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‘Dear Hiring Manager’ Cover Letter: Tips & Examples

It may be common to use a “Dear Hiring Manager” greeting on cover letters, but do you know when you should actually be using this greeting? Read to find out!

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By Maria Correa 4 minute read

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‘Dear Hiring Manager’ cover letter example

‘Dear Hiring Manager’ cover letter example

Cover letter for hiring manager: use the right greeting

How you start your cover letter is just as important as what goes in it, as it helps set the tone for the rest of your job application. The “Dear Hiring Manager” salutation is common, but is it the best choice for your cover letter? We’ll give tips and examples to help you make the right decision.

When to use ‘Dear Hiring Manager’: cover letter tips

While using “Dear Hiring Manager” might be acceptable in some situations, it’s worth noting that it’s usually not the best way to start a cover letter because it’s very informal. Your cover letter should be addressed to the hiring manager by specific name (e.g. “Dear Mr. Smith”) to appear less generic and help you come across as someone who did their due diligence on the company.

But how do you go about finding that information? And what happens if you can’t find it? Let’s quickly go over the different ways you should start your cover letter, in order:

1. Do you know the hiring manager’s name?

As mentioned above, addressing your cover letter to the hiring manager is the best and most professional option. Your salutation should only include their last name (“Dear Mr. Brown,” “Dear Ms. Brown” or “Dear Dr. Brown”). If you can’t find their last name, it might be safe to start your letter with “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Key tipYou can search the company website or LinkedIn profile for the hiring manager’s name.

2. Is the hiring manager a team?

If the company has multiple hiring managers or a team of recruiters and you don’t know who will read your resume, you can use the “Dear Hiring Manager” greeting as a general address when applying for a job posting.

Key tipTo make your salutation more specific, address your letter to the team or department (e.g. “Dear Creative Department” or “Dear Accounting Department”).

3. Does the hiring manager have a gender-neutral name?

If you find the hiring manager’s name, but they have a gender-neutral name and no indication on their profile as to their preferred gender pronouns, you can opt for “Dear Hiring Manager” to avoid an embarrassing miscommunication. Do not address them by their first name alone, as this is too informal for a first impression. You can also consider listing their full name in the salutation (e.g., “Dear Sam Smith”).

4. Does the job description say to include “Dear Hiring Manager”?

In certain cases, you may be directed by the job application to address your cover letter to the “Hiring Manager,” in which case using such a salutation is fine.

Key tipUse the job application as a guideline for your letter. Mention key resume skills and requirements from the job description in your cover letter to elevate your job application.

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Cover letter for hiring manager: more greeting options

If you don’t know the hiring manager’s name or you can’t figure out whether “Dear Mr.” or “Dear Ms.” would be more appropriate as a salutation, there’s a range of gender-neutral, widely acceptable options you can choose from. These are the most common non-specific salutations used in cover letters:

  • Dear [Job Title] (e.g. “Dear Creative Director”)
  • Dear Recruiter
  • Dear Recruiting Manager
  • Dear Hiring Personnel
  • Dear Sir or Madam (if you don’t know their position/role)
  • Dear Department Manager
  • Dear Hiring Team
  • Dear HR Manager
  • Dear Human Resources
  • Dear Hiring Committee

Generally speaking, you should try to be as specific as possible, even when using a generic salutation. You want whoever receives your cover letter to know that it was written for them, be it the department head or human resources.

Key tipAvoid using “To Whom It May Concern” at all costs. It’s an outdated term that’s no longer acceptable in a professional setting and is considered very generic.

How do you make a ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ cover letter stand out?

If you must resort to using “Dear Hiring Manager” or another generic salutation, there are ways to make your cover letter otherwise stand out.

1. Write an attention-grabbing opening paragraph

Start your cover letter with an opening statement that motivates the manager or recruiter to keep reading. You can achieve this by letting them know what attracted you to the job opening, why you’re interested in working for that company and an introduction to your background and/or skills that shows why you’re a good fit for the job. For example:

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a longtime admirer of Specialty Groups, I was excited to see your opening for a project manager position. I have extensive experience coordinating internal resources, third parties and vendors for projects, within scope and within budget. I am confident I have the qualifications required to become a beneficial member of your team.

