Where Should I Send My Cover Letter?
Some people say cover letters don’t matter anymore. Hiring managers get inundated with resumes every day, and there are people out there who say most hiring managers don’t even read most cover letters.
Even if there’s truth in that, you should always submit a cover letter anyway. Submitting one shows you’re serious about the job and allows you to reach out to the hiring manager.
They can also act as a tiebreaker when the hiring manager considers you. If it’s down between you and another candidate and you have a cover letter, and they don’t, you may get the edge because the manager gets more information about you.
But when you send a cover letter, you shouldn’t address it to just anybody. Addressing it to “Dear Hiring Manager” is all well and good, but it won’t put you over the top and impress the hiring manager that much.
That’s why at Empire Resume, we tell all our clients to identify the hiring decision-maker at the company and directly send a hard copy of your resume and cover letter to them. You can discover the manager’s name in several creative ways, which will be discussed later.
Empire Resume will explain where you should send your cover letter and why it’s important to directly address the hiring manager.
How to Find the Hiring Manager’s Name
In many cases, you’ll be able to find the hiring manager’s name in the job description. But it’s not always that easy. If the name isn’t in the job description, you’ll have to do a little detective work to find the decision maker. But it’ll be worth it.
Addressing the hiring manager directly shows you genuinely care about the open position and aren’t just tossing around resumes like throwing darts in a dark room. It shows you’ve taken the time to do additional research and establishes a personal connection. If anything, it’s something that’ll make a hiring manager stop and notice and read your cover letter instead of tossing it away.
If the hiring manager’s name isn’t on the job description, you have a few options. Check the company’s website first. Then, go to the “About Us” or “Company Directory” and see if you can find any of the potential people you’d most likely be working for.
Also, examine the email address in the job description, which could contain a clue. For example, if it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, do a Google search for “p smith” and “abccompany.com,” and the correct name could come up.
You can also use LinkedIn. First, browse the company’s LinkedIn page and search under the “People” tab to determine who the decision maker would be for the role you’re seeking.
If that method doesn’t work, reach out to friends or former co-workers and see if you know anyone at the desired company. You could even send a message to someone at the company and explain why you need the information. There’s a good chance most people would be happy to share the person’s name.
A targeted Google search can also help you find a hiring manager’s name. Search Google using the company website and position title like this: site:empireresume.com “Senior Director of Operations Salt Lake City.”
As a last resort, contact the company directly. Explain that you’re applying for a position there and would like to address your cover letter to the correct person. You can do this by calling the company or emailing them based on an email address listed on their site.
How to Address the Hiring Manager
Once you discover the correct name, half the battle is won. You should directly mail a hard copy of your cover letter and resume addressed to the hiring manager at the company.
But what if the company’s working remotely? Even more, what if the company doesn’t have a central office and is a fully remote firm?
If that’s the case, directly email your cover letter and resume to the appropriate hiring manager/decision-maker. While emailing the materials, it’s also a good idea to connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn. This shows initiative and will prompt them to check your LinkedIn profile.
But the work’s not done yet. Even though you have the correct name and address or email address, you’ll want to address the hiring manager correctly. Using the wrong salutation or title is embarrassing and can easily lead them to dismiss your cover letter and resume.
In most cases, “Dear” followed by the manager’s name is excellent because it’s traditional and sounds professional. You can also say “Hello” if the company has a more casual culture or if you personally know the manager.
If the manager has a gender-neutral name, it can be confusing whether to use “Mr.” or “Ms.” when addressing them. It’s best not to take a risk if you’re unsure of their gender, but there is a way around this.
For example, you can write out their first and last name in full, such as “Dear Jordan Thomas.” If the company seems particularly progressive, you can also use the gender-neutral pronoun “Mx.” instead of “Mr.” or “Ms.” Check their LinkedIn profile because, in some cases people list their preferred pronouns.
If you’re addressing a cover letter to someone with a professional or academic title like doctor or professor, always include that title in your greeting. You can write out the title or abbreviate it, such as “Dear Doctor Smith” or “Dear Dr. Smith.”
Lastly, you should always use their last name whenever you address someone on your cover letter with “Dear,” unless you personally know them.
Get a Leg Up on the Competition
In a competitive job market, every advantage means a lot. Most candidates send cover letters without directly addressing anyone specific, if they even send one at all. So, if you go through the hassle of writing a great cover letter, finding the right person to address it to, and directly sending them a hard copy in the mail, you’ll definitely get a leg up on the competition.
Finding the hiring manager’s name at the company you apply to could be easy but could also require some digging. Consider it time well spent. A hiring manager will be very impressed that you did the work, which will undoubtedly make them take a second look at your cover letter and resume.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more great insights on careers and employment, including articles such as The Importance of a Follow-up Letter, Age Discrimination in the Workplace, and The Hybrid Work Environment.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.