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When applying, how to you address cover letters when you do not have a person to address the letter to and you are applying through a website?


Melissa Lesbirel Hudson, MA

I am a lawyer and some of the jobs I apply to are directly through the company website or a third party like LinkedIn with no point of contact attached to it. I sometimes reach out to people in the legal department in that company about the position, but I don't usually hear back.

14 November 2020 4 replies Resumes & Cover Letters



Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

I agree with the LinkedIn re-do. People are have a hard time determining what you want to do, career wise. Also so much of the positions that were temporary and provide you and opportunity not to leave a year gag, drop. The profile needs to be targeted to the specific career and then a reason to hire you. Have you check with the Family and Military Institute at Syracuse University, they have a PMP program for veterans, may provide assistance with your other certifications. Here are a couple of quick reads on profile. Thanks for your service and God Bless.

16 November 2020 Helpful answer


Jennifer Polhemus Santa Monica, CA

I had a look at your LinkedIn and I think it could use some work. You have capacity in FOUR languages (!) and yet it's not highlighted in your opening? Perhaps these articles will assist you:

I have 2 good articles about improving LinkedIn pages but for some reason the URLs won't copy into this platform. If you send me an email I can send them directly to u

16 November 2020 Helpful answer


Robert Rahni White Plains, NY

Hi Melissa,

Great question! One, I too and I suspect many others have grappled with. Not sure if there is a clear right or wrong answer here but here are a few options to consider:

1) Perhaps, for some the safest bet - to simply address the cover letter as: “To Whom It May Concern:” or “Dear Hiring Manager”

While certainly effective, both feel impersonal/unnatural and boilerplate to me. As a result, I try to use them as a last resort.

2) If you know someone who works at the company, see if they can find out more information. This could be achieved by asking around, perhaps they know someone in the HR Dept. or if the company has a internal intranet system, maybe the Hiring Manager’s name would be listed there for the opening you are applying to.

3) Sometimes a job description will make mention of the person the position reports to. It may not indicate their actual first/last name, but instead it will mention their title. Usually it will read something to the effect of: “the XYZ position reports to the ABC.”

Using tools like LinkedIn or the company’s directory via their webpage, a simple search of this title and company name (if using LI) in most cases will yield accurate results.

I think it’s safe to assume, not always but in most cases, the person the position reports to is the Hiring Manager. Addressing the cover letter to this person demonstrates to the employer you went the extra mile putting forth the effort to logically ascertain who the cover letter should be addressed to.

On the flip side if the person the search result yields is inaccurate/outdated or if the person the position reports to is actually not the Hiring Manager - sometimes companies/organizations will assemble a search committee for openings and the Chair of the committee is not the Hiring Manager or even on the same team, then this could work against you.

Also, I can see how doing such “homework” or as the military would say, recon may be perceived as being invasive, weird or downright creepy.

So here we are again, caught in quite the conundrum! I’m curious to hear what others think about this topic and your questions posed. In particular, would be great to hear from some Hiring Managers!

Best of luck,

14 November 2020 Helpful answer


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

I agree with Rob's ideas and only have a minor twist on the concepts: play detective!

Although you did not specify the profession, let's assume for a moment that it is a Human Resources position that you are after. There is a national association of H-R folk, in this case, SHRM (I.E., Society of Human Resources Management). Cross indexing your target company with membership names could yield a hit.

In this case, it's all about detective work.

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