What if I do not know the hiring managers name?

Posted in Career Blog

There are a number of questions that come up for applicants creating a cover letter for a specific job or perhaps, a specific company. How long should it be? What information should be included? What is the correct format? If you have ever written a cover letter-and done so correctly-you know, more than anything the details make all the difference. So, a most common question in cover letter writing is what if I don’t know the hiring manager’s name? The answer to this topic is many fold. As an applicant, perhaps, you did not know that you should always address the letter to a person-not a generic Dear Sirs or To Whom It May Concern. In this discussion, we explain why these addresses will not get you the attention you deserve, and also what to do when a contact is not known.
Ok, so you are like many, you address your cover letters to the general Dear Sirs or the like; and have never known this was a problem. If a job posting gives no contact name or hiring manager to address your application to, how are you to know they want a specific address? Though it may well be that you will get an interview with this generic approach, you are more likely to get attention for your application if you locate and use a name for your letter. Why? It shows that you are not just sending out applications to anyone who is hiring, and that have taken the time to find out who to address your cover letter to-at that company. It shows you going the extra mile, offering enthusiasm, as well as a take charge attitude.
This said, what do you do when there is no contact name to address your application to? How do you locate this information, as recommended above? A great place to start is by calling the human resources department, introducing yourself and the position you are applying to, and inquiring to what hiring manager or contact you should address your application. If the company does not have a human resources department, you can ask the receptionist who the hiring manager is, and they can usually tell you who this is. Make sure to ask for the correct spelling; because the last thing you want to do is to go through the legwork of finding out the identity, and then spelling their name wrong. This is shown in the career world as a sign of disrespect. If it is difficult to get in touch with someone at the company that can give you this information, reference the Internet, phone book, and library for the names of hiring managers.

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