The "hiring manager" is generally the actual person to whom one will report if hired. You may not have much luck sussing out that person, so you will likely have to address your cover letter to HR. Not only that, the actual hiring manager may simply kick your letter downstairs to HR (who will kick it back up to him/her if your quals are attractive). Yeah, it's stupid.
IMO using "Dear Human Resources" or "Dear XYZ Company" does not stand out. It's really better, again, IMO, to address a cover letter to a person by name, and especially considering the name can be found with little effort.
Look for the name of the director of HR on the company's website. Or search LinkedIn. Or simply call the company and ask the receptionist for the name of the person who receives resumes. Verify the spelling of the person's name and his/her title. Then have at it with your cover letter.
For a large company the actual director of HR may never see your letter. FWIW at least you will know you will have properly directed your letter to a person by name.
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?
Related: 11 Tips For Creating Compelling Cover Letters
Here’s today’s Q&A quick tip.
First, Track Down The Name
Obviously, it’s ideal to use the hiring manager’s name in the 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?
“That person may not be the person that’s hiring, and they could easily throw [your cover letter] in the trash,” said J.T. O’Donnell in a recent episode of Career Q&A. “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 post was originally published at an earlier date.
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