When writing a cover letter it is important to use an appropriate greeting for the type of letter you are sending. There are differences in what is appropriate depending on how well you know the recipient, and whether you are writing a posted letter or an email.
Your cover letter greeting will also vary depending on whether you are writing a formal job application letter or email cover letter or you are informally inquiring about opportunities at friend's or acquaintance's company.
Cover Letter Greetings
Since the greeting is the first thing the recipient will see when they read your cover letter, it's important that you convey an appropriate level of familiarity and respect.
Dear - Dear is appropriate when you know the person well, if they are a business acquaintance, or a potential employer. If you know the person well, use their first name only. For a potential employer, use Mr. or Ms. unless you have been asked to use their first name. For a business acquaintance or associate, it will depend on how well you know the person. If you are on a first name basis, use that. If you aren't sure, use Mr./Ms. Lastname, or Mr./Ms. Firstname Lastname. If your contact name is gender neutral (ie.Taylor Brown), and you are unsure, Dear Taylor Brown is also appropriate.
To Whom It May Concern - Use To Whom It May Concern as a cover letter greeting where you don't have a specific person to whom you are writing. You might use this when making an inquiry, but you should make every effort to find the name of someone in the specific department that you are interested in to contact.
Hello - Hello is appropriate only in email correspondence, and should be used primarily with people you know well, or in very casual circumstances.
Hi - Hi is appropriate only in casual email correspondence with people you know well.
How to Write a Cover Letter
How to write a cover letter, including what to include in your cover letter, how to write a cover letter, cover letter format, targeted cover letters, and cover letter samples and examples.
Cover Letter Articles and Advice
- Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips
- Cover Letter Writing Guide
- Email Cover Letters
- Targeted Cover Letters
- Sample Cover Letters
- Cover Letter Closings
Free Job Search Newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest job search advice, tips, and news. Sign up for our free newsletter today!