Is “To whom it may concern” the kiss of death?

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Most job seekers know that, whenever possible, it’s best to address your cover letter to the person who has the power to hire you — or at least the person who can bring you in for an interview.

But, all too often, if a name isn’t listed on a job posting, the job seeker resorts to an old-fashioned salutation like, “To Whom It May Concern.” What they don’t know, is that this approach can sometimes be considered the kiss of death.

Impersonal salutations like “Dir Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern,” show an employer two things. The first is that you lack the initiative to locate the appropriate contact; the second is that you show a disregard for any research needed to be done on your part. In short, employers will think you’re lazy and your cover letter will end up in the trash.

One of the most common questions we get is how to find the name of  a hiring manager, particularly at a large company. Here are four ways to find out the addressee of your cover letter:

1. Read the job posting
A no-brainer, but still needs to be mentioned. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, and the job you want to apply for will list a contact right in the posting. But even then, you sometimes need to dig a little deeper. Say, for example, the listed contact is “Chris Smith.” You don’t know if Chris is a man or a woman. If you can’t find that out, it’s safe to address your letter “Dear C. Smith.” That way, you’ve made it personal, but you haven’t offended anyone.

2. Call the company
If a job posting does not list a contact name, call the company. Yes, it really is that simple. Call the main number listed for the company and ask for the name of its corporate recruiter or hiring manager. Or, call and say you were wondering who manages the position to which you’re applying. That way, your materials get sent directly to the person who needs to see them.

3. Look on the Internet
A simple search on your favorite search engine can often do the trick. One search and anything from company directories to employer background information to stock market share could pop up. Try searching “ABC company hiring manager” and see what you find. The Internet is a wealth of information, if you just put in a little effort to find out what you want to know.

4. Ask your personal contacts
We always try to stress the important of networking in your job search. Surprisingly, many people ignore that advice in situations like writing your cover letter. Let’s say you find a job that interests you, and there’s no contact information listed. You go to one of your contacts and have the following conversation:

You: “Hey, do you happen to know of anyone who works at ABC Company?
Contact: “Actually, I used to work there five years ago.”
You: “Really? I’m applying for a position there. Do you know how who I might report to?”

Or maybe the conversation goes like this:

You: “Hey, do you happen to know of anyone who works at ABC Company?”
Contact: “I don’t, but I know my colleague worked there before coming to work with us .”
You: “Really? Do you think I could have his or her name to see if they can help me find out who to send my application materials to?”

You get the picture. The bottom line is everybody knows someone — you just never know until you ask.

If you try all of these methods and you’re still coming up short, Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark, co-authors of “Cover Letter Magic” and two of the nation’s most reputable career coaches, examine a few possible salutations and a few key points to remember about each one.

  • Dear Sir/Madam. All-purpose and inoffensive, although it might be perceived as stodgy and old-fashioned.
  • To Whom It May Concern. Another standard; has the downside of being impersonal and old-fashioned.
  • Dear Hiring Executive (or Hiring Committee). Formal, but appropriate.
  • Dear Human Resources (or Human Resources Representative). Acceptable only if you’re writing to a “blind ad” that lists only a P.O. box and you cannot call to get a specific individual’s name.
  • Dear Hiring Authority. Acceptable only if, despite your best efforts, you have been unable to uncover the name of the non-HR person to whom you’re sending your résumé.
  • Good Morning (or Good Day). A bit more up-to-date, but it reminds us of junk-mail greetings that try (unsuccessfully) to be personal.
  • Re: Job Title You’re Applying For (leaving off a specific salutation). A useful method for replying to want ads, when you truly don’t know to whom you are sending your résumé. We think it’s preferable to the “Dear Human Resources” greeting.
  • No Salutation (begin your letter immediately after the inside address). Again, perfectly acceptable for want-ad replies. Might be considered an improvement over old-fashioned, nonspecific greetings.

Editor’s note – 2/16/2010: We appreciate all the comments our readers are leaving. To gauge more hiring manager opinions, we took this debate to the hiring managers themselves on our FaceBook page for Employers: The verdict so far? It’s not a deal breaker. While using general addresses are not deal breakers, the lesson, however, is to make sure you personalize your cover letter as much as possible when you can because the more you can do to catch a hiring manager’s attention, the better!

  1. Pingback: Is “To Whom It May Concern” the Kiss of Death? | - Employment Agency and Career Placement Service

  2. How old are you?
    I’m near retirement, so I guess I’m out of touch, but ‘to whom’ and ‘sir’ are the preferred salutations to an unknown source, even a known source if there has been no introduction. Sometimes resourcefulness can be construed as being nosey. So no kiss of death; sign of respect/education.

  3. I read the ad on Dear sir or madam or to whom it may concern. So I was wondering what if there is not company name and it says private or confidential company, how does one go to research the company? I have found ad’s for jobs on Craigs List and there is only an email and job description. On there many tmes just a description about the job and no way to contact but threw email, how would one go about researching the company name? I have come across many job descriptions that say:

    Looking for energetic person to fill a full time position, etc. etc please send email to

    within that description there is no company name, just a location to where the job is at. So how do we research it? I would love then ever to find the company, the name of the person hiring, human resources, or to whom the letter goes directly to.

    Please advice

  4. From the artical: “Contact: “Actually, I used to work there five years ago.”
    You: “Really? I’m applying for a position there. Do you know how I might report to?””

    How I might report to? With all of the hype about getting things right “how I might report to” is a typo that should have been caught by a proofreader. Fire him/her, I’ll take the job.

  5. well…i don’t agree…with this article.

    # Employer wants to hire some body to do work, and what he should ideally be looking for is a body who is efficient in performing required skills and of course if has good aesthetics like pleasing personality that will be like topping on cake.

    But spending time hunting on websites when you don’t know weather that employer might hire you or not and investing such a long time in this fast pace world is not worth..also you may never know when next recession comes and he might fire…as we already know …this recession thing happens every one or two years.

    So ideal parameters should be “pay for performance” not these Dear/ Hello / Hi by salutations.

  6. The “Kiss of Death” can also come from someone trying too hard to locate the Human Resource manager. Typically, if the name is not in the ad the employer does not want to be bothered.

  7. I find it absolutely atrocious that hiring managers play these little games with people. Fully qualified people are being passed up for jobs because they didn’t play some silly game properly or they didn’t answer some question exactly the way some HR “professional” would have answered it. This explains why jobs are advertised over and over and over with qualified people never being hired to fill them.

  8. I totally disagree with To whom it may concern.

    Companies are not trashing resumes because the title that is 100% acceptable is being used. I have hired and have colleagues that have hired and insignificant things like a heading formality is not an issue.

    What we ARE looking for is correct spelling, proper grammar and ease of reading. I would hire someone that had a generic heading and a grab you off the bat cover letter than someone who found out my name. I would assume that person knew someone in the company and was getting inside track info and I would wonder if it would be an issue later on.

    The easier my job is of reading a resume and cover letter (meaning being quick to the valid points) and showing me that you are worth bringing in to interview is the biggest asset to resumes.

  9. Dear lazy writer,
    Perhaps you’re living in a different world than the rest of us. The job posting sites are specifically designed to hide the names of hiring managers. No one wants to receive direct mail – managers use software applications (BrassRing, Taleo, etc.) that have a primary benefit of keeping job searchers from inundating anyone with phone calls.

    How about an article on spelling errors that happen when you depend on spell checkers that find a valid word that is improperly used. Here’s an example from your article:

    4. Ask your personal contacts
    We always try to stress the of networking in your job search. Surprisingly, many people ignore that advice in situations like writing your cover letter. Let’s say you find a job that interests you, and there’s no contact information listed. You go to one of your contacts and have the following conversation:


  10. That’s all well and good, but when responding to ads placed on sites like Craigslist, sometimes none of the pertinent information is given. Ie, the name of the contact, the name of the company, even a proper e-mail address, other than the standard Craigslist ‘job#99900cxxxx’ etc.

  11. You know this really irritates the stew out of me, because most of the time they don’t give you a name and sometimes they don’t give you a company and alot of times they ask that you do not call (especially job listings posted on Craigslist). Plus alot of times you don’t speak to the person in human resources you speak to the person the job is actually working for. Also, seriously … what is so much better about Dear Hiring Executive or Dear Human Resources or Dear Hiring Authority as opposed to “To Whom It May Concern”??

  12. Just a bunch more reasons for not getting hired. Next, we will be expected to have to look up what the bosses favorite color is, who the secretary is etc… This is all nonsense. I agree that if a name is used in the posting of the job, you should have some common sense to address it as such. But this nonsense about throwing resumes in the trash because it was addressed “To whom it may concern?” You would really be that stupid without considering the applicants skill set? So we are supposed to anticipate the hiring persons mood for the day, or whether or not Dear Sir/Madam makes me sound old fashioned? This is all nonsense. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that would be that picky. People are raised in different parts of the country and the world, and are all taught different ways to approach cover letters and job applications. Just because someone isn’t “hip” to the cool new way of addressing the person responsible for hiring shouldn’t mean that they will get overlooked.

  13. thank you for your comment it my be very helpful in the future although I’ve looking for work over the internet for some time now I just stated to use a cover letter

  14. OK! But now I need to choose to whom it may concern: Wendy Enelow or Louise Kursmark, co-authors of “Cover Letter Magic” and two of the nation’s most reputable career coaches.
    It would be best recommendation for cover letters with empty contents

  15. Good point, Tony. You don’t want to badger the hiring manager or HR team but at the same time some effort is worthwhile. Just keep in mind there is a fine line between showing tenacity and being pushy.

  16. Mark and Tom Dewey: Thanks for pointing out our mistake. We certainly don’t like typos in our writing and try to catch them all before publishing.

  17. Okay, this advice might be valuable if the business has that info reasonably listed somewhere. My experience has been that only sometimes do web sites/other sources have an appropriate contact name. That is for a reason. Prospective employers are swimming in resumes and they certainly don’t need another 100 of them coming through the door.
    The hard truth is that we’re in a lousy economy. While being able to juggle or yodel or ride a unicycle might in some sense help a resume, there isn’t any silver bullet out there.

  18. Well Saying promytius…
    Yeah, how old is this person writing this article? Maybe, she write to educate the just graduate from college and to scare them. lol
    I look at resume to hire a person and I dont care who they are write to…because the true is that many project manager in the company will look at the resume to see where this person fit would be….So, the only thing which will end up in the trash is this article…..

  19. I beg to differ. If one does not know to whom the letter is addressed, as with most job ads, “Dear Sir/Madam:” is correct for a single unknown person. It would be appropriate when the letter is sent to a Human Resources Manager or other single person. The correct salutation is “Dear Sirs/Mesdames:” for more than one unknown person or if the number of persons receiving the letter is unknown, as with most job ads.

  20. Interesting…
    Apparently this writer has not noticed the shift from hiring managers accepting paper job applications and resumes with attached cover letters to internet job posting sites (such as this one) where the applicant is greeted with “Click here to apply.” The application is then run through a scanning software for a key word match and the resulting list, with associated applications are delivered electronically to someone in HR. They in turn deliver the requested number to the hiring manager who may or may not receive a copy of the resume/cover letter that you attached.
    This writer apparently also hasn’t been introduced to grammer checkers either.

  21. Frankly, I think the author is way off base. When was the last time he called into a company and IF he could speak to a human being was given the name of the Hiring Manager or HR Recruiter or ANYONE for that matter. Between voice mail and gatekeepers who are instructed to avoid giving out any information, it’s virtually impossible to find out to whom one addresses an email. To Whom…, Dear Sir/Madam, or Dear Hiring Manager are professional addresses when the receiving party is unknown.
    Additionally, companies hide their own names out of some misguided attempt to 1. remain annonymous or 2. catch incumbents looking for jobs. It’s a little hard to research blind ads.
    The newspaper ads had the caveat of allowing a responder to a blind adv to list companies they DID NOT want to receive a response.
    When employers learn and practice open and honest hiring, listing corporate information and hiring mangagers, avoiding discrimination, resueme harvesting and other less than appealing practices, it will be better for everyone, especially the company that claims to be hiring.

  22. I have to say, this article bothers me on many levels; the obvious being the typos. Bottom line, if a contact name is listed in the add, then of course, address that person by name in the cover letter. However, with hundreds of people applying for every job posted, most hiring managers are understandably looking for anonymity; there is a reason their name is not posted in the job add! As well, if we are to believe that such pompous irresponsibility is taking place from any HR rep as to throw out a resume due to a personal preference regarding salutations, their job needs to be the next one posted!

  23. Pingback: Advice from Someone who has a Job… No not me « The Professional's Professional

  24. The space used for this article could have been better spent on something more productive. I have taken the time to call some of the companies I have applied to for a contact name and was told about 99% of the time, that my resume is in the database and to wait for a recruiter to contact me, but they cannot give me a name or guarantee that the recruiter will select it for review, or that the recruiter is at another corporate location. I felt like I was being too pushy, desperate, and was subsequently brushed off by the person taking the call. Using “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” when there is no name listed in the posting is the correct thing to do it is a sign of respect. Not everyone can spend 24/7 tracking down someone’s name and exact title. Skills, spelling, and grammer should be the focus.

