When and how to use 'Dear Recruitment Manager' in a cover letter

Updated 15 March 2023

Using the salutation 'Dear Recruitment Manager' correctly on your cover letter is something a potential employer may take notice of. It can ensure that your cover letter reaches the right person and shows that you're a conscientious, professional job seeker. When used correctly, it can also help you land an interview and get noticed for the right reasons. In this article, we explore when you want to use this greeting, discuss alternative greetings, offer useful tips for finding the right person to address in your cover letter and answer some FAQs.

When to use 'Dear Recruitment Manager' in a cover letter

Although 'Dear Recruitment Manager' is a perfectly acceptable salutation on a cover letter, you don't want to use it all the time. It all depends on the information you have available. It's a way to address your cover letter generally while remaining professional. You may use this phrase when you're unsure as to whom exactly your letter needs to be addressed.

However, it's important to look thoroughly for the first and last name of your cover letter's recipient before going ahead and using a more generic greeting. Addressing your cover letter with a general greeting when specific contact information is available risks making it seem like you did not do your research when applying for the position.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter

Why addressing your cover letter is important

Employers are frequently presented with high volumes of applicants. Addressing your cover letter correctly, whether generally or specifically, is your very first chance to make a good impression on recruitment managers. Benefits of properly addressing your cover letter include:

  • ensures your cover letter reaches the right person

  • demonstrates your interest in the position

  • shows you did your research on the company

  • provides your professionalism and knowledge

  • illustrates your written communication skills

  • captures the attention of the recruitment manager by being well-informed

Related: How Important Is a Cover Letter?

When to use a generic greeting in your cover letter

Here are a few common job application scenarios where it's acceptable to address your cover letter in this way:

  • When you don't know the recruitment manager's name

  • When you're unsure of who is hiring for the position

  • When there's a team rather than an individual managing the hiring process

  • When you've spoken to or been in contact with many individuals during the hiring process

  • When you're unaware of how the person hiring prefers to be addressed

There are some important reasons why using this salutation may be the most professional and appropriate option. It's a modern and inclusive greeting without a known name that represents a gender and pronoun neutral, professional and respectful approach.

Related: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

Other ways to address your cover letter

You don't always have all the relevant information to address a cover letter personally. Although 'Dear Recruitment Manager' is the most neutral option and may, in most instances, be the most appropriate, there are some other ways to address your cover letter. Here are some examples and the instances where it would be appropriate to use them:

  • Dear Recruiting Manager: You can address a cover letter to a recruiter if you know a recruiter is handling the hiring process. However, if you know their name, it may be more appropriate to use that instead.

  • Dear HR Manager: Sometimes, you may address a cover letter to the HR manager if you know they're in charge of hiring.

  • Dear Department Manager: If you know that a specific department is hiring for the position, then this greeting may be appropriate.

  • Dear hiring team: If more than one person is responsible for hiring, addressing your cover letter to the whole team may be appropriate.

  • Good afternoon: This greeting, or any other variation, may be appropriate for casual communications.

  • To Whom It May Concern: Using a greeting like 'Dear...' may seem more personal than this option. However, using this salutation may be appropriate in some instances and depending on the company's tone.

How to find recruitment manager information

If you're unsure of where to look when you search for recruitment manager information, a good first rule is to keep your search within the realm of public information to remain professional. Make sure to search for the information on professional networking websites or company-related websites. The professional and appropriate resources to turn to include:

1. Contact the company you're applying for

If you're having a hard time finding specifics but know that, in this instance, it would be more appropriate to use someone's actual name, get in touch with the company and explain the situation. This shows initiative and dedication from an applicant. Taking the initiative is a great way to stand out.

2. Ask a colleague within the company

This is an especially great resource if you've been recommended for the job by a colleague. Again, asking a colleague shows initiative. And, if they've recommended you for a position, it's a good way to demonstrate that they've made the right choice.

3. Look on the company website

Exploring the company website is an excellent way to find out exactly how a recruitment manager prefers to be professionally addressed. It also gives prospective employees insight into the company's culture and values. This insight can help job seekers prepare for their future interviews.

4. Look through the original job listing

Carefully re-read the job listing to see if you can find the recruitment manager's details. It might be that you simply read over them. Carefully re-reading the job posting demonstrates attention to detail.

Cover letter salutation template

If you choose to use a generic salutation in your cover letter, you may need to format it properly. The consequence of incorrectly formatting any greeting you use on a cover letter can have the exact opposite effect of the conscientiousness you're trying to get across. Here's a little template to ensure you're using the greeting in the right way:

Dear Recruitment Manager,

[line break]

[First paragraph of the cover letter]

Note that 'Recruitment Manager' is capitalised and followed by a comma. In this case, make sure to use a standard single space before the first paragraph of your cover letter starts.

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

Tips for using a generic greeting the right way

If you do decide that this salutation is the best option to address the person recruiting for the job in your cover letter, make sure to follow these tips so you can always use this salutation in the best way possible.

Always include a greeting

Whatever information you may or may not find in your quest to address your cover letter properly, it's important never to leave your greeting line blank. A blank greeting line can come across in several negative ways. A blank space may make the recruiter or recruitment manager immediately ask why you chose to do so. A blank greeting space appears at worst a bit rude, and at best, a bit like you're not sure how to correctly write or format a cover letter. Both immediately decrease your professionalism.

Use a generic salutation as a last resort

The problem with using a generic greeting on a cover letter is that it may look like you haven't done your research properly. Addressing the 'recruitment manager' is the best choice instead of other generic greetings because it's neutral and respectful. But, if specific information is available, using a generic greeting like this can seem careless or unprofessional.

Personalise a cover letter

Since addressing the recruitment manager seems quite generic, be sure to customise the rest of your cover letter. This can ensure that it doesn't simply look like you're using the same cover letter for every job you apply for. Remember, your cover letter is a great way to connect with a company in a personal way.

You want the content of your cover letter to be tailored to the role and company you're applying for. Discussing particular skills or attributes that the job description lists and specific experiences that relate to the position may show your unique employee value.

Use a clear subject line if you're sending a cover letter via email

Many people submit cover letters via email, which creates the need for a correct subject line and a correctly addressed salutation. A good subject line is clear, concise and free from errors. So make sure that it provides a clear explanation of why you're writing to the company. The standard '[Full Name] – [Position you're applying for]' is a safe option. Use this space to demonstrate your professionalism.


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