How to Properly Address the Recipient on Your Cover Letter

By: The Resume Chick

Cover letters for resumes are extremely important, especially how you address the recipient.  Remember that you are writing someone who is supposed to interview you and may hold the decision on whether to call you in or not.

  1. Specify the name of the recipient.  Don’t ever use To whom it may concern. Similarly, Dear Sir or Madam is simply outdated.  Do your homework and identify the specific person to whom you should address the letter.  This gives an impression that you exerted a big effort to get your facts right, and project an image that you are willing to go the extra mile. That alone is a very big plus.


  1. Indicate the appropriate designation of the addressee. It’s smart to also write down the specific designation of the person you are writing to.  This shows you persevered enough to get more information and you’re eager to know more about your prospective interviewer/employer.


  1. Address the recipient properly. Use Sir/Miss/Madam/Hon./His Excellency or any other appropriate title when you address the recipient.   Some recipients are very sensitive about that. Cover letters should appear as professional and as courteous as possible.  Write the person’s whole name.  A word of caution though; some recipients have names that are not gender-specific.  You wouldn’t want to call someone Mr. when they are a Ms., nor do you want to call someone Mrs. when they are a Ms.  If you are not sure, a quick phone to the company call can eliminate all doubt. 


  1. Address a group of individuals. In spite of your valiant efforts, if you cannot find a direct contact or the specific name of your recipeint, you can try a safe salutation such as Dear Human Resources, or Dear Hiring Committee.


Remember, you want to create a good first impression.  A little effort on your cover letter might just lead you to the sweet smell of success (getting interviewed, that is…or better still, getting hired!).  Always bear in mind that the one reading your cover letter might just be your next boss, and the way you address him /her in your letter is the key that can open doors for you.

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About the Author:

Over the past 10 years, Karen has assisted thousands of job seekers by providing them with a resume that brought them the confidence and professionalism they needed to get an interview. After writing for several years, Karen recognized the need for something different. Utilizing a creative edge, she helps make job hunting easier with her company,, as an affordable way to get top notch, custom resumes in a jiffy. Her clients have raved about their new competitive edge, more interviews and better job offers and salary increases thanks to her handiwork. Karen welcomes any inquiries for interviews and career assistance opportunities where she can lend her voice on the how-to’s on writing a resume that works and getting the interview.

You can get more tips from her blog or simply follow her amusing factoids, discussions and articles on her Twitter. Don’t be fooled by impostor Chicks! And for goodness sake, when a groovy resume is what you want… Resume Chick-It!

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One Response to How to Properly Address the Recipient on Your Cover Letter

  1. Very inspiring job seeking information! Cover letter is very crucial in getting an interview.

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