1. Blog
  2. Cover Letter
  3. How to address a cover letter without a name? 5 expert tips
Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

How to address a cover letter without a name? 5 expert tips

11 min read
How to address a cover letter without a name? 5 expert tips
Making the right impression counts. Especially if you want the hiring manager to actually read your cover letter and invite you to interview. These tips will help you to make a positive impact when addressing your cover letter and show you’re the smart candidate they need.

Your cover letter is the key to contextualising your professional experience as the missing ingredient in the team that is hiring. But you’re sure to leave a lacklustre impression with a generic opening line. 

In fact, stats show that you have seconds to impress a hiring manager. So, if you want them to keep reading and invite you to that all-important job interview you need to make the right impression. Even if you don’t have the name of the hiring manager. We’ve helped millions of job seekers to make an impression that counts, so keep reading for our top tips on impressing your prospective employer.

Statistical insight

Seven second rule

On average employers will spend just seven seconds looking at your CV, according to Indeed. However, just 37% of hiring managers and recruiters read a CV first. That means making a top impression with your cover letter counts!

This blog post will cover:

  • Why addressing your cover letter matters
  • Tips on how to address cover letter without a name
  • How to find the addressee’s name for your cover letter
  • Mistakes to avoid when addressing a cover letter without a name

Why does addressing your cover letter matter?

Unfortunately, a cover letter without a name or a smart alternative just won’t cut it. Your overall goal when addressing a cover letter is to sound personable and enthusiastic. In most cases when you have to address a cover letter without a name, this will mean putting your head down to do some extra research. This is a great way to make a professional first impression and stand out from other candidates.

Perhaps your research will uncover the name of the hiring manager or you’ll follow one of our other top tips to address a cover letter without a name. Either way, going that extra mile shows the hiring manager that you are a creative problem solver. You’re someone who’s switched on and will use your initiative. Now that’s someone most hiring managers will want on their team.

Expert tip

Forbes has listed a variety of soft skills that are just as important to hiring managers as the experience and qualifications a candidate possesses. 

Here are some of the desirable, innate attributes that hiring managers want and you can show by spending those extra minutes on addressing your cover letter in the right way:

  • Professionalism and communication skills
  • Adaptability, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities
  • Enthusiasm and motivation

5 tips on how to address a cover letter without a name

There are still strategic ways you can address your cover letter without a name. Here are some of our favourite solutions that will still show you as a smart and proactive candidate.

Use the name of the team that’s hiring

“Dear Global Enterprises marketing team”

When you truly cannot pinpoint an individual to address your letter to through your research, you should still know which team is hiring. This solution shows that you have gone to the trouble of personalising your cover letter.

Address the HR or hiring team directly

“Dear Global Enterprises hiring team”

Perhaps the job you’re applying to doesn’t fall under a specific team or the company is too small to be split into teams and departments. In that case, this solution could provide a nice alternative. 

Just say hello

“Hello” or “Good afternoon”

While we would not recommend this solution for a formal cover letter document, if you are writing an email cover letter then a simple “hello” or similar could suffice. That’s because email etiquette tends to be a little more casual than written letters. However, use your research on the company to determine whether or not this will be a good solution for their company culture.

Address the job poster

If the job you’re applying to is on a platform where you can see who posted it, take a moment to find out who they are. On platforms such as LinkedIn you will likely be able to find out their full name. Or there may be an email address listed on the job ad to contact for any questions. 

From there you will be able to find out more about the person who posted the job or the person behind the listed email address. You can do this by searching for them on LinkedIn, Google, or similar. Your goal is to find out who they are and what their role is in the company. Through this research you can determine whether or not it would be appropriate to address the cover letter to them.

Research a specific name

If you’ve found the head of your prospective department on LinkedIn or the company website, you could address your cover letter to them. Even if you’re not 100% sure that it’s the name of the top decision maker in the hiring process, this could be a strategic approach to showing you know how to do your research. 

Depending on the size of the company, there is always the risk that the individual you identified will actually have limited contact with the successful candidate and they have nothing to do with the hiring process for the role.

How to address a cover letter without a name?
How to address a cover letter without a name?

How to find the addressee’s name for your cover letter

Our list of top tips which assume you don’t have the name of the person you’re addressing the cover letter to. So first make sure you’ve made a solid attempt at determining someone who will be reading your cover letter.

Before you assume that it’s impossible to find their name, here are some quick tips on researching who they are. The HR department of companies big enough to have one will almost certainly be involved in the hiring of new team members. However, a safe bet is to search for the person who would be your new line manager. Here are some ways you can find out who that would be:

  • See if the employer has a team page on their website where you can find out who is in charge of the team you’re applying to join.
  • Search the employees of the company of LinkedIn to understand who has the role.
  • Look for any clues as to who has posted the job advertisement such as a contact email address, or the name of the person who posted the job ad.
Expert tip

Don’t get so caught up on addressing your cover letter that you forget to write a compelling opening paragraph. Here are some of our top tips on how to start a cover letter.

Mistakes to avoid

To whom it may concern

While this may seem like a fail-safe, cover-all term, this one is unlikely to cut it. As well as sounding impersonal, it’s a missed opportunity to be more specific about who you’re writing to. This could risk making you look like a lazy candidate.

Gender specific

Unless you have confirmation of the gender of the hiring manager or your new potential boss, stay away from any language that assumes which gender they are. That means no Mr/Miss/Mrs, or sir/madam. You can opt for gender neutral language such as “they” and some of the other tips we have suggested above.

Dear hiring manager

A cover letter without a name isn’t ideal. But “Dear hiring manager” falls into the same pitfalls as “to whom it may concern”. It makes it look like you’ve bothered to find out who it concerns. It goes without saying that every job has a hiring manager, so addressing your letter to such a generic job title could come across as lazy.

Using the wrong title

Even if you have the name of the hiring manager, you could accidentally cause offence by using the wrong title. Demoting someone from their doctor status or assuming their marital status by opting for “Miss” or “Mrs.” could put you in hot water. A fail-safe option is to do without the titles all together and address the cover letter to the person’s full name.

Key Takeaways

  1. Your overall goal is always to come across as personable and someone who can go the extra mile.
  2. Do your research but consider the company’s culture when deciding on the best strategic approach to address your cover letter.
  3. Don’t lose the forest for the trees. Addressing your cover letter in a personable way is important, but it’s just one line of the rest of your cover letter.
Build your CV in 15 minutes
Build your CV in 15 minutes
Use professional field-tested CV templates that follow the exact ‘CV rules’ employers look for.
Create My CV
Share this article
Keep reading
Career12 min read
The complete guide to organisational skills + examples
The Complete Guide to Organisational Skills + Examples
Career10 min read
How to introduce yourself professionally + examples
How to introduce yourself professionally + examples
CV Help18 min read
Communication skills at work: examples to include on your CV
Communication skills at work: examples to include on your CV
CV Help11 min read
How to choose the best font for Your CV: The complete guide
How to choose the best font for Your CV: The complete guide
Browse All
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and perform analytics and marketing. By using our website, you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.
Accept Cookies