How to Address a Cover Letter to a Company That Will Not Give Out Its Name

Confine your cover letter to one page.
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It seems to be becoming more commonplace: Companies are withholding their name in job advertisements. Many job seekers consider a company’s identity to be an important piece of information, but companies withhold it for a reason, most often because they don’t want to be inundated with follow-up phone calls from job seekers. A company that withholds its name also is likely to be without the name of the person to whom cover letters should be directed, thereby compounding the challenge for job seekers. But fear not: You may feel stuck, but there is a graceful and professional way out of your predicament.

    Step 1

    Familiarize yourself with the proper format for writing an inside address on a cover letter, assuming that all information is available. The recipient’s full name appears first, preceded by “Mr.,” “Ms.,” “Mrs.” or “Dr.” Subsequent information should be single-spaced: the person’s title, the name of the company; the company’s address; and the city, state and zip code of the company.

    Step 2

    Take the highest road by adopting a formal tone in your cover letter. Use “Hiring Manager” or “Recruiter” in the inside address and then “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter” in the salutation. Even if the people at the company do not hold these specific titles, your intention will be clear and your letter should be forwarded to the proper person.

    Step 3

    Choose the classic approach by using “Hiring Manager” or “Recruiter” in the inside address and then “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” in the salutation.

    Step 4

    Avoid the generic “To whom it may concern” in your salutation. Although you can be forgiven for using it in this case, it may be construed as disinterested or flippant.

    Step 5

    Provide a prompt in your cover letter by including a “regarding” line in the inside address. For example, before the address, include a line that says, “RE: Social media marketing position.”

    Step 6

    Proofread and edit your letter to ensure that the spelling and grammar are above reproach.


    • Remember that you cannot be penalized for not providing information you are not privy to. Moreover, the recipient may be flattered by being referred to as a “hiring manager” or “recruiter,” especially if the title exceeds her current status.

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