December 23, 2013, 11:45 AM — It's Tip No. 1 for cover letters: Address it to the hiring manager.
Careerealism's Ariella Coombs says you can take the direct approach and call the company if you don't know the name.
"Simply call up the company and say, 'Hi, my name is ____ and I’m applying for a position at your company. Would it be possible for me to get the name of the hiring manager so I can address him or her in my cover letter?'" she notes.
That's all well and good, but what if you don't have a contact on the inside to unearth it and your detective work turns up nothing?
Do not despair and do not drag out "To Whom It May Concern," Coombs advises.
"If the hiring manager’s name is nowhere to be found and the company is unwilling to give you his or her name, you should use 'Dear Hiring Team' in your cover letter salutation," she says. "By addressing your cover letter to the hiring team, you increase your chances of getting it in front of the right pair of eyes."
Plus, "Dear Hiring Team" may score you more points than the generic concerned whoms.
- It's novel.
- It shows you put some effort and forethought into the greeting.
- It highlights the fact you pay attention to detail.