Your cover letter may be the first form of communication you have with an employer. Addressing the cover letter properly can help you get a pass to the next stage of the job search process, but knowing how to address the letter correctly is important. It is particularly important when the letter is addressed to a woman. There are many ways to address a woman, depending on whether she's married or single, and based on the information presented in the job posting.
Whenever you are uncertain about how to address a woman in your cover letter, you can rely on using "Ms." followed by her last name. This helps avoid the mistake of referring to her incorrectly with "Miss" or "Mrs." This salutation also applies when you are uncertain if she holds a specific title such as a doctorate, advises Western State Colorado University's Career Service. If she holds a doctorate, the salutation is "Dr." followed by her last name, and it takes precedence over "Ms.," "Miss" or "Mrs."
Use "Miss" to address a woman in a cover letter if this is how she's referred in the job posting. For instance, "Dear Miss Smith." It is also the typical form used to address a woman when you know she is not married. If there is any uncertainty at all, refer back to using "Ms."
Use "Mrs." followed by the woman's last name in a cover letter if this is how she's referred in the job posting. "Mrs." is typically the form used for women who are married. When you are uncertain whether she is married or has kept her maiden name, refer back to using "Ms."
In some instances, you may have contact with an employer before having the chance to send a cover letter. She may tell you to call her by her first name. In this type of situation, address her by her first name in your cover letter as well. Other instances where the first name basis can apply in a cover letter is when there is email correspondence that's already begun and in each instance, she has signed off on it with her first name when writing to you.
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