  25. I’m going to have to join the chorus of disagreement. More and more companies have exactly one approved avenue of approach for a job interview. I can do some research and turn up a name, but it’s just as likely I’ll get it wrong — I don’t know who in the company is handling its application review internally. Better to go with a generic salutation (I don’t love “Dear Sirs/Mesdames,” correct and yet unfamiliar), so I either address it as To Whom It May Concern, or sometimes even Dear Genericompany.

  26. I agree with everyone else, this is a poor article. If there is a contact name I have the common sense to personalize it. I apply for as many as ten jobs a day. First, I don’t have time to find out everyone’s name. Second, I hope my resume wouldn’t get tossed on a minor technicality. Also, why does Career Builder have a quick apply section that bypasses the cover letter entirely?

  27. After being on this search for a Job a few months, I kind of understand what you mean…
    I have been addressing my letters to Human Resources Department, when there is no name.
    I kind of felt that the “To Whom It May Concern” phase, al of the sudden, did not like any more, or just does not fit.
    Great to know someone agrees with me :-) and you.

  28. While I agree that it is a great idea to include a real persons name in the salutation, I don’t think wasting a lot of time on someone trying to be stealthy is worth the effort. Employers now are acting like secret agents because they have so many applicants that will start stocking them that they go into stealth mode. If it’s so important, they need to include a name to correspond with.

  29. I don’t think I’d want to work for an employer that was so picky they would overlook my cover letter for including “To Whom it May Concern.” If an employer is dumping resumes for something so trivial I can’t imagine how they would treat me once I was hired on.

  30. I guess my opinion is in line with most everyone else. At times I feel I am at a disadvantage right off the bat. Not only do you not have a contact name, but you may not have the company name either. Honestly, there are some places that just by their reputation I wouldn’t be caught dead applying to. I don’t want to waste my time or theirs. Like one said, why must they be in stealth mode??

  31. I thank you very much for informing me about this e-mail message that makes no sense. Over the years as a working woman it was always known and recommended to use the saluation Dear Sir/Madam:, and To Whom It May Concern: if you did not know the employers name. There was never a problem. However, I used Dear Hiring Manager, and Dear Sir/Madam: It does not really matter at this point. Why wait until this date, day to release something this idiotic. I find that employers are not professional enough to address their name, address, and company. To further contact them by any means. Furthermore, they do not reply to any of the saluations coverletters and resumes period. They are not doing their jobs their not professionals. They do not wish to be bothered, employers are seeking to hire their own personal candiate for the position. I have never heard of such nonsense in my life. To the effect of salutations. The employers should be more aware of your interview and if you are best suited for the position. I am deligently actively seekiing employment for two years. I have sent numerous coverletters and resumes to employers. I assume my resume and coverletter also went to the toilet bowl according to this waste message. This country is in a complete downfall people losing their jobs everyday. This is absolutely no time for employers to play the nickpicking game. Employers don’t care because they have a job, that they are not doing for unemployees. I don’t think they are reading coverletters and resumes. This is another excuse to eliminate as much candidates for one position as possible.

  32. I totally agree with Bob’s point of view here. If the company wants to get the best candidates, why put up these artificial barriers? This whole topic adds another reason to largely exclude HR departments from the hiring process altogether other than to run the ad, weed out *obviously* unqualified candidates and then explain company policy and benefits once the person is hired. HR should have only tangential input in the actual hiring decision and be focused on facilitating the process to get qualified candidates’ resumes in front of the hiring mangers.
    While we’re on this topic, another bogus screening mechanism is the norm of the 6 month rule, i.e., that any candidate who has been unemployed over 6 months is automatically screened out. This is both short-sighted and patently uncalled for, yet it is a staple of the screening process at many HR departments.
    About eight out of ten times, HR is no more than an aggravating impediment to the core elements of the hiring process.
    I have found that some companies seem to make it deliberately difficult to find out who the hiring manager is and force candidates to go through HR (and not offer the name of a contact even there). It varies from company to company, but for those who institute such counterproductive and irritating policies, they should be removed from their jobs and forced to sit on the sidelines for six months and then try to then find employment themselves. A pox on them all.

  33. Well Careerbuilder, Thanks for this advice. I have to say I posted my resume & applied to several jobs on your site & have gotten no response. I think the problem lies deeper than whom it may concern.Honestly, your site stinks– all i get is spam from you & no job leads.Or you send me completly irrelevant jobs– terrible!

  34. Re: Proper etiquette in your job application:

    To the author of this article:
    Have you ever personally looked for a job or you just write what ever you think for the sake of making a name. The current economic and job situation has opened up a whole new set of professional advisers, experts etc.
    When I enroll in a job site for a matching position, the next day i get e-mails from a dozen fellows on Resume service / subscription to a recruiter list etc.
    This makes me wonder how many of these job listings are really legit. To me they seem to be an avenue for selling your personal info to needy and greedy services that will buy that list for $$$.
    A person’s resume and background is judged by the content and not by the Dear Sir/Madam, Hiring authority etc. Give me a break.
    If I am hiring a person, based on the contents of the resume not necessarily from “splashy words”, I can judge what the person is capable of.
    You guys are just peddling fluff and BS to exploit the poor Joe who is out of job.
    Its about time that this non sense is not endorsed.

  35. Hi Rachel (The writer of this article),

    I wonder what world you are in or what you are smoking. You are full of Bull S%%%, and non sense.
    I went to your blog page and all I see is baloney all over on how to do this how to do that.
    I would like you to first try and practice what you preach and see how easy it is find the contact names.
    If you want, I will give a link to 5 job postings and i dare you to do your research based on your advice and post the names of the HIRING AUTHORITY, or RECRUITER names and their contact information.
    Its about time that we the job seekers ignore these new age idiots and continue on in the search the way it used to be done.
    It is your background that will win you a job and not the FLUFF you write.

  36. Do you really want to work for a company that bases whether they hire you or not on your cover letter salutation, in the first place? What the hell has happened to this country- are we that over-sensitive? When did actual know-how for a job go out the window?

  37. I can tell you this is horsesh*t. I’m in a management position. The whole point of posting positions on job boards is to use a common repository for resumes to go to. Not to have some “personal touch” to it. If the company is using Taleo, Brassring, etc. or some other kind of Talent Acquisition Mgmt. app. within their own network, the info goes into that database and is parsed. This parsing is key in applying for jobs. They’re looking for keywords. That’s why it’s important to put those keywords on your resumes so when the parsing code runs, it picks up on it when the hiring managers, or God help us, HR, do their searches. For example, if you’re an accounting professional who has worked with an ERP package like PeopleSoft or SAP, make sure you include PeopleSoft or SAP on your resume, along with the specific modules you worked with, e.g., GL, AP, AR, etc. You’d be surprised how many people leave out specifics on their resumes, and leave it too generalized.

    Some companies will put an actual POC on their posting. If they do, of course use that person’s name. If not, using a common salutation like Dear Hiring Manager, or something like that is fine. And yes, I agree that HR departments are anything but helpful in the overall hiring process. The hiring managers know what they want/need. HR departments putting rules on who needs to be pursued to fill positions is beyond ridiculous, e.g., “we’re not interviewing anybody who has been unemployed for more than 6 months”, or “they only have a bachelor’s degree instead of a master’s degree”. But, senior executives are generally afraid of anything dealing with HR, because it often means “lawsuit” or something negative, so if HR says they need to be involved, senior management generally says “OK”.

  38. RE: Editor’s Note
    Quite frankly, I don’t think people are avoiding personalizing their covers letters, it is that the information is simply not provided, and that finding it out is either a colossal pain you-know-where, or that it is well nigh impossible to find out who the appropriate contact is — *that* seems to be the point that you folks at CB are missing, based upon the responses on this forum and my own experience.
    Since you have a link to HR professionals, maybe you could poll them and get them to explain some of their obstructionist policies and obtuse practices that do nothing more than impair the abiity of qualified candidates to land a job. — THAT would be information that would be enlightening and even useful to many
    here in your audience!
    Thank you!

  39. i have to agree on what you are saying lee what company has time to look at a application that has to be so perfect. i have sent a lot of letters and cover letters that has had that on there and there not downing me for it there not blacklisting me cause i didnt write something eles. hr has more to deal with then looking at every nook and cranie

  40. To the author,

    As others have already mentioned, you really seem out of touch with the realities of the hiring process today. This is 2010, not 1980. Most companies don’t have a single point of contact for hiring. For my last interview, I was contacted by an HR generalist (of which this particular company has more than 200) out of Florida to set up an interview with a hiring manager in Wisconsin.

    I would really suggest that if giving job search advise is your business, you update your knowledge and skills as you are sorely out of date.

  41. As an active job seeker, I can tell you the majority of jobsites list the company as confidential with no contact information. If jobsites want to be helpful and improve service at least begin an using a “dummy” e-mail address like craig’s list with the contact name hidden.

  42. I am not surprised at all at the criticism this artice has received. I agree with it. These companies placing the ads, especially the one’s that say “Company Confidential” DO NOT want to be bothered with phone calls, hence, no conact name.
    It is very surprising to find this article is associated with

  43. I agree with your “out of touch” position. If a poster wishes to be addressed by name, they will provide that format. With the number of responses and lengthy applications that one often completes in a weeks time, I believe it a poor use of time to do all manner of Internet/website search to look for a person’s neame who MAY or MAY NOT indeed have anything to do with a given position’s hiring process. I think it important to follow instructions and work with the information given on the topic of a saluatation. Save it for the BIG ONES!

  44. This might have been great advice before the big job meltdown but it’s pretty irrelevant now. Most professional-level jobs are posted not by the companies themselves but by 3rd-party recruiters the companies employ to do crowd control on the herd of applicants. You don’t even learn to whom you’ve sent your resume until you get a callback.

  45. I have found a company,that I have applied to many times,and believe the recruiter is not competent,and just last week held a job fair at a apartment complex,who I thought I was applying to was with a complex in a nearby city 25 miles away for $10-12 a hr. the posting on various web sites said Jacksonville jobs!!!!only in another city. some of her postings,when trying to apply,say this position no longer exists,this goes on and on for days.I really love when you get to the qualifications for a PT job 25 miles away,paying $9 a hr,must have a degee and be bi-lingual,give me a break. This is a big co. but must be in trouble because of turn over and a incompetent recruiter

  46. To everyone reading these comments:

    1.- I do not believe that the actual salutation itself should be the only “guiding light” in the hiring decision. Everything should be taken into consideration.
    2.- Certainly, spelling and grammar are important, but content is even more of an indicator. Who would care if you can correctly spell and type up a memo but not have the skills to produce “pivot charts” in Excel for your supervisor?
    3.- It is this author’s opinion that the new politically correct salutation should be “Dear Sir/Ms.”; since most will agree that no one should address a woman as Madame or Miss, unless they can ascertain her marital status.(Hint: most young female recruiters are single; ergo: Miss)
    4.- When I inquired with two of my many recruiters about what happens when they receive a Resume, here is what they responded:
    “we receive about 200 Resumes a day. We can not read them all, so we select the first 50 and delete the rest; simply because we do not have the time to read them all.Your best shot at getting a job is to apply several times to the same job hoping it will be among the first 50.”

    Needless to say, I was flabbergasted!!
    Ironically, if we all followed this advice they would actually receive even more Resumes. How do we stop this merry-go-round?

    I can honestly say that after more than 5 months searching diligently for a position, and being told that I “possess all the required skills”; unfortunately the economic situation is such right now, that it is very difficult to obtain a good job. A job within acceptable travel distance from your home, one that pays decent and has a decent boss or roles and responsibilities suited to your experience.

    I hope Mr. President likes his job…I wonder who scanned his Resume?


  47. I have also like many of you felt in the middle on this one. Some companies appreciate being anonymous but others like effort. My approach has been to include the name if given but if I can find out an inside name, I mention someone inside the company I know (the person I got their name from) that they may know. that makes it look less threatening in case they want anonymity. if I do not have a contact on the inside, I usually reference: Dear XYZ Corporate Recuiter: ALso, I’d like to add that I have had in general poor response to getting Linkedin contacts to introduce me. I actually have had success finding out the name of an underling at a company using Linkedin and getting info from them.

  48. Wow thanks alot careerbuilder had no idea that could mess up a good employment op for me.

    Sign Single mom of three….

    Good luck to everyone and god bless.

  49. Since when is “To Whom It May Concern” the kiss of death? That salutation is standard business etiquette. To not contact a company to find out who the contact person is is not being lazy; Many companies will not divulge that information for privacy and/or security reasons. I think the author of this article needs to go back to the drawing board!!!

