How should you address your cover letter?

Formal cover letters can seem a bit old-fashioned in the age of email, but when it comes to job applications they are timeless. It’s still important to include a bespoke cover letter for every job application and a sure fire way to impress is to include a personalised and formal salutation. Here are a few tips to help you get your cover letter salutation right. 

Be specific

Include the full name and job title of the hiring manager. Using a generic salutation immediately tells the hiring manager that you haven’t taken the time to research the company. Your cover letter is usually your first chance to make a good impression on your prospective employer so it’s important to start off on the right foot by including their name. This also speaks directly to them, helping to grab their attention, and goes some way to show you've taken the time to tailor your cover letter for the job and company. 


Do your research

Don’t despair if the position description doesn’t include the name of the hiring manager. A little internet sleuthing should help you figure out who you need to address your cover letter to. Search the company website or on LinkedIn for the head of the department the position you are applying for falls under. 

Another option is to call the company directly and ask. This method can put you in a good light as a serious candidate but make sure the information isn’t easily searchable online before you call or you will run the risk of appearing lazy. 

Use formal salutations

The casualness of email can make it tempting to slip into using conversational language and greetings, but formal salutations are still the best option for cover letters. The correct format is to include the hiring manager's first and last name and include the title “Mr.” or “Ms.”

Try searching on LinkedIn if the hiring manager has a non-gender specific name as most LinkedIn profiles include a profile picture. Alternatively, skip the title and use both first and last name e.g. “Dear Sam Jones.” 

Also, don't forget that if you use the addressee's name, it is considered best practice to sign off “Yours sincerely”. “Yours faithfully” is reserved for instances when you don't know the recipient's name.

Hiring managers see a lot of cover letters every single day, so it’s important to stand out for the right reasons. Loft Resumes can help get you noticed with our editable cover letter designs with every resume purchase, or you can buy our cover letter writing services but the research you do to get the salutation right is what could make or break your application.
  • Category Cover Letters