If you are looking to apply for a job vacancy, it is very important to understand how you will address your cover letter. Addressing your cover letter correctly will give you a higher chance of securing the position you apply for. It is important to understand the requirements of the job listed and the hiring personnel that you are addressing in the letter. Sometimes the hiring personnel gives their names and details while sometimes they don’t.
It is therefore important for you to know how to address your cover letter in both situations.
How to address a cover letter without a name
Most job postings will give the company’s postal address and email address for applicants but no name or address. In such a situation, an applicant has an option of doing research to ensure they know the specific name of the person that they will address the letter to. However, if you are unable to find out the specific name of who to address the cover letter to, a general title address will be the most convenient way to go about it. For instance, you could address the letter to;
the Hiring manager
the Human Resource Manager or
the Department head of the job you want.
Another way is to leave the salutation and go directly to the first paragraph. This normally avoids awkward situations such as directing a cover letter to a completely wrong office or person.
A survey report by Saddleback College states that 40% of employers preferred applicants to use;
‘Dear Hiring Manager’
for salutation while 27% preferred
‘ To whom it may concern’
17% would go for
‘ Dear Sir/ Madam’
‘Dear Human Resource Director’
and 8% for leaving it blank.
It is therefore important to choose the most convenient form of salutation in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
How to address a cover letter with a name
You may be lucky enough if a job listing has included the specific name of the person to whom the cover letter should be addressed. Knowing the hiring manager’s name is the best tip for addressing a cover letter. However, the challenge comes in if the name does not specify the gender.
It is very common in the current world for people to have names that are believed to be of the opposite gender. There are even names that are used by both genders. If as an applicant you find yourself in such a situation, then it is crucial that you do more research or inquire from the company regarding the specific gender of the person to who the letter is being addressed to. If this doesn’t happen then you could include the name given without mentioning a gender title. For instance;
‘ Dear Denise Thompson’.
This gives you a better chance of avoiding ambiguity.
Many a time an applicant knows the name and the gender of the hiring manager but they are not aware of the title the person holds. Getting the title right gives you an additional point as this makes them aware that the addressed to them. They are likely to read the cover letter if the title is right. It is therefore important to find out the specific titles that they hold, be it professional like;
‘Dr. Prof. Rev. Sgt.’
‘Mr. Mrs. Miss’
For a female addressee, use ‘Ms.’ unless you are certain of their marital status or their title preference.
How to address an email cover letter
- When writing an email cover letter for a job application, it is important to always remember that you are in competition with other applicants. It is therefore important that your cover letter is very impressive. This gives you a chance to be invited to an interview. How you address your letter will determine whether or not you stand that chance.
- It is very important that you include the subject line in your email cover letter. Without the subject, it is highly probable that the hiring personnel will ignore or even delete your email. The subject line makes it easier for the hiring personnel to know which position you are applying for.
- You also need to address the letter correctly. If possible use the correct title so that your email cover letter lands on the correct hiring office. You can always research more to ensure you get the titles correct.
- The most crucial part of your email cover letter is the body as it explains why you are the person they are looking for. It is therefore important that you provide all the information that is required by the company. You should also ensure that the information you give can be proved right by the resume.
- In concluding your email cover letter, mention any attachments that accompany your letter, be it a resume or other required documents. Also, explain any other issues required and thank them for the chance.
- Your email signature marks the end of your letter. Mention your full name and contact if you had not given that before.
Sample Email Cover Letter
Jane Marcel12 Mark Avenue
February 9, 2019
39 Main Street
Dear Ms. Thompson,
Following a vacancy advert on your company website, www.nbacompanies.com, I hereby apply for the position of an Assistant Manager.
I am a young lady who has studied and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I have four years of working experience from two different companies. I am an honest and hardworking person who follows and gives orders very well. I have received recognition for three different successful projects and look forward to achieving more at your company.
I have constantly followed on your recent projects and I believe that this is my best chance of doing better in this field of work.
Attached to this is my resume as required. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.