  50. After researching the company, I address my cover letters to a person almost all the time but my cousin used to work in HR and she hated receiving cover letters and applications addressed to her. I would never call a company to ask for a contact name, I wouldn’t want to impose upon the receptionist.

  51. Dear Sir….should be acceptable but the use of “Madam” not only sounds archaic but sounds like a hooker. I mean, when was the last time you used “madam”?
    As for addressing the cover letter properly, yes, it does seem nice to use a person’s name but there is no way you can do that if the job posting has no reference to the company, phone number and/or contact. Are we supposed to contact Careerbuilder for that perhaps?
    As for me, when in that situation, I use “Dear Human Resources Director” or “Dear Hiring Manager”.
    As with cover letters, some things on resumes are outdated and no longer added. For instance, mentioning references will be available on request is archaic. Back some twenty years ago that was used (and I have resume writing books from that time as proof) but now it’s assumed you will provide references. Besides, it frees up space on the resume.
    Well, certain phrases are also archaic regarding cover letters too.
    In any event, it is tiring to read you recruiters saying how everything is based on a certain salutation. Only time that would be the kiss of death is if that line is mispelled.

  52. LOL. What a very non relevant article! A waste of hard drive space. More tripe to worry job seekers! I guarantee that if you have experience, then an employer will overlook “To whom it may concern.”

  53. I read most of your replies and most of you need to work on content, spelling, grammar, and proper word usage. (ad or add, threw or through, there or their, then or than, to or too, would’ve or would of, etc.) Proof everything before you send it out. As for this article, I agree with those of you who still use “To Whom It May Concern”. What the writer failed to realize is that most companies do not want you to know their names. They have too many applicants to deal with. If I do not see a phone number or name of the company then that is the best salutation. I like to use “Greetings” as well. I do not believe it is old fashioned to act in an appropriate manner. Bottom line is check everything before you send it to a potential employer. Good luck!

  54. That’s BS. Plenty of organizations go out of their way to make it damned near impossible to get the name of the hiring executive, which leaves the applicant with little choice. If I can’t find the name of the contact, I don’t bother.

  55. Another out-of-touch adviser. Unless one is going for a six figure salery, these rules do not apply anymore. Having worked in a position where I was in charge of employing people, I can say first hand that no one cares about the saluation. HR is most times just the equivilant of a Post Office Box. HR passes the resumes onto whoever is going to make tjhe decisions of whom to call in for an interview. Nearly 100% of the time, HR has no clue as to what the qualifications are for the position advertised. If lucky, they may filter out the poorly written resumes, but that is rare.
    Most employment ads are blind ads to some degree. It is impossible to figure out what company let alone what name to put on a cover letter.
    Most these rules went out the window with the internet, including the common courtesy of rejection letters.
    This information, like most so called experts on resumes and job hunting, is sadly useless.

  56. Seriously!! I’ve been looking for a job since May and have put out close to 100 resumes. 99.9% of them do not give you a name, department, or any such contact information. They do not want you to follow up. They tell you DO NOT CALL in their posting.
    How about hiring managers stop getting so petty and robotic. If this is a “kiss of death” then put a freaking contact name

  57. I agree, that IF you want a great first impression, find the name!

    But, let’s be fair, what percent of all jobs list even the Human Resource contact? Maybe 1%? It’s this generic email address or apply online, AKA, the black hole.

    Companies have brand images themselves and it can start with Human Resources. They may say, “We’re so busy”…what? They are the only people in the company that is busy? And then, HR will complain about the number of phone calls they get…..what don’t they understand? Sure, they ad can say to send to but they could also list the recruiters name as Jane Doe.

    And if Human Resources would put the “must have required” in the TOP of the ad vs. at the bottom, they may get better results! Because people in job transition don’t read very well. They read all of this “fluffy” copy about the job and company and BEFORE they can get to the requirements, they think, WOW, this is ME; this would be fun job and more.

    To the job seekers, some for you as well. READ the MUST HAVE requirements first. They are NOT asking people to reply because you think it’s a fun job.

    So until Human Resources wakes up, keep calling to get the names before you apply!

  58. Hi

    I agree with you.Who got time to search the name of the hiring manager. Applying for a job itself takes lot of time and search .If you spend time to cutomize your covering letter , and you apply 5-6 positions in a day it will become a full day job.

  59. The article is informative, but at the same time is overkill. Use your common sense. Most companies try to hide names of contact information on ads to avoid an avalanche of emails/responses. My personal favorite is “Dear Hiring Manager” and I believe no one will walk away with hurt feelings.

  60. Let me join the chorus of total disagreement with the premise of this article. I am old enough to have known individual letters and resumes created on a typewriter with each job going to an actual hiring authority. I have gone through the intervening era that brought us to today’s faceless, nameless, click-on-this-link to send your application into nowhere never to be heard from again period.

    I change my salutation to reflect as much personal touch as possible but 90%+ of the time it is not only purposefully anonymous but there is a strong warning NOT to contact the employer directly (that is IF the employer is even identified).

    This employment/hiring process appears to only benefit these website/interface and processing companies. While they supposedly improve the process, I spend more time re-entering data on multiple sites and correcting horribly populated automatic resume builders. There are as many suggestions for how to search effectively as there are job seekers.

  61. I never had an issue with addressing to “Human Resources”. Interviewed 5 places. Offered 5 jobs.

    I think what really works is the thank you letter, hand delivered to the office where the interviewer works.

  62. Common sense would dictate that one should address the e-mail to a listed/identified contact.

    In the past I have reviewed many job postings, including those on Career Builder, which don’t list a contact and these posting act as buffers. Many of those same postings include a “no calls” directive.

  63. If companies wanted to have resumes sent to a certain person or dept. and if it is such a big deal to them, why don’t they place it in their posting to begin with?

    Just like wanting salary history, are they looking for cheap labor? They already know what salary range is for the offered position. If you meet the equirements it should not make a difference.

  64. Most of what’s out there is garbage anyway –
    to me, it’s more like ‘who gives a s**t’
    about these companies.

    Don’t want to waste my time with them.


  65. It is the companies that don’t tell you who to send the materials to. The last time I went out of the way to find a contact I got the same boilerplate rejection letter as usual. It is ridiculous to blame the candidates for the fact that companies go out of their way to not let us know who is doing what to whom!

  66. I agree Jennifer. This site is terrible. I also keep getting adds that are Training solicitations. I have already been that route and still can’t find a job in a field that I have been involved in for over 30 years. Could my age also be making a differance? I’m 53! I’m sure it is!

    Carrier Builders obviosily thinks we’re less than idiots. I too keep getting jobs sent to me that have absolutly nothing to do with my job qualifications or job title. Dear Sir/Madame and Dear Human Resources are the correct way to address the employer when there is no name or E-mail listed.

    Also, why are there still job listings from January on this site? I’m sure if they were real employers, they would request that the position listed be taken off. Or maybe Carrier Builders should do it? You would think!!

    Good luck everyone at Carrier Builders when you lose your jobs!


  67. I wouldn’t want to hire someone who put “Dir Sir/Madam” either as they apparently can’t spell and doesn’t know how to use spellcheck!

  68. Who writes this stuff? Kiss of death? You gotta be kidding me. It’s the content not the salutation. What kind of inadequate HR personnel is going to be offended enough to throw away a resume because of the salutation? As long as the salutation is not offensive, the HR will get through the resume. (I would imagine, even if the salutation is offensive, they will at least read next couple of sentences but probably won’t be hired. ) This article is useless and in my opinion, damaging to prospective job seekers.

    Is there shortage on news? Is this headline just to grab eyeballs?

  69. I went to the Facebook page link and the question asking HR people to respond about whether “To Whom It May Concern” was a dealbreaker if used in salutation. Most said no, but interesting was the response from one who said “no”, but that it says a lot about the applicant. — Oh, really?! Now hear this, CB: *That* statement says a lot about the idiocy that we job seekers have to deal with from HR “professionals”, who draw sweeping inferences from little things like a generic and commonly accepted method of salutation as a part of their evaluation of a person that they have never met and likely know very little about! This is the kind of numbskull who contributes to the already abysmal reputation of HR department’s usefulness in the hiring process. I can only hope that she works for a small company — a very, very small company — so that her ability to screw up anyones career opportunities is limited to just a couple of them a year.
    What’s telling about her comment is how clueless she is!


  70. I totally agree with you Tim, if a company is so picky about these kind of formalities, instead of focusing on real talent, then those companies are worthless to go for. What is critical for success is finding the real talent rather that seeing who is formal.

  71. Ok, now I betcha for a mere 19.99 you can help me write a PROPER cover letter.

    FWIW, I actually DID get a job offer from a CB posting.

    Now can we have an article that explains why recruiters feel that they are entitled to get your SSN in order to APPLY for a job.

  72. I’ve heard “To Whom it May Concern” is a mistake because it’s not personal. However, the way I see it is they tell you what they want you to know in the ad. One could look up the contact person on LinkedIn or calling the company, but that feels like stalking. If they want you to know their name, they would put it in the ad.

  73. Good luck with that advice. Try finding any contact/company details on the Craigslist job postings for example. More often than not they don’t list either detail, so you really have no idea whom your contacting or what company, just the general job description. So long as your resume gets to the appropriate people, the ‘dear blah blah’ really won’t matter all that much. In this economy most companies have their pick of the litter when it comes to finding talent (assuming they’re even hiring), so if you aren’t fully qualified for the job in question (at least from their perspective), then addressing your cover letter isn’t going to make a bit of difference at the end of the day. These CareerBuilder articles are a complete waste of time to read, and are really nothing but space fillers on their website and our email inboxes. Just try finding a single job posting on their own website when they post articles regarding the next bright spots for our economy. You probably won’t find any. Sorry CareerBuilder, but your career advice is paltry at best……

  74. I have to agree with the people who replied so far. Companies are going out of their way to shielf HR personnel and hiring managers from the large number of people who are vying for a position. Hundreds of people are applying for one position. Neither the HR people nor the hiring managers have time to deal with that number of people calling for names of information. I tried following this advice and either the number listed for the company was wrong (happened several times), or was told by the operator that they were not allowed to forward the call unless the contact was initiated by the HR person.

    With the website applications processes, many people do not even post a cover letter since it is listed as optional, so having one, regardless of salutation will set you apart. That said, I know that some HR recruiters do not even look at the cover letter and just look for the buzz words in the resume.

    I think all these people who supposedly are experts on getting hired should try to see if their methods actually work for the non-executive positions.

  75. I would say that the kiss of death when looking for a job is actually the fact that you are looking for a job.

    I keep reading that companies prefer “passive applicants” who are working at jobs they want to keep and not looking.

    WTF why on earth do companies even bother to post job openings. Everybody knows that anybody who is looking for a job is worthless.

  76. I worked in HR and when posting hiring ads the company used a fake name, created a fake email and voicemail, otherwise we were not able to work. The people trying to speak to so and so were in the hundreds daily can u imagine today! The receptionist would get calls from people who had lunch with so and so and needed to speak to them, urgently. We heard it all but to no avail, unless we were ready to go forward with interviews. The calls on voicemail could have been published. The recruiter would not able to hire if they were obtainable by everyone. That was our companys solution not to exposed the recruiters true information.

  77. Denine,
    It doesn’t matter to whom you address your letter, since your spelling, grammar, and syntax extinguish any ember of hope your letter may have conveyed.

    Keep the salutation simple and direct, but be sure the body of the letter clearly expresses your qualifications, intentions, and desires.

    Good luck, everyone!

  78. I must agree with numerous comments specific too this “Article”

    This one Says it all:
    “….Careerbuilder, Thanks for this advice. I have to say I posted my resume & applied to several jobs on your site & have gotten no response. I think the problem lies deeper than whom it may concern. Honestly, your site stinks– all i get is spam from you & no job leads.Or you send me completly irrelevant jobs– terrible!….”

    There are so many BETTER Job seeking venues / resources available today with CURRENT, relevant jobs and articles specific too a jog-seekers needs.

    Dear Careerbuilder,

    Update your website, use the money instead of crappy Superbowl ads.

  79. This advice is nothing new and not that helpful. As others have stated, most of the time you do not know enough info to find out the right person to address the CV to. It was so much easier to get a job years ago. It really is sad how petty these little specifics can be when all you want to do is work.

  80. Not to happy about being directed to a site, that specified my Cell-phone number was an invalid number, where they send you a text with a PIN number to supposedly win some lottery, and you get charged (if your stupid) with a premium text charge (which I have blocked), what a scam and there are alot of them out there, i have seen some winners. They want to pray on people that are just trying to find a job already, IDIOTS

  81. all of theses suggestions are all fine and good but they all come from people that have jobs telling people without jobs how to find a job,so we all blindly follow their advice like sheep trying to land a job .

