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How to Address a Cover Letter


When writing a cover letter to accompany a professional resume, it is essential to follow the etiquette rules governing the drafting of such documents. This includes addressing the cover letter to the right individual. Failure to do so could cause the application to be overlooked, or worse, give the hiring manager the wrong impression and cause your application to be rejected.

Addressing a Specific Person

Whenever possible, it is ideal to address your cover letter to an individual directly. In many cases, this person will likely be the individual tasked with filling the position in question. Some job postings will include the name of the contact person, making it easier to determine which name should accompany the cover letter.

Finding the Hiring Officer’s Name

When a job posting does not directly identify the hiring manager, but instead simply asks applicants to submit their materials to an email address or department, it is often advisable to research the structure of the company. Many businesses maintain websites that clearly outline the internal staff structure of the organization, including the name of the human resources manager. Addressing a letter to this person will show your motivation and interest in a particular vacancy.

When all else fails, cover letters can simply be addressed to the “human resource officer” or “hiring manager.” Although this is not ideal, it may be necessary in some instances. By correctly addressing the letter, you can increase the chances that your application will reach the right person and make a good impression.



5 Ways to Address a Cover Letter besides ‘To Whom It May Concern'” MSN Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2013. <>.

To Whom Do I Address My Letter.” Purdue Online Writing Lab. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

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