I want to apply for a job in a small company. The company consists of a CEO (who probably makes the ultimate hiring decisions), a CTO (who might influence those decisions ), a HR person (apparently nontechnical), other employees (not involved in the hiring process).

There is no one with the title "Hiring Manager".

How do I address the cover letter correctly, and who do I "greet" in the salutation line?

What I considered, and why I didn't like those ideas:

  • "To whom it may concern" - awkward, everyone involved in the hiring process is listed on the website.
  • "Dear Hiring Manager" - awkward, there is no Hiring Manager, and again, all names are known
  • "Dear Mr. HRName HRSurname!" - again, awkward, because the job opening explicitly asks to say a few words about some technical details of a project based on a specific technology, and I don't expect the HR-person to understand all those details.
  • "Dear Mr. CEOName CEOSurname" - seems a bit... hubristic?

How do I start the cover letter properly? Thanks.

There are many related questions, but they all have slightly different emphasis:

None of the answers there solved my specific problem, please correct me if I'm wrong.

  • I was asking about a company in the U.S. ; For me, it was sufficient to know that addressing the CEO directly is not widely considered inappropriate, so I accepted the answer. Apr 20, 2019 at 23:03
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    There normally isn't a dedicated hiring manager. The hiring manager is the person who is hiring someone to fill a role as needed on a team a department they oversee. So depending on the role advertised, this person could have a title like Engineering Manager, Head Of Whatever, CTO, CEO, etc. Apr 20, 2019 at 23:13
  • So, one should simply use common sense, and address the letter to the person who makes the decision. That's much simpler than expected. The lack of illogicality is almost anticlimactic :) Apr 20, 2019 at 23:53
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    Possible duplicate of How do I address a cover letter if I can't find out who is responsible for hiring?. I know this is included in your question. But it covers your situation. You don't know who to address it to. Most of the time you will not know who to address it to. Apr 21, 2019 at 12:41
  • @mhoran_psprep I edited the question to emphasize the difference between my question and the first link in the list of similar questions, I hope it's clearer now. Apr 21, 2019 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


Address it to the CEO, it will get passed on to the person charged to deal with that set of applications for that post.

  • 1
    So, simply address it directly to the person who is responsible for the ultimate decision, and don't mention the HR (who probably does some preliminary filtering) at all? Alright, thanks for the proposal. I'll wait a little bit and see whether there are other ideas. Sorry, can't upvote yet. Thank you very much so far. Apr 20, 2019 at 16:36

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