  82. Shelly, if you open your comment with a criticism on the article’s typos, PLEASE make sure YOU use the correct spelling of words. Twice you used the word “add” when the word you should have used is “ad.” Spelling makes a big difference, huh? I think that’s the point you tried to make.

  83. I think the article is suggesting something useful though I can see why people would not like it. Its entirely appropriate to use general salutations, but if there is any way you can avoid them, do so. It may not be possible in every application or communication but similar to exhibiting 100% customization and investment of the application material, any steps away from your template will be appreciated and considered as diligence. Your effort to impress your future employer begins with the header. Its not the endgame by any means as others above state, but if there is a chance to improve this area then do so. Employers have a hard time discriminating between candidates sometimes and making yourself stand out in a template world is hard with your materials and honestly the job space itself, which is a kind of paradox. Its like a strange poker game of competing representation. With employers googling their candidates there is rampant discrimination taking place. The information provided in a cover letter or resume compared to mining facebook, or employers expecting membership in certain quasi social groups all put together show a lot of potential harm to the individual. Candidates cannot subject the employer or the agents in question to the same level of inspection and this is categorically not fair. Further when considering how many middle agents are involved in processing recruitment campaigns, the candidates are faced with interfacing with bots. The reliability of applications themselves gets so low that in applying for jobs there is discrimination taking place, there are parasites who advertize positions to make money without any diligence, the candidates get spam for electing to participate in the certified job boards and essentially every communication becomes a risk.

    Formatting your information can be improved and a general salutation might preserve some consistency with other representations. I think there is some authenticity at risk when customizing too soon and at least the early stages should be conservative.

    So my take is that this part of communication as part of a series may begin in a very formal and general fashion providing information about you that is consistent with the holography of today’s internet. And as trust may be elevated you can transition from corporate or business writing practice to personal communication and email writing style.

  84. Absolutely out of touch with today’s hiring practices, but what is worse is that CareerBuilder hired this writer to create this, and then published it. That indicates that CareerBuilder might be out of touch with the practices it uses every day.

    A couple of years ago, I applied for a part-time job at a chain bookstore, a company for whom I had previous worked (and been promoted quickly) for years. I was told they couldn’t even look at my resume unless I applied online. So, I did. The HR computer program rejected my application as unsuitable for moving to the next stage of the hiring process. However, it never asked if I had worked for the company before, if I had the skills to do the job, or anything about the position. Instead I filled out a personality quiz. When I went to the store, the assistant manager was terrified that I might force him to look at my resume, which would be against protocol. No wonder qualified people are out of work in this economy.

    Which brings me back to the topic of this article – why should we go the extra mile to make an effort to put in that “personal edge” when the companies we are applying to have no interest in such a prospect?

    I have two graduate degrees and have been unemployed for almost 2 years now, but in all that time and with all of the hundreds of applications I have sent out, I rarely receive:

    A. a confirmation that my application has been received
    B. any indication of whether or not the job has been filled
    C. a rejection letter or email

    These items used to be standard courtesy from potential employers. Now they hide behind ineffectual computer programs that “parse” resumes for “buzz words.” I am not a buzz word. I am a human being with diverse skills and an intelligent mind and drive, ambition, and passion. Any company would be lucky to have my skill sets.

    Sadly, that’s not enough anymore.

    In conclusion, CareerBuilder, please do a better job of hiring freelance writers for your website. Hey, how about this? Hire ME!

  85. Sucking up. That is what we call it. If a manager needs petting to do their job, I don’t want it.

    In case anyone cares people are human. It takes a lot out of you waiting and wishing for that great job. In the mean time you get beat down by the mentality shown by the OP.

    What ever happened to walking into a business with a smile and a handshake? Managers that work for a living may well be to busy to have a set down then and there. However we should not be treated like a number unless that is the position that the company wants. Entry level workers are everywhere and certainly don’t require large sums of advertising dollars to attract. If you can get in the door and have skills of value you may get hired. Just putting hundreds of resume submissions on websites doesn’t get you anywhere.

    Managers can also be scared or intimidated by someone that they think is a threat to their position.

    Sorry, as a 20+ year manager I have to call B.S. on this one.

  86. agree. I would freak out if I was a hiring manager that supposedly posted an anonymous ad and all of the sudden an applicant sends a letter/resume addressed to my name… and I have no idea who that person is!

  87. “very advicing and instructive!”

    I hope you do a better job proof reading when you apply for jobs. I never heard of the word “advicing”.

  88. I totally disagree with this article.

    Personally, I think that jumping through all those hoops trying to find the name of “A” person (not necessarily the right person) shows the company that above all you KNOW HOW TO WASTE TIME!

  89. Actually getting a name is NOT that simple or else sales would be a lot easier. Companies deliberately bury names, there are few central switchboards anymore and if you don’t “know your party’s extension” you get nowhere except seven layers deep in a bad voice system. Websites rarely put on phone numbers or addresses nevermind names. Since many users and readers may be fairly experienced, I would strongly recommend doing some more research before tossing out a light fluff piece that wastes our time. And if you DO figure out a good way to get inside names, write a book and every salesman in the country will buy it.

  90. This article is just stupid. You can’t personalize anything to anyone when looking for a job because 95% of the jobs need to applied for via the internet. You never get a name or any other kind of contact info. There is a major corporation I applied to for 7 different positions in various departments that I was totally qualified for. I did call to see if I could get a name or talk to someone in HR so they knew I was out there. The receptionist just hung up on me. Hiring managers have become the most laziest people in the world thanks to modern technology. The only way to find a job is just do it the old fashioned way. Get yourself out there and pound the pavement. I’ve landed quite a few free lance jobs that are paying quite well just by attending numerous networking events and meeting as many people as possible.

  91. I realize that the economy is tough. I realize that the employers have a wide choice of people to hire, and we all need jobs. I realize that financially this is a race to the bottom, that low salaries can be offered and will be snatched up.

    I sincerely RESENT the statement on top of the article that using the salutation “to whom it may concern” shows BOTH “that you lack the initiative to locate the appropriate contact”; AND that “you show a disregard for any research needed to be done on your part”.

    For those of us, with PhD’s who have been unemployed for a while now, where does the employers professional courtesy come in? I interviewed for a position that I was recruited for at XEROX in Webster NY in OCTOBER 2004. I am STILL waiting for a rejection letter. I had to spend the day driving to the location, dinner with the potential employer, a seminar the following morning, talking to all sorts of people the entire following day, then followed by a 6 hour drive back home.

    For all of this unpaid endeavor, the employer does not have the simple professional courtesy to even send me a rejection letter within 6 years?

    On another occasion, I spend the day traveling to an airport, flying all day, driving to Racine, Wisconsin from Chicago airport… Interviews the entire next day, and at 6 pm back to the airport and the trip home. I did not arrive at home until 3 AM the following day.

    Again, Johnson Polymers (a “family company”) did not even have the simple decency to send a rejection letter…

    I fully appreciate that our economy is shit. I fully appreciate that these people can have a pick of whom they choose. But in the both instances cited, THEY sought ME out, and not the other way around.

    Where is the professional courtesy from these people. After graduate school, and a couple of post-docs, after successfully putting a major pharmaceuticl product on the market single-handedly (no teamwork here)…

    This clearly shows that employers ALWAYS LACK the decency to do the extra bit of work to at least acknowledge someones uncompensated efforts…

    Let’s not fall victim to this “to whom it may concern” stuff, and worry too much about that until the employers learn a little very simple manners and elementary courtesy… Even today, in this sucky economy in the internet age…

  92. Pingback: Cover Letter salutation. - Career Management

  93. To Whom It May Concern (aka

    One problem with your logic, Mr. Zupec (more importantly, you, CareerBuilder – my source for this ridiculous article): employers and their hiring managers frequently give absolutley no contact names! They also don’t offer any company info much of the time!

    Another realization, given this article, is that CareerBuilder and their likes fail to pass this info on to us jobseekers. Maybe it’s just us jobseekers who don’t, or can’t, pay for the “platinum memberships.” No job = no money to many of us!

    I’m sure the job site’s reluctance to post sources for jobs with which we apply is a means of survival for these ineffective sites! A protective mechanism that makes this entire process difficult, not only for the job seekers, but also the companies doing the hiring! Believe me, I’d rather contact the companies personally, and I do whenever I can.

    Still, if the companies aren’t listed, or if they’re blocked completely, what else is there to do. This is just another silly example of advice being given that doesn’t even come close to addressing the real problems-at-hand.

    I apologize, btw, if someone else has posted the same thoughts.

    Whom It Concerns

  94. I’m a consultant and I’m in and out of contracts every 6-12 months. I’ve never had a problem with the “old-fashioned” ways of addressing potential employees.

    If an actual person’s name is listed, by all means address it to that name. Otherwise, I use “Attention Hiring Personnel” or something similar. Like I said, never been a problem and I’ve been consulting consistently since 2001.

    Proper spelling and politeness always win.

  95. Reading these comments made me realize that I am not unemployed alone. As to the greeting f the cover letter, if employees are using this to eliminate potential employees, they are not worth working with or for.
    I feel that the bottom line is that the employment situation in the USA or WORLD is at it all time worst. Personally, I have the degree, 25 years of productive experience, beginning in the USA, then to Haiti and the Dominican Republic following the industry. Now this is industry is in the far east. I return to the USA, no one wants me here because my experience is out side the USA, no one wants me in the far east either. I guess I will eat deers and rabbits for the rest of my life?

    stitches in britches

  96. Just thought I would mention that in point #4, the word important should be changed to importance. My eye for detail is one of the reasons why I have a great job and am confident that I will not be searching for another any time soon. I will; however, send the tips on to my adult children.
    The mom

  97. I don’t use “To Whom it May Concern” any more. I launch right into the cover letter. There is no point in doing detective work to find out who does the hiring for the position. More than half the time the company won’t reveal its name anyway. Even if they do, they usually indicate that they do not want phone calls.

    I have been castigated by a temporary agency for calling to see if any jobs were available. This used to be standard practice but now they are so understaffed and swamped with work that they got nasty with me for calling and do not call me with jobs anymore. I also once called to follow up on a resume with a company and was rudely asked why I hadn’t followed their directive not to call.

    They don’t want to hear from us, they do not want you doing detective work on the company until after they offer you an interview. If by chance you do find out the name of the person the position reports to, guess what? That person will send your resume and cover letter back to HR anyhow. So don’t waste your time, just write an excellent cover letter to “nobody” and you will have a better chance.

  98. Pingback: Calling all Employers: Is “To Whom it May Concern” the Kiss of Death? | The Hiring Site

  99. So many applicants out don’t even know how to put a resume together so let alone to worry about how to put a cover letter….

    How about a article to put a resume together?

  100. Well, I started out my letter(s) with the traditional “To Whom it may concern:” and read a similar article about this topic and decided to send a few letters with “Good Day” and a few of their suggestions. No Luck! Most of the time I received no response, but every time I tried the new opening, I was never called back for an interview. Great Advice! It doesn’t work – at all! I have applied to everything I could find, and have had no luck. I am an engineer who has been out of work for about a year now. I have found that it is not what you know, but who you know when applying for a job. Plus, the number of unemployed engineers is staggering. So much for going to school and earning my degree. I should have got a government job or something. This country is on a course to serfdom. Happy job hunting everyone!

  101. As the rest have said the kiss of death is the advice that article gave. The fact of the matter is HR Admin everywhere are inundated with calls all day everyday from all walks of life claiming all sorts of things and do not and will not waste a second to come to the phone (if you can get them on the phone)for such foolishness. I should not be surprised that Careerbuilder would link me up to this completely out of touch fluff piece. Can you imagine how many poor souls might actually take this awful advice?! Now it makes the lack of finding any promising leads that amount to anything via Careerbuilder make perfect sense!

  102. you are definitely full of bull —- correct your own grammer, with Dir Sir/Madam, obviously you don’t possess the english language. anyway, I don’t need you or your advie, I have since acquired a great job as an administrator at a hospital!
    So, go hunt some stupid people.

  103. I have to agree with Mark (and so many others) who said “you must live in a different world than the rest of us”, although my version of that is “what planet are you on?” It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find a name and contact information not only for addressing your cover letter but also for following-up; something else we job hunters are breezily instructed to do (and would love to, if we could just find a name, phone number, email address, anything). I do understand how overwhelming the number of applications must be and that it would be impossible to communicate with everyone. But please don’t punish us for, essentially, following instructions. Not posting a hiring manager or HR contact clearly says the person does not want to be known. In return, we have generic salutations and don’t call to check on our resumes or give you sales pitches.

    In my opinion, this article shows a grave disconnect with the reality of job hunting today.

    I got it, I will delete it from my cover letter now,but it will work????????????????????

  105. Unfortunately, many companies’ websites are often not up-to-date, and addressing a letter to a hr person who is no longer employed by the company (in these fast times more likely than not!) will result in the letter left unopened in a miscellaneous bin somewhere or tossed out altogether. And the hr executives I’ve come across seem to prefer to be as anonymous as possible to outsiders!

