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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


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.


Join The Conversation
Syed2606571 Syed2606571 5 years
How to write Career Gap in Cover letter ? any help would be much appreciated.   I have browsed some cover letter websites like but didn't fine appropriate help.
syed2011 syed2011 6 years
I was little bit confused when i was writing my First cover letters, I took help from various books and websites, asked questions in forums..finally i came to know that if you write by yourself then only you can describe well. online cover letters sites is just for Reference. like and one more already mentioned above.
Nickey Nickey 9 years
Thank you the link Black Velveteen! That site has some great samples that gave me way more guidance than the career center at my school has. Coverletters make me so nervous that I've probably missed out on some opportunities in the past because I procrastinate on things that make me nervous.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I always recommend calling the company and asking who's receiving resumes for the position. It always bugs me when I get "Dear hiring manager" when a simple Google search would have revealed my name, you know? Maybe I am just touchy.
Black-Velveteen Black-Velveteen 9 years
Cover letter stress me out to. If the name is not given, I usually address the person as 'Hiring Manager' or 'Dear Sir or Madam'. Also, this site has helped me out big time:
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
I hate cover letters.
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
Good call on the "Dear Sir or Madam," meike! It's still old fashioned and professional minus the To Whom it May Concern awkwardnes... I hate cover letters!!!
Meike Meike 9 years
It depends. If you do enough research on certain companies, it is possible to find a name of the prospective supervisor (the person most likely to interview you and hire you) and address it to him or her. If not, I had a tendency to use "Dear Sir or Madam" in the past. I find this to be more polite, personal, and friendly.
grrlyrebel grrlyrebel 9 years
I was recently hired for my DREAM job and one things that I believe helped me was just dropping by and handing the employer a cover letter/resume, and introducing myself so that they could actually put a face with a name. It only took about 15 minutes but they called me for an interview a couple of days later. Also, my cover letter spent less time reiterating my resume and more time talking about why I am passionate about international education (which is what my new position deals with) in addition to qualifications. It took a lot of soul searching to the point of frustration at times ("just gimme the job already!") but I'm living proof that dedication to finding a job you really want and persistence will eventually pay off!
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 9 years
I used to think that avoiding "To who it may concern" was key. But now I don't shy away from it so much. I applied to a company at one time and I knew their Hiring Manager so I used her name on the cover letter. Little did I know that during the submission of my resume she was being let go from the company and replaced. The new HR manager never took the time to look at it due to the fact that it had the old HR's name on it and she assumed that it was already taken care of. By luck of chance I had gotten a referral directly to the department manager and got the job. Little did they know I had been trying (and emailing the nonexistant HR person) for over five months to get in touch with them.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
ditto, museumfromnowhere--the more cover letter tips, the better! i find them so stressful to write.
Kate14909563 Kate14909563 9 years
ugh, cover letters are the most stressful part for me for some reason. I will take any tips I can get!
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