How to use "to whom it may concern" (with examples

“To Whom It May Concern” is not the best way to lớn open a cover letter. We’ve compiled a các mục of five sầu better alternatives, so you can start your cover letter off strong and land more interviews.

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Should I Use “To Whom It May Concern”?

You shouldn’t put “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter unless you have no other choice. But if you must, make sure you know how to do it properly.

When you apply for a job, your goal is lớn impress the hiring manager và get called in for an interview.

Using “To Whom It May Concern” in your cover letter won’t help you achieve this goal. Such wording shows you didn’t spkết thúc any time researching the specifics of the position, or even who you should address your cover letter lớn.

What about “Dear Sir or Madam”?

Similar khổng lồ including “To Whom It May Concern” in your letter, you shouldn’t use “Dear Sir or Madam.”

Such a greeting sounds out of place in the 21st century. If you take some time looking into the job opening, you can find an option more targeted toward the person receiving your application.

“To Whom It May Concern” Alternatives

Show you’ve put some effort into your application by using a more personalized greeting than “To Whom It May Concern”. Here are five sầu better alternatives:

1. Dear ,

Target your cover letter with a name.

The most suitable greeting on a cover letter is “Dear” followed by the recipient’s title and last name.

So if you find out that the hiring manager’s name is “Jake Lopez,” you can write “Dear Mr. Lopez,” at the top of your letter.

Mrs., Miss, or Ms.?

If the hiring manager is a woman, use “Ms.” as her title. You can use “Mrs.” or “Miss” if you know she prefers these titles. For example, if the job posting states “Please address all job applications to Miss Courtney Rodham”, you can follow these preferences.

Dear Miss Rodyêu thích,

How lớn Handle Ambiguous Names

The gender-neutral title “Mx.” is also becoming more popular for addressing non-binary individuals and people with unisex names, lượt thích “Jay Winter.”

Dear Mx. Winter,

However, it’s still rare, so only use it if you know the recipient prefers it. Otherwise they might think it’s a typo.

Look up the company you’re applying khổng lồ on LinkedIn. You can find a menu of the staff who work there. Then it’s a simple matter of matching the job title listed on the job posting khổng lồ the person holding it on LinkedIn.

2. Dear ,

Another option for dealing with unisex names like “Jay Winter” is just khổng lồ use “Dear” và their full name. If you use the wrong gender title, you might offend them — so it’s best khổng lồ avoid titles altogether in such cases.

Dear Jay Winter,

This is also a good option if you’re writing khổng lồ someone who identifies as a third gender or non-binary.

Foreign Names

In some countries, including Japan, Taiwan, & Hungary, the last name comes first. If you’re unsure which name is someone’s last name, it’s best khổng lồ use their full name in the greeting.

Dear Liao Shou-zheng,

Traông chồng down people’s names on the company website. These typically include the names of directors và department heads — the people who usually read applications.

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3. Dear ,

If you’re struggling to lớn find out the right person’s name, you might be able khổng lồ get away with using their job title instead:

Dear Office Manager,

Look for the hiring manager’s specific job title on the listing, under the “Reports to:” heading:

Job listings often provide information key to addressing your cover letter.

While it’s not as personal as using the individual’s own name, using their title shows that you’re aware of who you’d be reporting lớn, & that you’ve sầu put the effort into looking up that information.

If you struggle lớn find the name of the hiring manager online, try calling the company. Ask whoever answers whom you should address your cover letter khổng lồ.

4. Dear Head,

If all else fails, you might need lớn resort khổng lồ addressing your cover letter khổng lồ the head of the department you’d be working in:

Dear Accounting Department Head,

If you can’t find the name of the department, make an educated guess. For example, an accountant applicant would address their cover letter lớn the “Accounting Department Head” or “Head of Accounting.”

Use the Hunter website ứng dụng lớn find the names and job titles of employees associated with a company website.

5. Dear Hiring Manager,

Sometimes you won’t be able to lớn find any details about anything related to the job listing online.

For example, if you’re applying to lớn a large Fortune 500 company, it might be unclear which department you have to apply khổng lồ, so you’ll need lớn address your cover letter khổng lồ the hiring manager, like so:

Dear Hiring Manager,

When to Use “To Whom It May Concern”

“To Whom It May Concern” is OK when you’re not trying to lớn impress the reader of the letter or email.

For example, you’re sending out a letter of complaint because you’re unhappy about the service you’ve sầu received, or one of your colleagues has asked you to lớn provide a letter of recommendation for them.

“To Whom It May Concern” is particularly effective sầu when used on letters of complaint.

How khổng lồ Write “To Whom it May Concern”

As we said, “To Whom It May Concern” shouldn’t be used on a cover letter. However, if you’re going khổng lồ use it, use it correctly.

There’s a lot of confusion aước ao job seekers about how to lớn present this controversial opener.

To clear things up, when writing “To Whom It May Concern”, capitalization is key. All five words are typically capitalized.

When starting a cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern,” the format is up to you. You can either use a colon, which is the traditional format:

To Whom It May Concern:

Or you can use a comma:

To Whom It May Concern,

Either way, rethành viên that “To Whom It May Concern” is a traditional, formal opening, so don’t get creative & use a reworked version like “To Whomever This May Concern,” or “To Whom This May Concern.” These variations will make you look lượt thích you don’t underst& how lớn write a cover letter properly.

A successful cover letter briefly sums up why the hiring manager should hire you. Look at some short cover letter examples lớn see how you can concisely explain why you should be hired.


Now that you know what to use instead of “To Whom It May Concern,” it’s time khổng lồ start writing your cover letter.

We have sầu industry-specific cover letter examples you can download for free. Simply tailor them to your own situation, or use them as inspiration when you write your own.

If you’re pressed for time, use our không lấy phí cover letter builder lớn create a cover letter in just five sầu minutes.