  106. Interesting article to be coming from an internet based job site, and a probably written by someone who hasn’t worked in corporate America or looked for a job there in years. (Why is it when I click on Rachel Zupek’s name I am directed to other articles but no bio on her to help evaluate whether she really has any idea of what she is writing about?) As to the issue itself, what are the odds that the first thing being looked at is your cover letter? Small to nil. With as many applicants as there are today, with the national unemployment rate hovering around 10%, the first thing being done with submissions from sites like CareerBuilder, is to run the resumes received through a keyword search. I see this all the time as I get emails quite often looking for a UNIX programmer or administrator when I have neither of those skills, but since my resume does include the word UNIX, because of the operational experience I have, it gets flagged in a keyword search. Now an actual reading of my resume or my cover letter (addressed to Dear Sir or Madam:) would quickly show I don’t have the experience being sought for the job I’ve been emailed or called about. But in today’s job hunt it is the keyword search that is the gatekeeper to the game preserve. I also know, from more than one national company I’ve worked for, that if you do not have an individual’s extension number when you call and ask for Human Resources, you are immediately transferred to a voicemail account. Also, due to fears of workplace violence it has been years since I have had a switchboard operator, when there actually is a human operator, give me the name of a manager, of any department, when I have asked for it.

  107. Dear “mojito”

    …I was just wondering as I read your post…were you not at one time looking for a job, or were you born employed ?

  108. Nearly everytime I applied for a job where a “contact” was NOT listed I called the company – And, nearly every single time they said “I’m sorry, we do not and can not give out any such names”. This has happened so many times that I nearly gave up looking for hiring manager names. If a company is going to red flag someone who wrote “To whom it may concern:” Or “Dear Hiring Manager”, etc.. They should also be very aware that their very own company may have a policy against giving out such names. It’s a total catch-22 and there’s no way around it.

    Case in point: My last job. A conversation with my manager and she pointed out that if the person did not address her on the Cover Letter she would throw it out. I then asked her “well what if they can’t find your name?” She replied “well, all they have to do is call..”. She was totally unaware that Human Resources does NOT give out her name for anyone taking the initiative and trying.. So, you can say she was a little bit surprised.

  109. I totally disagree with this article. I have contacted companies to get contact information for someone in their recruiting or human resources office and I was told that information is not released. I conducted research and that information was not published on their website or any of their publications on the web.

    This article shows a lack of research.

  110. This is so ridiculous. To what extent job seekers have to bend and I don’t think it matters anymore. Unless you know somebody who knows somebdoy it’s impossible to get a job. Come on, gone are the days when your competence,qualifications and experience used to matter. This economy and the country are going down the drain and superficial advices like these matter more. To hell with jobs. I’m working to create some and hire some deserving people.

  111. If a company tosses your cover letter over the introduction rather than actually judging the content of the letter itself, then that company has its priorities grossly confused and isn’t worthy of hiring anyone competent to begin with. You’re better off not working for such a monkey-cage.

    Sometimes you need something trivial like “To whom it may concern” to weed out the companies that are run incompetently. You don’t want to work for places like that.

  112. Aren’t we being just a bit too anal about these things? After all, the whole idea is to get a job with employers who need your specific skills, education and experience. Instead of worrying about “Dear Sir, madam, To Who It May Concern, etc., why not worry about the real meat of the issue: What’s the best way to connect employers who really need what you can offer with candidates who really need a job and have the skills, education and experience the employer needs? I think keeping resumes and cover letters short and concise is the key. I’ve done my share of hiring at this or that company, and I really don’t have time to read through lengthy attempts at people trying to please someone they’ve never met. I want to see as quickly as possible three important things:
    1) Does the applicant have the skills etc., etc. I need;

    2) When can they start;

    3) What are their personal goals and how will they best fit into my department.

    Sure it’s always a good thing to be polite and professional at all times when seeking work, but just don’t lose sight of the main thing: Get what you got out there as quickly and concisely as possible. Keep it short and sweet. I have my own job to do besides looking over your Resume! If you got what I need, I’ll probably offer you the job. Whether you address me as “Dear Sir”, “To Who It May Concern” or even “Hey SOB” will probably make little difference in my hiring decision. And if you’re going to do research into my company, research what really counts: What the job is all about, What we make, What our markets are and How you will best contribute to the overall health of the company.

  113. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    No more advice from this is ridiculous. I have been looking for a better job for about 8 months now and have gotten nowhere with this site. Craigslist is definitely more lucrative and more than 80% of postings do not indicate the name of the business, let alone a contact name. This article was obviously written by someone with absolutely no experience in either hiring or answering a job posting online.

    Don’t give up people! This is the perfect example of a negative trend in an already down economy. Only take positive advice, and everything else with a grain of salt.

    Good luck.

  114. The problem is’s website, not your greeting.

    On an unrelated note, why are jobs that don’t use the default template able to hide the posting date?

    Also, why do I get so much spam from careerbuilder? I had to create a separate email for careerbuilder just to separate out all the spam – most of it is from itself!

  115. My Official NEW salutation/Cover Letter,

    Dear Person who is looking at this cover letter,

    I realize that I could have spent the next few hours doing everything in my power to research the internet and harrass the employees at your company trying to find your name, but I also feel that behaviour like that is equivalent to stalking and shows nothing more than my ability to waste your employees time. Not to mention I personally would feel a little creeped out if someone did that to me.

    If you feel I am not worthy of your job because of this, well so be it. But then I wouldn’t think your company is worthy of hiring somebody of my broad thinking talents if you choose to get bogged down in the mundane.


    Now I bet THAT would get someone’s attention.

  116. w/r/t your “update” about actually contacting hiring managers and the “discovery” that proper language is not taken as laziness, sorry, but who exactly wrote the article? who would throw away a cover letter addressed appropriately to an unknown party? I think it depends on what job you’re applying for but if someone’s cover letter landed on my desk that had a casual salutation like “good morning” I would assume the individual didn’t have the practical knowledge to know how to appropriately address strangers and would moreover assume the individual didn’t speak even conversational english (i’ve only ever received letters addressed “good morning” via spam or in emails from close friends, in the morning). People who track me down freak me out – for me, it’s creepy and a huge turn-off and causes the individual to lose several points that he/she has to make up. And in terms of generational matters, I’m under 30. However, I am well-educated and I’m not looking for someone cute or entertaining – I’m looking for adult who knows how to handle him/herself. So again, I suppose it depends.

  117. Who are you kidding. This article is a bunch of crap. There are very classifieds that actually name a contact person or the company name these days. In fact, many of them wish to remain anonymous, hence the blind ad and the freebie email address instead of company domain name. The company doesn’t want you to know what their name is because during these days of double digit unemployment and climbing, management is no doubt compiling the next round of pink slips for the permanent full timers in favor of the part-time 1099/no benefits employees.

  118. Sorry, but I have to completely disagree here.

    First of all, plenty of companies today do not post ads that contain company information. They use vague descriptions like “an internet marketing firm.” Plus, a lot of times, if you do the research, what you come across might be old. And I doubt a company wants 100+ calls asking about the hiring manager’s information.

    Second of all, if a company would actually completely ignore a potentially sparkling candidate over how they opened a cover letter or e-mail, it’s probably a place most people wouldn’t want to work.

  119. I completely disagree with this article. “To Whom it May Concern” is a formal business salutation that has been published in every resume and business building journal for decades.

  120. WTF. Reading this article was the biggest waste of my time.I mean come on Careerbuilder with articuls like this why dont you just go out of buisnnes. Your not helping anybody anytime. And for Rachel, I hope you here something like,”What the hell were you thinking!……YOUR FIRERD!

  121. Too bad we can not rate this article – I would give it an “F”. No info on the author, but apparently young and has no clue about proper manners and rules. What she claims is the kiss of death is not only correct, it is proper and I am wondering where she got the information for the article. Maybe from another 20-something who does not even know how to use a typewriter or make proper invitations, written responses and was never taught to write a thank-you note?

    What a waste of time and space on here!

  122. many companies look at your credit score before they hire you…..guess they think if you have bad credit you will steal from them!
    They may also be doing a background check. I think the credit score is a bunch of crap. My score fell due to family illness, not lack of hard work or work ethic. If they are judging me on that, and not on my references and experience maybe I do not want to work there.

  123. Mojito,
    So sad that your lack of maturity and life experience is so apparent, perhaps as you live a little more you will know that there will be circumstances well beyond your control.
    For you to feel the need to call another human being worthless shows a lack of your own self-worth for if you valued yourself you would know that such callus remarks are not necessary.

    I sincerely pray that life never deals you a tough card for it sounds as if, at least at this point, you would not be able to handle it. Humility is still a worthwhile virtue.

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  125. I have just read many of the replies and I am appalled at the bad spelling and grammer that is being used. If a cover letter like that came across my desk both the cover letter and the resume would go directly into the waste basket. Doesn’t anyone have SpellCheck/Grammer on their computer system?

  126. As a recruiter and hiring manager, I really don’t care about a generic greeting on a cover letter. It’s not a deal-breaker. However, I wince when I receive a cover letter addressed to “Gentlemen.” And, while I have never received a letter addressed to “Ladies,” that, too, would make me wince.

    I also receive cover letters addressed to the completely wrong person, but I would never, ever hold it against anyone for trying.

    I don’t include a contact name on jobs that I post. I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to talk with every single applicant who wants to check on the status of their application or get more details about the position. However, I make it a priority to notify the non-selected applicants via e-mail. It’s just courteous to let applicants know what happened with their application, even if it’s to tell them that they weren’t selected. They can then move on with their search.

    Most companies are receiving many, many applications for every job that they post. Personally, I look less for how the cover letter is addressed and more for well-written, compelling cover letters from applicants that clearly and concisely articulate how their accomplishments and credentials are a good match for the job being posted. By extension, the resume should serve to reinforce what I’ve read in the cover letter and to affirm that the candidate actually has the minimum required experience. Often, I receive cover letters that are just fluff — they tell me absolutely nothing. If it’s not immediately clear to me how the applicant’s experience matches the needs for the role, then I am forced to move on to the next submission. Plain and simple.

    P.S. Having been unemployed in the recent past and then re-employed, I know exactly how it feels to be on the other side of the hiring coin. For all of you diligently trying, hang in there. Some lucky company is going to land you.

  127. Dear Anita,

    While i fully agree with the majority of the posters here, i would encourage you to let go of your anger. Instead, please take very seriously the advice to proofread your cover letter and application. Your posting here has so very many spelling, grammar, and usage errors. If this indicates how you typically write, it is understandable that you would not be invited for interviews.

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  129. Aloha!
    Guess you are not into the job hunt? Today, too many of the help wanted posting, do not give you a clue, much less the address of the company.
    There is no Guarantee even if you do have someone’s name, you will even get a phone interview.
    Most of the time there is no response at all.
    I take the time to find the address of the company, sometimes your lucky and get a phone number.
    Think most of the time your resume and cover letter is looked at the youngest and least experience staff person in the HR office.
    Such a shame, I or my lead always looked at every resume. We made sure each was acknowledge in one form or another. Keep all the resumes and applications. Because when you had the special position to fill, you had a contact.
    I always taught part of our job in HR was PR, both internal and external. We took the time to when someone called to talk to them at that time or we would call back.
    Would be nice to get some really good feed back now and again.
    Truthfully, do know any HR people who put you in the round fill because of not having their name on the cover. Maybe it is a practice only recruiters do?
    Gene E. Moore, SPHR
    Job Coach for Blue Sky Careers

  130. I’m in totally disagreement with this article. The polite greetings like Dear Sir/Dam is accept in everywhere around the world . I do not why is not accept in U.S.A.

  131. I have to agree with most of the nay-sayers here that this article did not help. Mainly because it contradicted itself. The article begins by telling us that using a salutation like “Dear Sir/Madam” will make recruiters think we are lazy and our cover letters will end up in the trash. Then, at the end of the article, it says that Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark suggest “Dear Sir/Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern” as possible salutations. So an article that tells us NOT TO USE THEM AS SALUTATIONS, turns around at the end and tells us that we POSSIBLY CAN USE THEM. So which one is it? Should we use them, or not? The article doesn’t help me or the next guy looking for work if the advice is contradictory (and spelled wrong, to boot).

    Personally, if there is no contact info, or I find contact info but I am unsure if that is the actual person I should be addressing in the cover letter, I put “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiting Manager” or “Dear Recruiter”. I think as long as you include “Recruiter” or “Hiring” or a variant of either of those words in your salutation, that you should be fine.

    Also, Al, you asked “why does Career Builder have a quick apply section that bypasses the cover letter entirely”? Actually, you can include a cover letter on Career Builder. Right underneath where you attach your resume, there is a little box you can click to draft and include a cover letter. Now, whether that cover letter actually gets passed on to the hiring company is a different story. Just FYI for those of you who may not have known that.

