Guide: How to Use "Dear Hiring Manager" in a Cover Letter

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Addressing your cover letter with a proper salutation is an effective way to impress recruiters and increase your chances of advancing in the hiring process. Sometimes, getting the correct information of the recipient of a cover letter may be difficult, which makes it important to know how to address them professionally. Dear Hiring Manager is an ideal salutation in such cases, but it's essential to understand when to use it. In this article, we discuss how to start a cover letter with this salutation, when to use it and how to use it effectively.

What does "Dear Hiring Manager" mean?

Dear Hiring Manager is a popular greeting job candidates use when they don't know the name or title of their cover letter's receiver. A cover letter provides a medium you can use to sell your skills, experience and professional accomplishments, and it can help deliver a good first impression. For the letter to work effectively, you want it to reach the recipient and get read to the end. That makes it vital to use a professional greeting. When you can't address the person by their name, a suitable alternative is using Dear Hiring Manager.

When to use this greeting on a cover letter

You can address your cover letter to the hiring manager in most cases. Note that the best way to create a connection with the receiver of a cover letter is to use their first name or official title. This isn't always possible because you may not know the name of the person or there isn't adequate information about who makes the hiring decision. You can check the company's about us page and social media handles to find the name and title of the person in charge of recruitment, although this might not always work.

To avoid costly mistakes such as getting the recipient's name, title or gender wrong, consider addressing the letter to the hiring manager. Sending salutations to the hiring manager is also better than using informal alternatives such as Hi or Hello which aren't ideal for official correspondence. Some other situations where you can address your cover letter to the hiring manager may include:

  • when more than one person manages the recruitment process

  • when you've interacted with multiple individuals during the recruitment process

  • when you can't determine the hiring manager's gender or official title

Related: How to Structure a Cover Letter (With Example)

How to address your recipient effectively in a cover letter

While addressing a cover letter to the hiring manager with this greeting is generic, you can still personalise your message by following these steps:

1. Use a clear subject line

The subject line is the first thing the recipient sees when you send a letter by email. Even if you want to send a physical letter, using a descriptive subject line that quickly shows the recipient why you're writing can help you gain their attention. Use this to catch the reader's attention so they are interested in reading the rest of your letter, regardless of your salutation.

2. Use a professional email address

If you're emailing the cover letter, use a professional email address. That way, you can dampen the effect of the informal greeting in the letter. Using a professional email address can also position you as someone who is serious about their career and may leave a good impression on the receiver.

3. Add personality to the cover letter body

Add personality to the rest of your cover letter. Include specific details about your role-relevant skills, experiences and personal traits that position you as the perfect candidate for the job. If you have any information about the receiver or the company, add it to your cover letter so they know you did some research about the organisation.

4. End with a professional complimentary closing

At the end of your letter, close with an appropriate professional closing. You can use closings like Sincerely, Best Regards and other formal phrases. Doing this can help compensate for your letter's informal opening.

5. Sign off with your professional name

Sign off the letter with your professional name. Include your first and last name, title and signature. You can also include your credentials, licences, professional certifications and even links to your online profiles.

Related: A Guide on Addressing a Cover Letter Appropriately

Why it's important to address your cover letter correctly

There are several important reasons for addressing cover letters correctly, including to:

  • ensure the cover letter gets to the right person

  • show your enthusiasm about the role

  • demonstrate your professionalism

  • leave a good first impression on the hiring manager

  • grab the hiring manager or recruitment team's attention

  • highlight your written communications and research skills

  • increase your chances of progressing to the next stage of the hiring process

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

Alternative salutations to start a cover letter

If you can't find the hiring manager's name or title, here are a few more alternative greetings you can use to begin your cover letter:

  • Dear HR Manager: If you know an HR Manager is responsible for the recruitment process in an organisation, you can address your cover letter to them directly. Only do this if you can't find the person's name.

  • Dear Recruiter: You can also address your letter to a recruiter if you're certain that's the title of the person in charge of hiring. It's better to make efforts to find the person's name so you can create an instant connection with them.

  • Dear Manager: If you can't find the receiver's name but you know they are a manager, you can address your letter to them using this title.

  • Dear Department Manager: If you're sure that the head of the department you're applying to handles the recruitment process, addressing your letter this way may be acceptable.

  • Dear Hiring Team: If you've spoken to different persons during the recruitment process, it may be appropriate to use this greeting to save space and avoid missing some people's names. Do this only if you're certain a team oversees the recruitment process.

  • To whom it may concern: This salutation is also generic, but it may be acceptable for situations where you don't even know whether the employer has a hiring manager. You can also use it if you don't know the name or title of the person in charge of hiring.

  • Good day: This greeting and other appropriate variations can be an acceptable form of salutation. They are ideal for situations where you've had some interactions with the receiver and they won't mind the casual language.

  • Dear [credential]: If you're addressing a person with a professional title, such as a professor, engineer or doctor, you can use their credentials if you can't find their name or official position.

  • Dear Sir or Madam: This greeting is suitable for situations where you're not sure of the receiver's gender. If you don't know the person's name or can't find their gender, consider using this greeting.

  • Greetings: While this is also generic, it can work in situations where you're following up on your job application process.

How to find the hiring manager

Here are ways to find information about the hiring manager:

1. Check the job ad

The first step when looking for the hiring manager's name is to check the job ad. Most times, the hiring manager's email is somewhere in the job advertisement. Check to see whether the email address to send applications belongs to an individual. If you see a name, it's often the hiring manager's.

2. Check the company's website and social media

It's often possible to find information about the hiring manager on a company's about us page or the career section of their website. If there isn't a specific hiring manager, check the names of the department heads to see if you can use one. As a last resort, go through the employer's social media to look at the person making announcements about job openings and recruitments.

3. Ask the company

If you can find the company's phone number, consider calling them to ask for the details of the hiring manager. You can also email if that is the easier option. To make this process easier, speak with someone in human resources and ask for the person handling the hiring process of the position for which you're writing a letter. If you know someone in the company, you can also ask them to help you with this information.

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