be incorrect and come across as unprofessional or insensitive.
Use formal salutations
Using "Hello" or "Hi" to address a cover letter may come across as overly informal, and can give the impression that you are not familiar with professional etiquette. Such a casual cover letter salutation may even be perceived as disrespectful and can suggest that you are not taking the job application process seriously.
Avoid impersonal greetings
When it comes to addressing your cover letter, it's recommended to steer clear of generic salutations like "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam." These can come across as impersonal and outdated, and may not leave the best impression. Opting for a more personalized and tailored greeting shows that you've taken the time to research and are genuinely interested in the recipient, which can make a positive impact.
Other cover letter format best practices
Having a properly formatted, easy-to-read cover letter is crucial in making a positive first impression on potential employers. You can even use ChatGPT to write your cover letter. Here are a few best practices to follow:
Use a header
Including a cover letter header is vital as it provides hiring managers and recruiters with essential information upfront, including your name and contact details. It's crucial to list a professional email address to maintain a polished and credible impression. By incorporating a well-designed header, you can ensure that your cover letter looks organized and conveys your professionalism from the very beginning.
Personally address the hiring manager
Personally addressing the hiring manager in your cover letter can make a significant impact. Using the recipient's name shows that you've taken the time to research and personalize your application, which demonstrates genuine interest and attention to detail. It also helps establish a connection and creates a sense of rapport, making your cover letter more engaging and memorable.
Make sure it's an appropriate length
An appropriate length for a cover letter is typically one page or less, even if you're writing a cover letter with no experience. It's important to keep your cover letter concise and focused, highlighting your relevant qualifications and experiences. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and unnecessary details that may dilute the impact of your message.
A well-structured cover letter that gets straight to the point and effectively communicates your skills and enthusiasm for the position is more likely to capture the attention of the hiring manager and make a positive impression.
Proofread and double-check for accuracy
How to quickly write a cover letter
You can quickly and easily create a personalized cover letter in just a few clicks with Teal's AI Resume Builder and AI functionality.
- Step 1: Sign up for Teal
- Step 2: Download Teal’s Chrome extension and start bookmarking jobs
- Step 3: Build out an exhaustive career history
- Step 4: Attach your desired job description and use Teal's AI Resume Builder with AI functionality to generate multiple versions of your cover letter tailored to each specific job