Not sure who to address your cover letter to? These are the 5 worst ways to start your letter

We know that it can be quite inconvenient if there is no contact person in a vacancy. Who on earth should you address your letter or e-mail to?

There are plenty of ways to find out the name of the HR manager or your future boss in a roundabout way. For example, take a look at who posted the vacancy and find out whether they are involved in the application process.

According to career expert Amanda Augustine of the consultancy TopResume, you can write something in the letter like: “I saw you work at the office, that’s why I’m sending you my email.” This way the recipient knows why he or she is receiving an email from you.

According to career expert Amanda Augustine of the consultancy TopResume

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But if there really isn’t a name anywhere to be found, then one salutation is better than the other.

For example, you can start your email with “Dear recruiter”. That doesn’t sound great, but it’s a better choice than many other bad options.

The words you use in your letter should be professional and at the same time invite conversation, says Augustine. And an appropriate salutation is usually neither too formal nor too informal.

The words you use in your letter should be professional and

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However, this salutation has a drawback: you could put it above every letter to any company. “You don’t get originality points for this,” says Augustine. “But at least you’re not insulting anyone.”

4. ‘Dear HR employee’

According to Augustine, you can be wrong with this salutation: the person who receives your mail does not necessarily have to be an HR employee. Or maybe the reader calls himself a recruiter instead of an HR employee.

According to Augustine you can be wrong with this salutation

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3. “Hello” or “Hi”

If you only write “Hello” without a name behind it, you invite a conversation, but your email is not personal enough.

“With ‘Hi’ you are doubly wrong, because it is not personal and can also be considered colloquial,” says Augustine.

2. “Dear Sir/Madam”

This salutation is far too formal. Suppose you apply for a job at a hip startup that mainly employs people in their twenties and thirties in sweaters – it might seem a bit strange to call them Mr/Mrs.

This salutation is far too formal

And even if you’re applying to a more traditional company, the fact that this salutation isn’t really personal is quite a letdown.

1. “L.S.”

“This is way too formal,” Augustine says of this salutation.

Author: Jobly