Have you ever wondered how to address a woman in a cover letter if you’re unsure of her marital status? Should you include her maiden name or suffix? Should you be formal or informal?
Addressing women properly is a common challenge even for experienced writers. A cover letter is a formal business communication, which means that it is more appropriate to use formal salutations.
Writing a cover letter can be testing. Not only does it need to stand out among the other applicants, but you must sound professional and address your potential employer by their gender. But how do you know what the right way is to address women?
In this article, we’re going to discover how to address a cover letter to a woman, and take a closer look at some general dear sir or madam cover letter tips.
How to Address a Cover Letter to a Woman: Ms.
When you’re unsure on how to address a woman in a cover letter, you can always rely on the trusty ‘’Ms.’’ title, followed by the hiring manager’s surname. This is the safe option as it allows you to avoid the mistake of incorrectly referring to her as ‘’Miss’’ or ‘’Mrs.’’ Trust us, referring to an unmarried woman as Mrs. or vice versa does not end well.
How to Address a Cover Letter to a Woman: Miss
Miss refers to a woman who isn’t married. If you’re going to use this title, ensure you do your research on the job posting itself and see if this title is listed anywhere. If you can’t find her title, try the company’s website and look on the ‘our team’ page to see if she’s listed there. If she isn’t? Well, go back to the safe option and use ‘’Ms.’’
How to Address a Cover Letter to a Woman: Mrs.
Finally, we have the all-famous Mrs. followed by her last name. Again, check out the job advertisement to ensure this is what she is referred to. If you don’t already know, Mrs. refers to a woman who is married or has kept her maiden name. Do your research, and if you’re still unsure, use ‘’Ms.’’
How to Address a Cover Letter to a Woman: First Name
You may find that on some occasions, you’re going to need to contact the employer before you send your cover letter. Once you have made that initial point of contact, the hiring manager may tell you to call her by her first name. If you do experience this, you can go ahead and address her by her first name in your cover letter as well.
Dear Sir or Madam Cover Letters – General Tips
Tip #1 If You Don’t Know the Hiring Manager – Guess
You could research all day and still not find anything about the hiring manager – it simply doesn’t exist online. If this is the case, then try and find a list of executives that work for the company. For example, you can use the head of the department for the position in which you’re applying for. At the end of the day, nobody is going to blame you for addressing the letter to somebody higher up.
Tip #2 Use a Formal Full Name Salutation
Phrases like ‘‘To Whom it May Concern’’ and Dear Sir or Madam cover letters are so overused, and way too generic. Remember, this is your opportunity to make a great impression, so make sure you show the company you did your research and find the name of your hiring manager. You could even try picking up the phone and simply asking who is in charge of the job posting.
In addition to this, if you’re 100 % sure that the culture of the company is a bit more casual, you can go ahead and use phrases like ‘’Hello’’ or, ‘’Dear’’ followed up by the managers first and last name.
Tip #3: Try to be Specific
Extensive searches, hours wasted, and you still can’t find anything, not even a single name – don’t worry. In this case, the company knows what it’s doing in terms of keeping the post and its employees private.
In this scenario, try your best to still be as specific as possible. You can use the heads title, depending on what kind of role you have applied for. Things like ‘’Marketing Manager’’ or ‘’Sales Manager’’ should be enough, and will show that you have written your cover letter with a certain audience in mind.
Karen invented writing, the airplane, and the internet. She was also the first person to reach the North Pole. She has flown to Mars and back in one day, and was enthusiastically greeted by Aliens. She has also worked as a copywriter and journalist for many years and has helped hundreds of people writing the perfect job application.