Who to address cover letter when recipient is unknown
Written by Sarah Edwards, Author • Last updated on May 15, 2024

How to address cover letter without a name

Imagine that you’ve found a position you want to apply for and are working through your cover letter. There’s just one problem — you’re not sure how to address your cover letter. Unknown recipients can complicate the application process, especially when you want to set a great first impression. If you’re wondering who to address cover letter to if unknown, it’s important to find an alternative solution that is professional and respectful. Here’s what you need to know.

Unknown recipient: What you can do about it

Chances are that you’ve been searching “how. to address cover letter without name” or “unknown recipient cover letter” after encountering this scenario. The good news is that there are multiple solutions to this conundrum. 

If you need to write a cover letter to an unknown party, you should: 

Research the company

You should be researching any prospective employer before submitting an application so that you can learn more about their values, organizational structure, and culture. By digging a little deeper, you can usually find some basic information about the head of HR or the appropriate contact person. 

This information is usually located on the company’s website or the hiring manager’s LinkedIn. If you search the company, their account should be associated with it. 

If necessary, call the business. Give them your name, let the person who answers know that you are submitting an application, and ask who to address the documents to. 

Customizing your resume and cover letter for each job application will help you stand out and may increase your odds of landing an interview. Doing the legwork and finding out the name of the hiring manager is a great way of customizing your application, and it shows that you are a self-starter.

Use generic salutations

You will also want to consider how to address a cover letter without a name. If you can’t track down contact information for the person in charge of hiring, use a generic salutation. A few favorites include:

  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • Dear Recruiting Team
  • To Whom It May Concern

However, be careful not to overuse these phrases, as doing so can make your letter feel generic. Instead, use one of these phrases at the opening of your cover letter and keep your sentence phrasing focused on you and the business as a whole throughout the rest of the document. 

Need some more inspiration for creating a great introduction? Check out our cover letter examples and resume examples. These free resources can jumpstart your job search efforts and help you land an interview. 

Personalize your greeting

When deciding who to address cover letter to if unknown, it’s vital to get creative with your personalization. Do your best to track down an HR department head or hiring manager’s contact information. If you simply cannot, personalize your content by referencing recent company news or mutual connections. 

You can still create a great cover letter without a personalized greeting. However, you need to make at least some aspects of your document feel tailored to the job and organization you are applying to. You don’t want hiring personnel to believe that you submitted an identical document to multiple businesses. 

For more detailed tips and tricks, check out our growing library of cover letter articles. You’ll find everything from resume templates to job-specific cover letter examples, as well as best practices, dos and don’ts, and more!letter

Expert Tip:

Creating a cover letter with unknown recipients will not be a barrier to getting the job, provided you adhere to established best practices, research the business you are applying for, and personalize your documents to demonstrate your desire to join the organization.

Avoid common mistakes

Creating a cover letter without knowing the recipient’s name can be challenging, but it’s crucial to avoid common pitfalls that could undermine your application. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Using outdated or incorrect titles

One of the most common errors in addressing a cover letter involves using outdated or incorrect titles. Avoid using generic titles like “Dear Sir/Madam.” Instead, take the time to research the company or department structure to determine the appropriate title to use. Using the wrong title can convey a lack of attention to detail and professionalism.

If you can’t find the person’s name, it’s acceptable to use a generalized title, such as “Hiring Manager” or “Human Resources Manager.” Tailor the title you use based on the size and structure of the company. 

Misspelling names or titles

Another common mistake is misspelling names or titles. Double-check the spelling of the recipient’s name and any titles before sending your cover letter. 

Misspelling a name can make a negative impression and suggest carelessness. If you’re unsure of the correct spelling, consider reaching out to the company or using a neutral salutation like “Dear Hiring Manager.” 

Remember, the recipients are going to draw several conclusions about you based on your cover letter and resume. In addition to running spell checks, consider using matching resume and cover letter templates to ensure consistency across both documents. 

Our resume articles offer additional insights that can assist with preventing mishaps and making your application more impactful.  

Making assumptions about the recipient’s gender

Assuming the gender of a recipient based on their name can also be a mistake. In today’s diverse workplaces, it’s essential to avoid making assumptions about gender. 

Instead of using salutations like “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam,” opt for gender-neutral alternatives like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Company Name] Team.” This demonstrates respect for all individuals and avoids potential offense.

More importantly, using gender-neutral language demonstrates that you are an emotionally intelligent and considerate person. Hiring teams are considering more than just your skill set. They want to make sure you will have good chemistry with existing employees. 

Failing to research the company

Failing to research the company before addressing your cover letter is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Take the time to learn about the company’s culture, values, and organizational structure. This information can help you tailor your cover and demonstrate your genuine interest in the company. 

Neglecting to customize the cover letter

Failing to customize your cover letter for each job application is another common mistake. Employers can easily spot a generic cover letter.

Take the time to customize your cover letter for each application, highlighting relevant skills and experiences that match the job requirements. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and increases your chances of progressing in the hiring process. 

“Remember, the recipients are going to draw several conclusions about you based on your cover letter and resume”


In today’s hiring market, you don’t want to simply submit your cover letter and wait around for businesses to contact you. Be proactive and follow up with the human resources department a few days after you apply. Call the company directly, or reach out via email. 

When you do reach out, be direct. Consider saying something like, “I am reaching out about the status of my application, which was submitted on [Date of Submission]. I look forward to continuing the hiring process and participating in an interview.” This reply demonstrates confidence and genuine interest without overplaying your hand. 

If you speak to someone on the phone, use a similar approach. However, it’s best not to be rigid. Aim to be kind and personable, as the person you speak to may be directly involved in the interview and vetting process. If it is a smaller business, you may even end up speaking directly to the person in charge of hiring. 

Keep in mind that it’s acceptable to follow up multiple times. Generally, you should reach out two to three days after your initial application and roughly a week later if you still haven’t heard anything definitive. 

Crafting a compelling letter for an unknown recipient

Many applicants wonder who to address cover letter to if unknown recipient. But no matter who the intended recipient is, creating a dynamic cover letter requires diligence and discipline. Be willing to research your prospective employer so that you can learn more about the organization and who will be involved in your interview process. 

Doing some extra work to make your application stand out can mean the difference between getting an interview or having your letter get lost among other job seekers.

If you’d like to learn more about how to create a more appealing application, Jobseeker can help. We provide free resources, useful templates, and personalized support designed to help you achieve your career goals. Connect with us today!

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Sarah Edwards
Sarah Edwards
A seasoned HR writer with more than a decade of experience, Sarah crafts insightful guides and timely articles that help people grow their skills.

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