  132. Ok, I don’t have the time to read everyone’s postings, so it might be written here by someone else.

    Here’s my opinion: looking up a person’s name is no being nosy, the information is somewhere at all times and people want to know that you have an active interest in them and know things like what they do and when they started their company.

    Some people posted that it’s not always available: that’s already stated in the article!
    This information might not be available, but sometimes you will be able to find it in different places instead of the company’s website. Try searching for the company on LinkedIn, and you might find out who the hiring manager is. It might even be posted on a blog somewhere… just a thought. It’s better than giving up and whining “But it wasn’t on the company’s website,” boo hoo.

  133. promytius:

    It’s “Prometheus” you moron.

    Nice education.

    oh, and I’m 22, and high on heroin right now, yet somehow more “educated” than yourself.

    Love it.

    That said, enjoy your retirement; hope you’re someplace warm.

  134. I totally agree with you Tom! I read this same article and thought the editor should have been suspended or fired; “how I am to report to?” Really; where did they find that type of “uneducated” grammar? In all my education over the last couple of years; grammatically correct, well structured and professional sentence structure are also very important. I will be a co-editor along with you, Tom

    I also believe that being polite and courteous is important. Since many, many jobs listed on the internet and even in the want ads have private or confidential in the listing and/or no one’s name listed, then Dear Sir/Madame is more polite; not to mention, better than no salutation at all.

    Laurel H.

  135. The article has good points, but basically it comes down to: if you know who to address your coverletter/resume to, put that persons name in the heading.

    It is quite difficult at times to find out that information because the hiring manager does not want to be contacted or addressed directly. It does not make sense to me because that will still not streamline the selection process any further, unless there is a company site that is accessible that one can use to locate to find that information. As others have already mentioned, firms, nowadays, use craigslist and other sites that are administered through the third party, making it difficult [if not imposssible] to find out where you are really submitting your resume.

    One firm that had a job posting that I was interested in submitting to had an email address with no way to identify the person to list in the heading and when I went to review the company site, it was restricted, as if it were an private intranet site for the employees.

    To me, it is a hit or miss. I admit that I mostly use ‘To whom it may concern’, but lately I have been changing the heading to ‘To HR’. When I can identify a person to directly send my resume to, I address them personally. For now though, all of my results have been the same, regarless of which heading I choose–no interviews.

  136. “Dear Sir/Ma’m” is the appropriate way of addressing. ‘Whome it may concern…’ is even better and more honest. I would just address with a ‘Hello’. I donot know the person(s) that are reading the application letter and taking all that effort to find out a name to address means nothing at all, just a waste and diversion from the actual subject. Moreover, by the time the interview/hiring happens, the original person{s) concerned might have gotten out of picture.
    When all these showiness ends and real work starts, the change happens :)

  137. Good information for those seeking employment ten years ago. Consider today’s employment environment. Most hiring personnel do not want to be bothered by the amount of e-mail they receive which is why they do not want you to use their name directly. To save their time and effort they have someone else screen applications. Those that lack established criteria (whatever that may be) get tossed before it even gets to the hiring authority. Bare in mind that one of the established criteria is to follow the application instructions to the letter. So chances are if you use a “back door” your application will get dumped for “not following instructions”. It appears the Editor and this articles Sources need to get out from behind their desks and find out what going on in the “REAL WORLD”!

  138. I totally agree. Employers seem to be more interested in who can play the game that job hunting has become rather than who can actually do the job. Once they get their priorities straight, they’ll start attracting top quality candidates.

  139. You can’t win. What if you are unable to find out the person’s name at ABC company. This is does not make any sense to me. I think you should at least give it some effort to at least try to find out the name of the hiring manager if you are unable to find the name stick to what you know and be as general as possible. People are going to go nuts hopping on one foot listening to all the so called resume writers. I use resume writers and paid a lot of money. They even wrote my cover letter with ” Dear Sir or Madam” I got more responses from my orginal resume and cover letter that I created. Just stick to what you know, If things are not working out just switch it up. Thanks

  140. I am guessing that a majority of those posting their disapproval of this article are still unemployed and job hunting. I would also guess that the author of the article actually has a job and receives a paycheck every two weeks instead of unemployment compensation. Perhaps it would be a smart decision to actually try following the advice of someone who has what you want (a job), because quite frankly, he has earned the right to give that advice.

    Disagree all you want, yet it seems your methods aren’t working. Give this author’s advice a try and see what happens. Perhaps you’ll actually get a call back / interview / offer. What’s the worst that could happen? You could spend a few extra minutes researching and still get rejected. But at least you will have tried just a little bit harder. Why would anyone want to hire someone who just wants to do the bare minimum?

    Good luck to you all.

  141. This is the stupidest article I’ve ever read. If a company doesn’t want to read your information because of a generic salutation, then you’re not going to win with an HR person with a God complex no matter what formalities take place.

    I’ve hired many, many people. I never cared how the salutation was phrased…I cared about the person could bring to the table. Most hiring managers don;t want their name out there and expect this type of letter.

    If you follow the above advice, prepare to be more of a nuisance to the hiring manager than inquisitive.

  142. Do not call the company to bother them with irrelevant questions. If a contact isn’t mentioned in the ad, then simply include an appropriate salutation and focus on learning about the company and writing a nice cover letter. No one has time to be bothered with frenetic job seekers (most of whom aren’t qualified anyway) trying to show their initiative in an essentially meaningless way.

  143. I can’t believe they wrote an entire article on which greeting to use. It is really NOT that important….what’s in your resume is.

  144. This guy is an idiot, plain and simple. Most job listings have no contact and 95% of the time you will not be able to find that information out. Just another tip from an idiot that doesn’t have any common sense.

  145. The advice in this article has been said before, as have the relating comments. I would hope that the prospective employer would look at the typos and misspelled words as red flags instead of whether or not the salutation is current or hip enough.

  146. We should all become HR stalkers to find jobs then? Perhaps there is a service for an extra 19.99 that will do the stalking for us…

  147. I’ll have to agree with jennifer,the career builder site is nothing but a spam generating operation. All I’ve found , to date, has been nothing but a black hole in my job search!

  148. I believe there is nothing wrong(with To Whom, Dear Sir or Dear Madam) when the applicant response to the job that company posted lack of information from the employer who search for a replacement without the person’s name for contact. “To Whom, Dear Sir, Dear Madam,” this is formal-perfect enough and these people are authority who work in human resource; it is logical; any letter must be check by them. A recruit manger has miss many good qualify candidate who is match for a job because of unclear and specific of contact, they trash a resume of any applicant, so the job posting over again and again. A recruit manager maybe not doing a good job. If a manager wants a replacement, there is no big deal; they will know each other during interview; that is why they set interview. I believed that is the trick of a manager just to make those applicant painful before getting a job that they applied-they make it hard. I don’t believe those who are looking for a job “lazy” Otherwise, for some spelling, human made mistake; sometime a person type too fast and accident by proof reading to look for an error. The most important-priority for manger to hire a good candidate is… application must have education background and a good characteristic. This needs to meet by face to face-not by mail.
    From: a Graduate of Women Fashion Designer.

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  150. I have been in management, and I never thought it was rude to use To Whom It May Concern. If anything, if someone had my name at the top of a letter after it had purposely not been published in a hiring add, I would find that a little creepy (more like stalker status), like how did you find that out, not congratulate someone for being resourceful.

  151. To Whom It May Concern, please don’t take offense with the fact that I did not include a proper ‘personal’ salutation when submitting this cover letter & resume. After filling out countless applications, sending innumerable emails, and concerning myself with other important tasks I just didn’t have the time to research the name of your company or your proper name. Please find attached a copy of my resume for your consideration, and again, I respectfully request that you don’t hold my impersonal cover letter against me.

    Sincerley, Stressed Out Applicant

  152. This article reads like another snotty college essay written for some business communications or human resource class. Or worse yet by some pretentious college professor who’s never actually held a real job but his/her research shows that a “proper salutation” can mean the difference between landing that life-changing career opportunity or wasting yet another day searching all the trashy job sites and trying to construct the perfect cover letter.
    Do recruiters really pass judgment on a qualified candidate on five little words such as “To whom it may concern”? That’s lazy and shows a lack of initiative? Get real! Have you been unemployed recently? Do you remember what it’s like searching for jobs, filling out on-line applications, constantly amending your resume and writing countless stupid cover letters all so some so called human resource manager can validate his/her job? Do you think people have that kind of time to research companies and contacts all so they can write the perfect salutation? The answer is no. We’re trying to find a job in our chosen profession and every minute counts.
    This is ridiculous! I’ve interviewed dozens of candidates during my career and I would never consider the salutation a deal breaker unless it was intentionally insulting or unprofessional. Of course I have never encountered that. My eyes go right to the resume. I’m looking for experience, education and credentials. That’s the fastest way to screen a candidate. If I like what I see then I read the cover letter to get a better understanding of the candidate, his/her accomplishments and what they truly want.
    Articles such as this show a lack of initiative on your part to gain an understanding from the job seeker’s perspective and really make the credibility of your site suffer.

  153. Why is it a secret? All I want is a job where I can bring my experience,
    talent, and ability to think and solve problems. Not guessing whether
    my salary expectations might be to high or low, my age, or other leading questions that have nothing to do with getting an opportunity for an interview. These type of questions should be illegal.
    I agree with gin!

  154. After reading the article and the comments I’ve come to the conclusion that as always…It’s not what you know, it’s WHO You know!

  155. I agree with all the comments. Job seekers today are looking for work in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. Now we’re told we have to fret over how to word our salutations on cover letters! Give me a break! To Whom it May Concern and Dear sir/madam are perfectly fine salutations and I will continue to use them despite the article’s caution against using them. Frankly, I’m getting tired of all these so-called “experts” telling us all the hoops we have to jump through to get noticed or hired. Some of the advice is contradictory and some are flat out bad. I’ve decided to weed through them and determine what works best for me. The bottom line is if you have excellent skills and work history and interview well, you won’t have to focus on these nitpicky things like how to word your salutations on a cover letter.

  156. You know, “Pojetari” (above) has a good point. He/she called out the complainers for voicing opinions when they, themselves, are jobless. But unfortunately, his opinion assumes that since careerbilder posted this article and also promoted it in a newsletter, the author actually has a job and knows what she’s doing. Just by publishing her work careerbilder implicitly endorses her as a recruiting expert.

    Do a quick google/linkedin search though, and it appears that the author is just a general freelance writer and that careerbuilder is using this stuff to try to drive up SEO ratings, rather than actually giving us constructive advice.

    I say, careerbilder, shame on you for your own laziness. There should be “about the author” bios which outline their credentials, or better yet, vet your articles BEFORE sending them out in newsletters, rather than AFTER everyone complains.

    PS. Careerbilder, thank you for the Gold, Platinum, Silver, etc, options, but given the quality of services I’ve seen so far, including worthless expert opinion like this one and the unlimited pyramid opportunities contained in your listing… I think I’ll stick with craigslist

    PPS. Don’t blame the writer too much. She probably gets paid $25 bucks an article and is just supposed to fill it with fluff and keywords to drive careerbilder higher in google search results

  157. Hi honey did you find any good prospects today in your job search?

    Yeah, I found a lot but applied for only one.
    One? Why only one?

    Well after laboring for hours trying to write the perfect cover letter I happened upon an article from and discovered that my salutation, “To whom it may concern” was lazy and showed a lack of initiative on my part. The article suggested that I should research the company, internet and my contacts in order to find a person’s name for the salutation.

    Okay, so how did that go?

    First I went to the company’s website and went through each and every page to find a name. I even clicked on the tiny little link “Site Map” where I finally found the elusive “Contact Us” link to hopefully get a name for my perfect salutation or at least a phone number to call.

    Ah huh, go on.

    Naturally, there was no name but there was a generic email address which was about as useful as However, there was a phone number so I called it.

    Great did you speak to anyone?
    At first, no. I went through a seemingly endless maze of automated menu options until I was about to throw the phone against the wall when I decided to just press the 0 button repeatedly until a live voice answered.

    And did someone finally answer?

    Actually, yes. A rather nasty and impersonal office manager or receptionist answered the phone. I felt a little intimidated but finally told her what I was trying to do and almost got my question out when she muttered, “I’m sorry we don’t disclose that information. Please submit your resume on-line at”.

    Oh that’s too bad. So then what?

    After wasting those precious couple of hours I typed a myriad of search engine queries into Google, Bing etc…

    What were the results?

    Basically, an endless loop of the same generic human resource pages for that company stating to send the resume to the same useless anonymous email address that I found earlier.

    Wow that’s discouraging! So why didn’t you just send your resume and cover letter to the anonymous email address?

    Because, I need to show initiative. So I went through my contacts and called and emailed as many people as I could to either find a person’s name at the company or another contact that just by chance might know someone who knows someone whose cousin’s brother’s girlfriend that once worked at said company might be able to provide a name.

