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Ask Savvy: Who Should I Address My Cover Letter To?


Dear Savvy,

I am writing a cover letter to a position I am dying to get and therefore, wanting everything to be perfect. Here is my dilemma: I know both the full names of the recruiter and the hiring manager. Whose name should I use when addressing the cover letter?

In addition to that, what else should I do to let them know that I would love, love, love to get the job and will be the most hard-working employee they have ever hired? I know about this position via the company's external career website but I will have somebody who is working for the company forward my résumé and make the introduction. What else can I do?

See my answer when you read more.

Unless you're planning on directing a separate cover letter to each party, you should address your letter to the hiring manager. That is the person in charge of filling the position you're vying for and has the hiring power. You're starting off on the right foot by addressing your letter to a specific individual instead of relying on the old "To Whom It May Concern" approach.

Make a memorable first impression by composing a cover letter that packs a punch. The purpose of your cover letter is to pique the prospective employer's interest and let them know why you're such a catch. Place your strengths in the context of what you can do for the company and not why you deserve the position. It's about which of your qualities and experiences can translate well into the space they have open, and how you can go above and beyond to fill that gap.

Show that you are enthusiastic but don't overdo it to the point of feeling contrived, demonstrate your knowledge of the company and what it represents, and show how you would fit their needs. And just a friendly reminder — because we all make mistakes — before you send your cover letter to your connection at the company, triple check your spelling and grammar, and ask a couple of trustworthy friends to review it for errors.

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