How to Address a Cover Letter [with Examples]

Learn how to address a cover letter properly.

How to Address a Cover Letter

July 16th, 2020

The beginning of a cover letter typically includes a salutation to the person who will be reading it—most likely the hiring manager. This important first line, written in the proper format, makes a positive first impression and can help you land an interview with a potential employer.

Cover Letter Address Template

Download a free cover letter address template in MS Word format.

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Cover Letter Address Template:

[Full Name]

[Email Address]

[Contact Number]

[LinkedIn Profile/website link]


[Name of the Company or Institution receiving your cover letter]

[Subject Line]

[Cover letter body.]


[Insert name]

How to Address a Cover Letter:

How to address a cover letter without a name.

When you don't know the name of the hiring manager, the most acceptable salutation to use is "Dear Hiring Manager." Although you're not addressing someone directly, it still conveys professionalism and attention to detail. Avoid using the antiquated "To whom it may concern."

For example:

"Dear Customer Service Hiring Manager"

"Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager"

Note: Use a comma after your salutation, followed by a space and the body of your cover letter.

How to address a cover letter when you know the hiring manager's name.

Always address the hiring manager directly by using Mr. or Ms. followed by their last name. Furthermore, using Ms. instead of Miss or Mrs. will avoid offending a female hiring manager, particularly if you don't know her marital status.

For example:

"Dear Mr. Smith"

"Dear Ms. Smith"

If you're unsure about the gender of the hiring manager, use both their first and last names.

For example:

"Dear Taylor Smith"

"Dear Jordan Newton"

How to use a title correctly:

Generally, using a professional title conveys respect and should always be used when the hiring manager has one, such as Doctor, Professor, Sergeant, Reverend, etc. You can shorten the title for brevity.

For example:

"Dear Dr. Smith"

"Dear Prof. Einstein"

"Dear Sgt. Newton"

"Dear Rev. Parker"

How to find a contact person to address a cover letter.

While it's important to address the hiring manager directly in your cover letter, oftentimes a job ad won't mention a contact person, especially if it's advertised through a recruiter. Fortunately, you can often find out who the hiring manager or head of the department is with a quick internet search. If all else fails, use "Dear Hiring Manager."

How to address an e-mail cover letter.

Hiring managers receive tons of emails so it's important to include a clear subject line indicating which job you are applying for.

For example:

Subject Line: Job application for sales manager position.

Start off the body of your email with the hiring manager's name or use a general salutation.

For example:

Dear Mr. Smith, OR Mr. Smith,

[Cover letter text...]

Lastly, sign off your email with your name, email address, phone number, and LinkedIn profile or website link.

For example:

Samantha Phillips

+09 012 029 9234

Common cover letter address mistakes:

  • Make sure that you've addressed your cover letter to the right person, and that their name is spelled correctly.
  • Do not use "Hello," "Hey," or "Hi," as this could come off as too informal.
  • Do not use outdated salutations like "Dear Sir," "Dear Madam," or "To Whom it may Concern."


How do I address a cover letter?

Always address the hiring manager directly by name. If you don't know the hiring manager's name, do some research or use a general salutation.

How do I address a cover letter to a PHD (doctor)?

If the hiring manager has a professional title, always put the title in front of their name, e.g. "Dear Dr. Einstein."

How do I start a cover letter?

It's important to start a cover letter with a greeting or salutation.

What is a good cover letter address format?

Addressing the hiring manager by name shows professionalism and establishes a connection. If you don't know their name even after doing a Google search, use a general salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager."

How do you address a cover letter to an unknown recipient?

It's acceptable to use a general salutation like these:

  • "Dear Hiring Manager."
  • "Dear Sales Team Hiring Manager."
  • "Dear Customer Service Hiring Manager."
  • "Dear IT Department Hiring Manager."