2. Present your top skills and accomplishments

The key to writing a strong cover letter — and resume — is to make it relevant to the job opening. Talk about the skills and work accomplishments that will impress hiring managers the most without just repeating the information on your resume. For example:

Throughout my career, I have assisted in countless projects, defining scopes and objectives, involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring technical feasibility. My ability to develop a detailed project plan to monitor and track progress are skills that are crucial to succeed as a project manager. Examples of my relevant experience include measuring project performance and progress and managing relationships with clients.

 

3. Close with a strong call to action

Finish your cover letter by inviting the hiring manager to contact you. Remember to thank them for their time and consideration before signing off with your full name.

Attached is my resume, where you can see the rest of my skills and experience. I look forward to discussing how my qualifications can be of value to your company. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,
John Willson

 

For more cover letter tips, check our detailed guides How to Write a Cover Letter and How to Write a Generic Cover Letter.

The big takeaways

To conclude, let’s quickly go over the top tips to remember:

  1. “Dear Hiring Manager” should be avoided if you can help it. Instead, personalize the cover letter using the addressee’s last name (e.g. “Dear Mr. Smith”).
  2. If you must use “Dear Hiring Manager” as a salutation, focus on making the rest of your cover letter strong and highly appealing.
  3. Avoid “To Whom It May Concern” at all costs.
  4. To find the hiring manager’s last name you can search the company website or LinkedIn profile.
  5. Use a call to action at the end of your cover letter inviting the hiring manager to get in touch with you.

FAQ: “Dear Hiring Manager” cover letter

It may not hurt your chances but the truth is that it won’t help you either, especially if the hiring manager’s name is easy to find (whether it’s the person or a team). If you use “Dear Hiring Manager,” whoever reads your cover letter might think that you didn’t make an effort to find that information. If you aren’t successful at finding the contact person’s name and must use “Dear Hiring Manager,”then focus on strengthening the content in your cover letter by highlighting important soft skills and hard skills, key experiences, as well as what you can specifically do for the employer.

There are different ways to find a hiring manager’s name. You are most likely to find the full name of any hiring manager on their profile. This can generally be found on a company website on the “Our team” page (or the equivalent). There’s also a high chance that you can find their name on LinkedIn. Search for the company on the site and see who works there. If nothing comes up online, you can always call the company and directly ask them for the hiring manager’s name.

To make an impactful cover letter that attracts hiring managers:

  • Make it clear in the opening paragraph what position you’re interested in and why. Give some key information about your skills or experience that directly links you to the job opening.
  • Focus the body paragraph or paragraphs on the skills and accomplishments most relevant to the new job. You want the narrative to center around what you can bring to the company and how you can help them achieve their goals, not what the company can do for you.
  • Write a concise closing paragraph that invites the reader to contact you and thanks them for their time and consideration.

The most important tip to remember when writing a cover letter is not to repeat the information in your resume. A hiring manager will receive both documents simultaneously, so make good use of your cover letter’s “real estate” and their time by writing a letter that complements your resume with more details about specific accomplishments. Relate your skills and achievements with the specific needs of the job, and explain what excites you about the role and company.

So, you’ve searched high and low for the hiring manager’s name but can’t find it. What now? You have a few options for your cover letter salutation:

  1. Dear Hiring Manager
  2. Dear Recruiter
  3. Deat [Department] Team (e.g. Dear Creative Team, Dear Recruiting Team)

We suggest narrowing the address down as much as possible, so the cover letter doesn’t end up in the wrong hands (i.e., if you know the job is for a specific department, you can use that as a salutation rather than “Dear [Company]”). Above all else, we highly recommend not using the phrase “To Whom It May Concern” in your letter’s salutation; it’s outdated and will come across as unprofessional.

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Maria Correa Profile
WRITTEN BY Maria Correa

Maria Correa is a Puerto Rico-based Content Writer with ample background in digital marketing and copywriting. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.A. in English and enjoys making information accessible to others.

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