I am about to be applying for a position requiring a cover letter. I did write one for a portfolio when I was in school (high school course with college credits), so I feel fairly comfortable as far as writing one.

However, I cannot remember (or not sure I knew) what to do if I do not know who my intended recipient is. Should it just be written as "To whom it may concern" and that address, or...?

Typically I would start the top of the letter with something like the following:

John Smith

123 X Street

Anytown Anystate 00000

Follow up: So, if I didn't know who it was being sent to, but where I was sending it, how would I write the address for a cover letter?

I am in the US, if this changes how it would be addressed.

Note: This is being sent online but not via email.

  • 1
    Related: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/96873/…
    – DarkCygnus
    Oct 9, 2017 at 20:34
  • 2
    Have a look at the related questions in the side-bar, this has been covered before. Also, cover letters are usually digital these days and they tend not to use the classic letter format but simply have a salutation without any address lines. If you're applying via email your actual email will often be the cover letter.
    – Lilienthal
    Oct 9, 2017 at 20:58
  • @Lilienthal Thanks... I did look at a couple related, wasn't sure if I felt they totally applied. I will have a look at them again. Also, I am applying online but not via email if that makes any difference.
    – L.B.
    Oct 9, 2017 at 21:05
  • @L.B. This is close but only has one useful answer. This is more general and the answers seem on point. Check this as well. There are several other instances (1, 2) of this question being asked and they usually don't get much of a response because related questions have covered it.
    – Lilienthal
    Oct 9, 2017 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


To whom it may concern is a salutation. That wouldn't be part of the address section. If you don't know the person's name, you can put their title or their department followed by the company.

Director of Human Resources
Someplace, Inc.
1234 Any St.
Atlanta GA 30010

Then, "To whom it may concern" would be appropriate.

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