    So, tell me you finally got a name for your perfect, personal, initiative showing salutation.

    Nope, I struck out and broke down and started smoking again and cursed myself for all the time I wasted searching for a name for my salutation when I could have pumped out a few more cover letters. Al least I don’t show a lack of initiative.

    No just a lack of brains.

  158. I think it’s nice to address the hiring manager by name if possible, but I definitely wouldn’t consider it a deal breaker. I recently tried to send a hard copy of my resume to a company (in addition to the online application), and I couldn’t find a name or the address to the corporate office anywhere! After talking to somebody from the location in my area, I ended-up sending it there, upon their best recommendation. If they like what they see, perhaps they’ll forward it.

  159. Not sure if this has been addressed, but some of those very same job advertisements that don’t post a contact also explicitly state, “Do not call.” So, when I read an article such as this that implies I show a lack of concern because I don’t dig deeper is somewhat confusing if not downright foolish. So, I use whatever information the company offers and if it’s a hardy “To Whom. . . ” that’s what they get.

  160. The purpose of this article was to allow job seekers an opportunity to vent their frustrations. I think that it was a stroke of genius.
    Any of the people that bothered to read all of these posts are not employed. It takes 40 minutes to do so. I don’t know anyone that has that kind of time at work?
    Most of you would rather complain than offer a better solution.
    Do the Math. The reason the government does not bring the military home is there are no jobs for them. Thousands of college graduates get out of school each year and have no prospects for a job. With unemployment at 10% (so says the government) each May another million graduates will enter the job market with current school and philosophy. Companies will continue to downsize and the job pool will shrink. Everyone of you should demand government bring back all jobs that have been outsourced to other countries. It would not employ all of us, but it would be a great start.

    I hope your job searches are fruitful.
    God bless you, God bless the U.S.A.


    I read your interesting post. I am not that skillful and being lazy can not get the names of hiring folks.

    For people like me that lack the above skills, I suggest that you start a new service called EMPLOYER OR HIRING MANAGER CONTACT LIST SERVICES.

    Since you seem to have the skills and the ability to find out the names of Hiring Managers or Recruiters, you can use that ability to create a list of job postings and the contact names. You can sell this information to job seekers, who in turn will pay you for this service. Even if you charge $0.25 per job list (which I will be willing pay because it makes my chances higher!!!) imagine how much money you can make in a day.
    If you are smart you can turn this into a franchise by teaching your skills in name hunting, or a multi-level marketing concept.
    You never know with this many unemployed people and the tons of bogus job ads that belong to scammers you will be the next GOOGLE of JOB SEARCH. I recommend you take this seriously and when you get rich don’t forget this LAZY GUY who gave you this idea.

  162. I have never seen an article this dumb and insane. The writer (WHOM SO EVER IT MAY BE) is out of touch with reality and is full of BS.

    Let me say this. I have hired many professionals and clerical personnel in my career spanning 25 years. I never had a problem with how they addressed me in the cover letter, or the way the resume was written (with or with out flattery, adjectives etc). To me as a hiring officer I am more concerned about the background and skill sets. When I find an applicant a compelling potential, a quick phone interview can easily verify the credentials.
    I didn’t expect Career Builder to be this low to patronize this out of touch writer.

  163. To whom it may concern or sir or madame…I think most are loosing site of our goal, obtaining employment. I ask how many of you that have written a recent post have received any response relative to employment through this website and at what cost? Keep in mind,
    employers that do not provide anyone with the proper pertinent employment information, are they really hiring? Or show casing to obtain tax relief credits through the federal government. I believe in HONESTY-INTEGRITY-LOYALTY. Neither the hiring manager or employee should let “EGO’S” get in the way of their ultimate goal. EGO’S & TEAMS do not go together.
    How many different data bases actually exist with this website, and of those data bases where is your resume located? It boils down to NO MONEY no data base. NO DATA BASE no call!

    In closing, I’m from the old school where respect and responsibility ruled, it is unfortunate that our current generation of leaders and consultants are more concerned about how they are addressed rather than running there operations. It’s obvious we are in a serious employment crisis, hopefully some of the good employers can move beyond these issues, get over themselves, bury the ego’s, and start addressing issues and potential candidates with their HEARTS.

  164. Good Grief! It looks like really stepped in it this time! I thought my earlier comment was harsh but after reviewing some of the others – Sheesh!

    Howsa ’bout a little less ADVICE and more ASSISTANCE where finding a good job is concerned? After all, you’re not Ann Landers!

  165. I agree with you Sue! Most of what I read in here and on the Internet especially in social websites is EXTREMELY poorly written English – and a lot of this is coming from young people who are so used to “texting” and using short cuts, abbreviations, etc. that they cannot even begin to pen a grammatically correct business letter with proper spelling, punctuation and grammar! If these are the people who are graduating from American Universities, then we are really screwed! I never completed college and I write better than many of the people I’ve hired who walked in my office with big fat degrees! Luckily I needed their skill set and not their writing abilities. People: “This is an ENGLISH language speaking country. PLEASE learn to write correctly and use good grammar and spelling. I promise you, it will make your application stand out when seeking employment!”


    I read your interesting post. I am not that skillful and being lazy can not get the names of hiring folks.

    For lazy and laid back people like me that lack the above skills, I suggest that you start a new service called EMPLOYER & HIRING MANAGER CONTACT LIST SERVICES.

    Since you seem to have the skills and the ability to find out the names of Hiring Managers or Recruiters, you can use this gifted ability to create a list of job postings and the contact names. You can sell this information to job seekers, who in turn will pay you for this service. Even if you charge $0.25 per job list (which I will be willing pay because I can get an interview!!!) imagine how much money you can make in a day.
    If you are smart you can turn this into a franchise by teaching your skills in name hunting and opening nationwide franchise operation. This can also be a potential MLM (Multi level marketing ) like Amway.
    You never know with this many unemployed people and the tons of bogus job ads that belong to scammers you will be the next queen of JOB SEARCH. I recommend you take this seriously and when you get rich don’t forget this LAZY GUY who gave you this idea.

  167. To whom it may concern:
    I think that a lot of headhunter types are facing really slow times. So, they fill their time by writing blogs giving stupid, irrelevant and totally bum advice to Job seekers who don’t need any more condescending comments to feel overly discouraged. I suppose the next suggestion will be: I can critique and write your resume for you at this month’s special price of $999.00 and give you a very effective cover letter for free.
    Give us a break for crying out loud! Get a real job and see how hard it is to find one.

  168. In my case I was instructed to fax my resume, etc. to the HR dept. w/o a contact name. You wait for a reply say, 3-4 days, max of one week. Then I called them on the phone and found out the name of the HR person. When I told her what I was calling about she says she never received my paperwork and that as far as she knew all the positions, like the one I was applying for were filled.

    (Originally they had 6/7 openings for drivers delivering pharmacutical products.)

    I asked her if I should resubmit my resume, as well as a driving record, which is spotless, she said sure go ahead which I did. A week goes by, no reply.

    (Wasn’t there a song by the Beatles w/that name?)(Probably play it on their MUZAK system)

    I call to talk with the HR lady and I get her voicemail, okay no biggie, leave a message. No reply. I call again and got lucky was able to talk w/the HR person.

    I refreshed her memory and she said she’d submit my paperwork to the supervisor of that dept. I asked what his/her name is and she says “PAUL”. I wait another 3/4 days, no answer. I call and asked for “PAUL” and after explaining who I was and what I was calling about I find out I am talking w/none other than the CEO of the company. He was very pleasant but told me I needed to talk w/ PAUL K. and would forward my name and number to him. I waited another 3-4 days, no answer, and finally said to HEQQ WITH THE WHOLE ROTTEN LOT OF THEM.

    Here’s the best part. About two MONTHS later, after finding a similiar job, which I feel is a better one, the HR lady calls me and wants me to drop what I am doing and be there at 0800 hrs the next day for an interview. I told her I had already found a job and that I wouldn’t be available. (not that I wasn’t interested, just not available.)

    She blew a gasket and said my name would be put on a “blacklist” and I’d NEVER get hired by them. I thanked her and hoped she had a good day and hung up. He He He.

  169. You make it sound easier than it is. I am a business-to=business telemarketing pro, and even with all my experience and tricks and what not, many times I cannot get the hiring person’s name.
    Call the company – Nope, we don’t give out names, nope, we don’t transfer calls into departments, nope, nope, nope.
    Finding names online can be helpful but also disasterous – many online articles are old, and it’s hard to get the current person’s name.
    Good luck, all

  170. Just a quick Thank You to “Robert” who’s thoughts/comments start out.

    Hi honey did you find…..

    Robert your points are very well taken and right on. You also have one HEQQ of a great sense of humor. Thanks for a good laugh w/


  171. I have reviewed the many postings regarding this article and I am in agreement with the many job seekers that are responding. There is a lot of frustration with the way the economy has been for the past few years with job openings being very limited. There are more job seekers than there are positions and competition is very real, but so is the necessity to network.

    Although posting to a job board is one way to apply for jobs it should never be the only marketing strategy that you are pursuing.

    Think of yourself as a product and while you are working your territory, to expose your product to the target market, you must utilize marketing strategies to make the sale.

    Would it not be great if we could go back to the way things once were prior to the economy taking a bad turn? However, it will not probably ever be like that again and every job seeker will need to think more along the lines of networking and marketing strategies.

    The bottom line is that you want YOU (the product) to be the best in your target territory. Within the bigger picture, do all that you can to provide the best marketing exposure for a potential employer to realize that you are the right job seeker for them out of the hundreds being promoted.

    How do you do this? Let us begin by going to and use this free online tool to track your networking/marketing progress.

    Then make sure that you have a professional resume presentation package that will provide a professional image for your calling card.

    Not all resumes are alike so make sure yours will be the best that it can be with a focused approach. Visit and become acquainted with our career values and an innovative approach to your calling card.

    The potential employer has many to choose from so make sure that you are using a resume service that is capable of sorting through what is important and what is not. Our company is focused on our “Client First” strategy which is why we are an Internet based resume service providing personalized one-on-one service with our clients throughout the United States.

    I have seen many resumes that are not the quality needed to be the best of the best. Market yourself to your target market by using a new approach to the many changes happening in the employment market.

    There is a lot of information being offered on what you should or should not do. If you take with you only one idea from my posting then please let be this: Be confident in who you are, because confidence will leave you open to possibilities. Do not sit in front of your computer applying to endless job openings and hope that this will be the only thing that you can do for yourself. Instead spend this time determining what your target area will be, what your career focus is, research the companies that you would like to work for, assess what you have to offer and then begin planning your marketing strategy.

    Determine what you may be lacking and then seek out ways to improve these areas. Continue applying for employment opportunities while you continue to build on new ways to offer additional skills and experience as you look for ways to add potential to your resume. When you have all your ducks in a row you will be ready when an interview becomes available.

    Take care and I wish you well on your continued progress as you develop new ways to obtain your career focus.

    Carolyn (Senior Consultant)
    Helping You to Obtain Your Career Goals!

  172. I agree with some of the above responses referencing the legitimacy of the jobs being posted. The career builder website and several others list the same jobs over and over again. With this many vacancies the unemployment rate should be well below the current 10%.

  173. Anne Strauch,
    Thank you. — I guess it probably was evident that I was venting a bit, but that really is my take on it. — I appreciate the ++ feedback.
    Good wishes to you and others here who are trying to land a decent job and trying hard to do so. With any luck, some in management will see this and ask themselves, “Geesh, after reading all of these responses, why DO we need HR in the middle of this?!” [B/c we know what the answer is.]
    Just as an aside, I notice that the CB folks appear to be in “duck and cover” mode here. I find that kind of amusing. Hmm. Who is teaching whom about the job search process?



  174. What it really says is about the employer, NOT the candidate. So many new “easy” tricks that HR departments are using to thin out the crowd of applicants. What they are really doing here is using a quick and dirty trick to make their job easier. They are using a convenient excuse to pass over qualified candidates. It is lazy and bad management (there is a lot of that out there), but that is one of the things we deal with today.

    I use “Dear Sir or Madam,” because it is correct and proper. I doubt there are many people out there who can do research better than myself, and if you have bothered to read my resume, my 4.0 GPA in grad school will bear witness to this a lot better than my choice of greeting.

  175. I fully agree with many who have voiced their opinion against the advice on salutation rules.
    The author is out of touch with reality and is pushing some non sense in the name of advice.
    I personally think you the “salutation Expert” should pursue opportunities else where.
    May be teach your principles to others and sell your services for suckers that are jobless.

