Cover Letter Salutation

3 Rules to Obey in Cover Letter Salutation

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A correct cover letter salutation is crucial because it establishes a professional tone and communicates the appropriate level of respect and formality that the recipient expects.

When writing a cover letter or sending an email to apply for a job, it’s vital to start with a proper greeting to establish the tone for the rest of the message, which should be professional and acceptable.

The salutation on your cover letter is the first thing the recipient sees when they open it. As a result, it’s critical that you convey the appropriate level of closeness and respect.

Finally, you get down to compose the cover letter, but you hit a snag right away. The question now is :

How do I even begin to write? Should I address someone as Mr. or Ms.? Do I use your first name? What if I’ve looked everywhere but can’t find the hiring manager’s name?

Don’t be concerned! Simply follow the cover letter salutation standards outlined in this article and learn more about cover letter salutation.

What is a Cover Letter Salutation?

The greeting you use at the beginning of a cover letter is known as a cover letter salutation. The salutation you use when creating a professional cover letter to send with your CV for a job application should be formal.

It should be respectful and utilize the correct title and name because it is the first thing the recipient sees when they read the cover letter.

While it is conventional to begin professional cover letters with Dear, it is also appropriate to begin with, Hello.

How to Write a Cover Letter Salutation

After providing your personal contact information and the date of your letter, the standard business correspondence style dictates that you write down your contact person’s name, the company’s name, and the company’s address.

The formal salutation/greeting comes next: “Dear [Contact Person’s name].” Include their personal title and name in the salutation if you have a contact person for your letter (i.e. “Dear Mr. Franklin”).

If you’re not sure if the reader is male or female, just use their entire name instead of the personal title (i.e. “Dear Jamie Smith”).

With a colon or comma after the salutation, leave one line blank, and then begin the first paragraph of your letter on the next line.

Dos and Don’ts of a Cover Letter Salutation

When drafting professional cover letter greetings, it is critical to adhere to proper protocol. When writing a cover letter greeting, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Dos for a greeting on a cover letterDon’ts for a greeting on a cover letter
Do use the recipient’s title while addressing them. Don’t forget to fill in the salutation line.
Never forget to provide the recipient’s last name. If you don’t already know the receiver and are on first-name terms, don’t use merely the first name.
Do use proper punctuation.Don’t become too comfortable.

What are the Things To Avoid in a Cover Letter Salutation?

Here are a few things to avoid when writing cover letting greetings:

1. Use a formal salutation instead of a casual one:

It is critical to have a formal tone while sending a professional letter. If your welcome is overly casual, it may leave a negative impression on the recipient.

They might conclude you don’t understand the decorum expected in a business setting.

2. Don’t give the recipient the wrong title.

If the recipient’s name is gender-neutral, it’s easy to make a mistake here, so be cautious. If you utilize the incorrect title, it shows that you didn’t do enough research on the receiver and the company.

When you submit your job application with an error-filled cover letter, the recruiter may wonder how serious you are about working with them.

You can read this: Resume Sections: How to Organize your Resume to meet any Standard

3. Don’t provide the receiver with the wrong name.

People dislike being addressed incorrectly or having their names misspelled. Furthermore, misspelling or getting the name wrong can indicate a lack of research and attention to detail.

Your job application may or may not be given further consideration by the recruiter.

How to Open and Close Your Cover Letter

The tips below will show you how to start your cover letter with a proper greeting and sign off with a polished signature.

Cover letter openings

Formal greetings, such as Dear Ms. Harrison or Dear Mr. Jong, should be written. If you don’t know the person’s gender and can’t figure it out, write their complete name, as in Dear Chu Li or Dear Chris Beltran.

While it is becoming more usual to observe greetings in business without the word “Dear,” it is less formal.

When applying for a job, it’s occasionally best to start off properly, even if you’ll use a less official tone in following written correspondence.

If you don’t recognize someone’s name, be sure you don’t mix up the first and last names, which is easy to do in today’s global business climate, relying in part on your language skills.

As an example, in most countries, the family name comes first, so if you’re writing to them, start with their surname and then their first name, as in Dear Mr. Yang Yuanqing.

Finally, when it comes to people’s names, be sure you spell them correctly. That is a typo that no one will notice.

Always capitalize the first letter of every noun and end your welcome with punctuation in all openings. Use a colon (Dear Mr. Yang:) or a comma (Dear Mr. Yang:) (Dear Recruiting Manager).

