Resumes & Cover Letters

FAQ: Should You Use "Dear Hiring Manager" on a Cover Letter?

July 27, 2021

Your cover letter is the first form of communication that expresses your interest in a position. The greeting you use to open your letter demonstrates your professionalism and ensures your letter reaches the right person. Knowing what salutation to use, depending on the information you have available, can help you create a cover letter that leads to an interview. In this article, we discuss the when to use "Dear Hiring Manager" on a cover letter, discuss alternate greetings and offer tips on how to find hiring manager information.

What is "Dear Hiring Manager" on a cover letter?

"Dear Hiring Manager" is a common way to address a cover letter, especially when you don't know who will receive the letter. Addressing your cover letter properly is important because it may be the first form of communication that you have with the hiring manager. This letter, including your greeting, provides the company with the first impression of each candidate's communication style and level of professionalism.

Related: What Is a Cover Letter?

When do I use "Dear Hiring Manager" on a cover letter?

Addressing a cover letter to the hiring manager is appropriate in most situations. It's always better to include a generic greeting, like "Dear Hiring Manager," if you don't know the name of the hiring manager. It's also preferable to use if you're not sure of the accuracy of the hiring manager's information.

Using this salutation may be less personable than finding the hiring manager's first name, but it's more professional than beginning a cover letter with a simple "Hello." Using "Dear Hiring Manager" may be appropriate in any of the following situations:

  • When you don't know the hiring manager's name
  • When you're unsure who's responsible for hiring
  • When there's a team managing the hiring
  • When you've spoken to many individuals during the hiring process
  • When you're unaware of the hiring employee's gender or position

If the job listing includes the first name of the hiring manager, it may be better to include that instead. Or, if you can locate the name of the hiring manager using public information, it can demonstrate your dedication to the position along with your research skills.

Related: Hiring Manager vs. Recruiter: What's the Difference?

Why is addressing your cover letter important?

Here are a few of the most important reasons it's important to consider who to address in your cover letter:

  • To ensure your cover letter reaches the right person
  • To demonstrate your interest in the position
  • To demonstrate your professionalism
  • To demonstrate your written communication skills
  • To capture the attention of the hiring manager

How else can I begin a cover letter?

If you're unable to find the name of the hiring manager and you don't want to use "Dear Hiring Manager," here are a few alternatives that you may consider:

  • Dear Recruiter or Recruiting Manager: Addressing your cover letter to a recruiter is appropriate if you know a recruiter is handling the hiring process. However, if you know their name, it may be more appropriate to use that instead.

  • Dear HR Manager: Sometimes, you may address a cover letter to the HR manager if you know they're in charge of hiring. Again, it's best to only use this salutation if you cannot find their name.

  • Dear Department Manager: If you know that a specific department manager is hiring for the position, then this greeting may be appropriate.

  • Dear hiring team: It may be more appropriate to address your letter to a team if more than one person is responsible for hiring. Even if you know the names of everyone, listing them can be awkward and take up too much space.

  • Good afternoon: "Good afternoon," or any other variation, may be appropriate for less casual communications. This may occur after you've already met with the hiring team and you're following up with questions or on your resume.

  • To whom it may concern: "To whom it may concern" may also be an option if you're unsure of the name of the person doing the hiring or the position they hold.

  • Dear [Name]: If you know the name of the person responsible for hiring, it's appropriate to list their name or title. When listing a name, use a formal greeting.

  • Dear [Credential]: You may also use the professional credentials of the hiring person if you know what they are. This includes titles like Dr. and Professor.

Related: Q&A: Should You Include a Cover Letter?

How can I personalize a cover letter using "Dear Hiring Manager?"

Even if you're unable to locate the hiring manager's name, there are ways you can personalize your letter and help it get noticed:

  • Personalize the rest of your cover letter. You can personalize the rest of your cover letter to better highlight your professional skills. This includes discussing specific points that the job description may include and work experiences that relate to the duties of the position.

  • Sign the letter with your professional name. Conclude your cover letter by signing your professional name. This includes any credentials or licenses that you hold.

  • Use a clear subject line. Even if you must use a generic dear hiring greeting, you can highlight your cover letter by writing a clear, descriptive subject line.

  • Use a professional email address. If you're submitting your cover letter and resume online, be sure to use a professional email address.

  • Keep trying to find the hiring manager's name: To personalize your cover letter, it's important to make every effort to find the hiring manager's name.

Related: How To Address a Cover Letter (With Examples)

How can I find information on the hiring manager?

If you prefer to address your cover letter to the hiring manager, there are a few ways that you can find this information, including:

  • Job listing: Check the job listing, as the company sometimes includes information on who the person may report to or who is responsible for hiring for the open position.

  • Company website: If you know the hiring employee's position, you may find their name on the company website on the About Us or team profile page.

  • Ask a colleague: If you are applying for a position with the recommendation of a colleague, you may find information about the hiring manager from them.

  • Contact the company: You may learn the hiring manager's name by calling the company and asking. Inform them you want to submit a resume and would like the hiring manager's name.

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