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I have been in contact over the phone and over email with the supervisor of a position I am applying for. However, on the job posting, I am given the information of the HR assistant behind this position.

That said, should I address my cover letter to this HR contact? Or should I address it to the primary contact who I'd actually be working with? I'm just not sure to what extent the primary contact is involved in the hiring process and reading cover letters.

Thank you for any advice!

  • Dear Sir/Madam should suffice. I've rarely seen cover letters with a personalised salutation. – ChrisFNZ Nov 5 '19 at 22:40
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When in doubt:

To Whom it May Concern,

Unless you are absolutely sure of all parties, this the standard opening to any formal correspondence. This covers everyone, known or not, or those who might view it in the future.

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The hiring manager, not HR. You'll get priority from HR if you do that. At least, that's the way it worked when I worked for HR.

There was a little checkbox in the database for that in our database after I scanned in the resume. That checkbox insured the resume would appear on top of the other resumes with the hiring manager. The paper copy would also be placed on top of the stack because of that as well.

Whether digitally or on paper, we always made sure that the hiring manager could find the resumes of the people he knew first. This was to insure that hiring managers couldn't accuse our department of losing/filtering a particular resume.

To this day, I won't apply to a job without knowing the name and email address (or mail drop) of the hiring manager first and I always send my resume to the hiring manager first, even if he/she doesn't know me. Perhaps, there is a small delay because of that, because I'm sure the hiring manager just forwards it HR, but I feel much more confident doing that because of what I've told you.

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"To Whom it May Concern" covers all cases.

Even if you think you know the name of the hiring manager, or who the supervisor will be, or who the HR person filtering the applications is; they are not the only ones who will be reading the cover letter.

Every time I was the person who filtered the applications I read all the cover letters. I did the same thing when I was part of the interviewing committee. I did the same thing when I was making the final hiring decision.

In a typical scenario that letter will be read by 10 people, and none of them will care if the cover letter isn't addressed to them.

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