A Good Cover Letter Closing

End your message with these formal closing key components:

  1. Sum up your strength: Don’t just repeat language the recruiting manager has already read when recasting your professional qualities. In conclusion, use the new language to clearly make your case. (Examples are provided below.)
  2. Be kind and self-assured: A cover letter with a closure like “I look forward to hearing from you” will not entice a manager to call. “I look forward to chatting with you about how I can put my expertise to work for ABC Widgets,” you could write instead. Request an interview politely; don’t demand one or declare you’ll phone the office next week. You want to come across as confident rather than pushy.
  3. Express gratitude: Make a professional concluding salutation, such as “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Thank you for your attention,” and thank them for their time and consideration. Avoid using terms like “Yours,” “Cheers,” or “Take Care.”

On the next line, type your full name. There’s no need for the signature area that used to be on letters. After your name, write your phone number and email address on separate lines.

Even though this information is already on your resume (and your email address is on your email), providing it in your cover message makes the recipient’s life easier.

In terms of tone, repeat the style you used throughout the rest of your cover letter in the final paragraph: Maintain a professional tone.

Jokes, text-message shorthand, intense emotion, exclamation marks, or informal language are not appropriate at this time. Make your cover letter one page long.

Examples of Cover Letter Salutation

On cover letters, using proper greetings will help you make a good impression on recruiters. It might persuade them to take you seriously as a candidate for the open post.

Here are some salutation examples to assist you in figuring out which greeting is suitable for a cover letter:

When you know the recipient’s name (cover letter salutation with name):

  • Dear Mrs. Smith
  • Dear Ms. Smith
  • Dear Mr. Jones
  • Dear Dr. Rice
  • Dear Professor Smith
  • Hello, Mrs. Smith
  • Hello, Ms. Harrison
  • Hello, Mr. Smith
  • Hello, Dr. Mark
  • Hello, Professor Fish

When you don’t know the recipient’s name (cover letter salutation without a name):

  • To Whom It May Concern
  • To The Hiring Manager
  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • To The Human Resources Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To The Company [Use the Company Name] Recruiter
  • Dear Human Resources Manager
  • Dear Company [Use the Company Name] Recruiter

3 Rules to Obey in Cover Letter Salutation

After providing your contact information and the date of your letter, the normal business correspondence style needs you to write down the contact name, company name, and company address. However, here are the three rules:

1. Try to figure out who the hiring manager is.

Even after hours of online searching (try these tactics), you might not be able to determine the particular position you’re applying for–and that’s fine.

Use the head of the department for the post you’re applying for if you can only discover a list of corporate executives and you’re not sure who the hiring manager is. 

No one will blame you if you take the message to a higher level than is required.

This method is preferable to not using a name in your cover letter because it still demonstrates the time and effort you put into determining who the department head is.

2. Don’t write a generic cover letter.

It’s not a good idea to use a boilerplate. You must personalize your cover letter to speak directly to the demands of each organization.

Although your introduction may not be as particular as it would be for a well-known job, this does not give you permission to use a generic format for the cover letter’s primary components.

Examine the job description and consider how each requirement is met. Then add a specific contribution, experience, or accomplishment to it.

This information should be conveyed in a paragraph or a series of bullets. This will personalize your cover letter and catch the attention of the reader.

In your cover letter, you don’t have to express everything. Simply say it correctly if you want to get the job.

3. Never undervalue the importance of your cover letter’s formality.

The reader will link such attributes with the candidate if the letter reads well, looks decent, and is free of spelling and grammatical problems.

When a person is unable to communicate himself without making mistakes, he is immediately rejected.

It’s crucial to proofread for substance, accuracy, and style. Here are a few recommendations: Check spelling and readability, and have a trusted colleague or personal contact do so as well.

Automated spell checkers may miss inappropriate usage of words with similar spellings or synonyms; pay extra attention to spelling recipient and organization names, double-check dates and addresses, avoid lists and bullet points, and avoid odd or illegible fonts.


Finally, you want your cover letter to show that you’re interested in the job. Get the salutation right by being as descriptive as possible—ideally with the name of the hiring manager—to get off on the right foot.

Of course, this isn’t always possible, but as long as you show that you have tried, you’ll be on the correct track with your cover letter.




Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

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