  176. I think some people are over reacting here. First of all I do agree that yes it is bad that employers hiring for positions do not have appropriate contact information that should be posted because if an employer looks generic or not real then who will respond, I would not. I do agree also on the other hand that some things people use in a resume is silly as far as salutations or headings are concerned because I feel knowing who you are addressing your resume to is important as if you did your research and shows effort and you will be an effective employee and detailed oriented about things by doing so. Again I feel there is good points on both sides of the track. Good employers will notice a resume if their name and title is being used such as the hiring person or manager in some cases. What is being over looked here also is that every employer, manager or HR director views these things differently. Again as a job seeker we look for contact information as well as other important information in deciding if this job is right for me or not. I do strongly agree that employers should offer every bit of information about the company, contact info and job description so a person can decide if this is a good fit or not for themselves as this helps weed out a lot of unnecessary time wasted on either side . As a person who has been on both sides of the track as my self has been I do think it is impressive when potential employees know you by first and last name and title it on their resume as I have had that happen to me as a manager and the results from hiring that person was a good decision based on their attention to detail, but also as a employer you look at other things as well. You can only know what is effective if you have been there and tried it.I would not necessarily throw away those resumes titled dear sir or madam as that does not mean a person is not a good fit for the job, but when you are addressed by your first name on the resume title it does spark an interest from the employer to hire some one with this great attention to detail and effort to know these things especially if the employer did not include all this information in the job posting. I guess some may agree and some not to my view point on this subject, but I do know it does not hurt job seekers to put in that extra touch in their resumes and it does not hurt employers to offer all their information. Also for employers who worry about getting over loaded with calls from people seeking the job opening, would you not want to be over loaded with calls from possible prospects for the position you are hiring for? As far as the job seeker is concerned, does it hurt to go the extra mile with your resume to make it look great and show effort and detail?

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  178. I don’t know on which planet the author of the article lives but in my field you cannot reach HR much less the hiring manager, ever. If they want candidates to know their names they just publish it. Usually they don’t because they don’t want to be disturbed by hundreds of phone calls. Why are you wasting people’s time?

  179. If no name, then I go to the company’s website and put down the name of the head of the whole HR department; he or she is usually a VP. At least it’s a name…

    Otherwise, I go to Attn: Human Resources, Dear Hiring Manager (now changed to Executive)…

  180. I strongly agree with your comments! Most employers don’t even look at a person’s resume if it’s lacking some minute detail, which does not speak on the skills or qualifications of the applicant. Personally, I think the “new” way of accepting applications is just another way of weeding out unqualified applicants. The only problem I see with this is the wrong applicants are the only ones who seem to be weeded out.

    I don’t want to sound disgruntled or pessimistic but I am well qualified for many of the positions I apply for but my resume always seems to get overlooked and when I have to see a potential employer in person the individual working the front desk can barely spell. How did they get the job???

  181. DL-

    You hit the nail right on the head with that one. Nowadays people read too much into the specifics and unimportant details to make their determinations. I honestly believe it’s the company’s way of weeding out applicants.

    Sometimes I believe they use the “pick a number between 1-10″ method.

  182. Dear Rachel,
    After reviewing the 190+ responses to your opinion/advise…what can career builders do to remedy this situation. I think we will all agree that many of the job post listings have empty fields, this goes back to my previous comment, ARE THESE COMPANIES REALLY HIRING or show casing for State and local government relief and structure abatement’s?
    We, the job seekers are required by the employer, and your firm, with specifically marked fields, to supply pertinent information relative to who and what we are. I would certainly believe it would behoove career builders as well. This is your web site/ or lack of, that has created this dilemma. If you provide identification fields for employer postings, for GOD’S SAKE, use them! Someone in the organization you work for created this site…it’s time to take off the blinders, think outside the box, and require this information. Let’s put the $419.00 per posting fee aside for a moment and provide a format with required fields that serious HIRING employers will use. Be a leader in the employment posting web arena instead of being like the rest.

  183. Robert-

    Excellent comments! I recently graduated from college myself. After years of watching those commercials that state how much more money a person with a degree can make as opposed to the individual with no degree I was sucked into the biggest money making scheme of all.

    Sadly, I believed the hype and I am too underemployed, working for minimum wage, trying to make ends meet and still searching for a better job.

    I have applied to several positions, for which I am very well qualified but to no avail. Seeing the manner in which our resumes are being treated angers me so much but what can I do?

    My husband was laid off a few years back. He was conducting several job searches and going on interviews. One interview in particular still stands out in my mind as I continue searching for more adequate employment. During this interview the girl could not even spell my husband’s name. My husband has a very common name and anyone who graduated kindergarten can spell it but she couldn’t. What’s even worse is the fact that she did not even try to use proper etiquette and ask “How do you spell that?” she just kept making several misguided attempts at trying to spell the name until he finally corrected her. How on earth is this person put in charge of critiquing other potential candidates on the use of grammar and spelling when she could not spell herself.

    Again, I ask, how do these people get their jobs???

  184. Even her own poll suggests that it is not a big deal to hiring professionals how the letter is addressed as long as it is spelled correctly and is grammatically sound. What a bunch of “scare the hell out of you” nonsense.
    Anybody that cares that much about how a letter is addressed needs serious help along with Rachel.

  185. I’m 33 and I would not think “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom it may Concern” is stodgy at all. Now, truth be told, I HATE to whom it may concern. At least the former has a human element to it. I would not appreciate a letter that had no salutation at all. It seems sloppy/lazy to me.

    What I do hate is the company that continues to send me letters with the salutation “Dear Sirs.” as much as I don’t wnat to play the PC game, I can’t pretend that that does not offend me. It does…and right off the bat.

    When sending a cover letter/resume, I always do as much research as I can without actually calling the company. There is clearly a reason they did not disclose the person’s name and I should respect that as an applicant.

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  187. My experience, so far, has taught me that in this job market those making hiring decisions no longer base their decisions on what you CAN do, but on what you HAVE done. I have had one interview in 3 months during which I replied to over 50 job postings. I and one other candidate were given a second interview. When HR called to tell me I was not the chosen candidate, she said over and over how much everyone “loved” me, but they had to go with the person whose last position more closely matched their current position. I have talked to others who have had the same experience. It seems to me that 1) we must be lucky enough to use the keywords the compamy uses in their search in our resume 2) be lucky enough to have responded before too many others so our information is viewed by human eyes 3) have an appropriate and interesting cover letter according to the subjective opinion of the reviewer. (Notice the word “subjective”.)

  188. I am in agreement to those who have expressed the need for a salutation is better than no salutation at all. It is not well suited for our society to ward off potentially great employees’(remember this is proper when addressing a group, the comma goes outside of the word) that would be eventually be a loyal, hard working and motivated person. I think our society in the industrial/organization arena needs to stop worrying about the set up of resume and learn how to innately choice an person who is qualified by personality and skills. I think this short article doesn’t read much of the daily news of distraught former or otherwise desperate people looking for employment. I totally believe that companies might not want anyone to have knowledge of who’s hiring or not. I have someone I know that is in this position. It has to come down to reality of some people. This position comes with alot of good people but it takes one psychotic person to ruin a day. Leave well enough alone, you really need to worry less about salutations and worry more about getting more employers’ and corporations to hire people.

  189. Amen to that, Bob. I agree with you entirely. HR needs to get out of the way and get the appropriate resumes to the department doing the hiring. The silly screening rules they apply are hurting their chances to hire the correct person.

  190. Dear Sir or Madam:

    I’m happy to report that just last week the above introduction landed me a preliminary voice interview to be followed up with an in person interview. I almost always use “Dear Sir or Madam”, and let my resume do the rest of the talking for me. I can say that I’ve called potential job’s before to find out who is in charge of the hiring process and it’s never been an advantage or a disadvantage from my experiences. Employers are much more focused on your skill set and probably alot smarter than people think. Now on the other hand I can see a know nothing HR person not liking the introduction, which is exactly why I don’t use HR whenever I’m the hiring manager.

  191. Not everybody are smart.Not all of them went to college.Middle age people are used to say that “Dear Sir/ Madam” or To Whom it May Concern”, People have different IQ.Only people that have a higher degree or have a higher education.How about the people that were applying for a janitor,garbage man or service man?Do you think they know that? You must be considerate! Don’t compare your brain to them!If everybody are smart, nobody wants to be a janitor,garbage man collector,and other blue collar job! hmppppppp…..

  192. Hi Denine, The answers to your questions are in the above article. No offense, but your inquiry had several grammatical and spelling errors. I hope you have someone look over your resume before you send it out. Good luck.

  193. What kills me about this is that, even after having this mistake pointed out, when they “fixed” it it’s still incorrect.

    “…the important of…”? Really? I could have taken this article seriously if it had been well written. As it is, it makes the author and the site look uneducated and unreliable.

    Proofreading errors happen but when you have them pointed out and still can’t get it right, that’s just sad.

  194. Whoa! I’d say you must have just moved here from another country, in which case I’d excuse your atrocious use of the English language…you need a proofreader, Dearie.

  195. I absolutely agree that there is nothing wrong with “To Whom…” when the name of the hiring individual has purposely been concealed. I have applied to dozens of jobs on the net where no contact info, nor even the name of the company is revealed. Often, only the general geographical area is given, and you don’t even know where the job is, except “South Jersey”, or whatever. If the company is rude enough to conceal its location from prospective employees, it doesn’t deserve a flowery salutation.

  196. Does the line REALLY say “Dir Sir or Madam?” DIR?? Wow. Who is the editor for this writer or site?! Please replace that person with ME asap!

  197. Well then, after 204 comments pretty much ripping this advice to shreads, perhaps CB advisors would like to digest just what message that there is to be had here and do two things:
    1) Share this discontent and its specifics with management at companies that utilize its service (and I don’t mean HR managers, since it is already clear that most of them could care less anyway).

    2) Rethink this not-so-pithy advice and own up to the fact that it was next to worthless.
    Thank you.

  198. Here’s a trick I developed to get more information on anonymous postings: “Copy” a disctinctive phrase in the job description–some words that are less generic sounding–and then do a Google search with that language in quotes.

    This technique will often take you to the website of the company with the job opening!

    Good luck. Larry Braman

  199. I just started blogging on wp and this is exactly what I will be avoiding. Never EVER tell people how to do something that you simply have no experience doing yourself. Second, there are always situations where this advice will hurt your chances. Since we do not have anyway to know whether this advice is effective, the best rule of thumb is to do what you can the best way you can. Third, this is a VERY touchy subject for those with degrees and years of experience in professional careers currently unemployed. Personally, I realize the IMPORTANCE (as Carol pointed out) of having experience and the confidence in your abilities. That is what employers are looking for not to whom you are addressing…

  200. This article is really disturbing. To be blessed to have such a forum to assist the masses in finding employment and you post nonsense to take up space. Career builder you suck, postings are followed by all kinds of SPAM. You are into making money for yourselves by having job seekers use you site. You should be shut down!!!

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  202. If the employer really wanted you to know their name, then they would just put their name on their ad, and the reason they often don’t put contact info is to prevent too many people from calling them. Why would they intentionally play mind games with people by hiding their contact information just to see if people can guess what their expectations are without telling them?

  203. employers get as much as they are willing to give.. contact Tom.. Tom gets a Dear Tom. Human Resources gets Dear Human Resources Confidential Company gets ( and only if I truly interested in working for a company too secretive to post who they are ) dear confidential company.

    Kissing a@@ gets you nowhere.

  204. Robert,

    You don’t need a job! You should be a playwright! Your posting was funnier than he**!

    Hope you’re successful if you are or become a writer!

  205. Lulubell4ever – You are obviously confused about the way some basic punctuation is used in the English language. The ‘ mark is NOT a comma, but an apostrophe – and it is NOT used when “addressing a group.” It is used for contractions, such as can’t or won’t and to indicate possession as in the employees’ lounge or the managers’ books – and I am using it to indicate that it is ALL of the employees, not just one person – and ALL of the managers, not just on particular one, so it is plural as a possessive. BUT, again, the apostrophe is NOT used to indicate the plural noun, as in “The teachers are going to a meeting.” In this case, where “teachers” is a noun, there is no possession – and therefore no apostrophe.

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  209. If the hiring manager isn’t disclosing his name on the job posting, that means only one thing: he does not want to disclose that information to you!
    It’s fine if you actually do some research to find out who he is, in order to tailor your cover letter toward him, but by addressing it to him directly, you may as well sign off your cover letter with “Your Name, Stalker.”

  210. I thought I might point out something humorous. The tenth comment, posted by Mark, illustrated an apparant grammatical error in the article.

    “We always try to stress the of networking in your job search.”

    I’m assuming the article was updated as it now reads, “We always try to stress the important of networking in your job search.”

    You may want to go back and change “important” to “importance.”

  211. Most job postings do not include the name a contact. If you get the wrong name and use it, so much the worse for your application. It will get to the wrong person and then go in the garbage. At some firms, it goes into the garbage regardless!

  212. Hello! Is it All right if I ask something sorta off subject? I’m attempting to see this page on my EVO 4G but it won’t present up properly, do you get any solutions? Will i need to get an update for my program or something like that? thanks! x :)

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