To Whom Should I Address The Cover Letter?

Dear Sir/Madam?  Oh, gosh, when was the last time someone called you ‘madam’?  Or the last time you called someone ‘sir’?  This screams “form letter”.  Form letters, of course, are those letters that are sent to everyone on a mailing list.  Sure, you can use mail merge and insert someone’s name to make it look individualized; but judging by the content of the letter you can spot a form letter a mile away. 

How do you feel when someone calls you by name?  You walk into a room and someone says “Hey, Kelly, nice to see you”. It makes you feel good. Plain and simple. The same holds true for mail (electronic or hard copy).   We are more apt to impress the reader if we use their name. 

So how do we find out the name of the person most likely to read our cover letters?  Well, it can be done.  Maybe not easily, maybe not quickly, but with some resourcefulness, you can find out to whom to address your cover letter.  I know what you’re thinking….she said ‘whom’….I’m going to address it to ‘whom it may concern’.  No!  That’s just as bad as Dear Sir/Madam.

With the vast information available at our fingertips there’s little excuse for not doing some basic research on a company.  The first step in that research is to find out who to send the letter to.  Now, even though we want to Google everything, let’s step back now and take a less modern approach.  Let’s call the company. Gasp! What? Call them?  Yes, dust off that phone and call the number in the ad. If the number isn’t included in the ad, check . Call the number and politely and confidently ask to whom should you address your cover letter and application.  Immediately, you’ve made a first impression with the gatekeeper of the company.  Good for you! 

If you’re nervous about making that phone call because you don’t know what to say, try this:

“Hi.  My name is Kelly and I’m applying for the executive assistant position.  I’d really like to send my application directly to the person who will be reading it.  Would you tell me their name please?”


“Hi. My name is Kelly and I’m applying for the executive assistant position.  I am mailing my resume today, can you please give me the proper spelling of the person to whom it should be sent?”

What have you got to lose when it comes to showcasing your professionalism, telephone manners, resourcefulness, and initiative?  Just another way of putting your name in the minds of those who are thinking about hiring.

Good get ’em!

Published in: on January 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hello Kelly!

    Great articles 🙂 I’ve been in the process of fixing up the cover letter, hopefully it is will be ok 🙂

    Have a great evening and take care.

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