I am looking at the open positions of major company. The webpage page says:

Submit your resume and cover letter to:
Fred Nurk, Corporate HR Manager
[email protected]

But the email address is also a "mailto:" link. And when I hover over the link, this is what is revealed:

[email protected]

So who do I address my email to? "Fred Nurk" or "Joe Blogs"?

My guess is "Fred Nurk", and that whoever last edited that page didn't realize that the email address was a "mailto:" link.

Follow up

I sent the email to the obvious FNurk address over the weekend, but did not mention the issue in my cover letter. Fred acknowledged my email first thing Monday morning, and I used that to point out the issue on the website and Fred thanked me for doing so.

  • Send it to Fred and CC Joe
    – Hilmar
    Jul 12, 2020 at 16:09

5 Answers 5


You have a few options. You don't NEED to use the mailto: link. You have the email address listed. You can simply send your letter to that address and address it to the appropriate person. It's possible the JBlogs address has been deleted and the person has left the company and this is a copy/paste error.

Or you can assume this is something scammy and just not reply. I'd go with the just sending to the email address directly personally. It seems like a simple, honest mistake.

  • It's definitely not a scam as this is a solid international company. And I agree that it's most likely a mistake, but it threw me for a loop when I was about to send off the email. I probably just needed a second opinion
    – Peter M
    Jul 11, 2020 at 17:54
  • 2
    I would almost put money of the fact that Fred copy/pasted Joe's email signature and changed the details, changing only the display value of the link and not the target url.
    – Flater
    Jul 13, 2020 at 16:38

Seems like it might just be a little mixup. If I encountered this, I'd just send the message to both addresses using a CC option and point out in the message that I wasn't sure which address it was supposed to be and that it might be some kind of mixup in their page.

At best, they'll appreciate both your attention to detail and willingness to help them improve their process. At worst you find out this company really does not like having their minor faults pointed out to them, which to me sounds like you just dodged a bullet.

Most likely it won't make a difference, but at least you've got a 100% chance of the message arriving at the right address.

  • +1 This is the right answer. You have no way of knowing whether a turnover issue was addressed by fixing the mailto link (but they forgot about the actual text) or by fixing the text (but they forgot the mailto link.) I've seen this sort of thing all the time (and have been the person having to fix situations like this all the time), and there's no way I wouldn't email both addresses.
    – Kevin
    Jul 13, 2020 at 18:14

So who do I address my email to? "Fred Nurk" or "Joe Blogs"?

It doesn't make a difference how you start the letter. When you send a cover letter it will be read by multiple people. The screener will read it; the one doing the phone interview will read it; the 3-5 people conducting the face-to-face interviews will read it. Then the hiring manger will read it. None of them will care who was included in the greeting.

The bigger concern is that one of the two email addresses is inactive. If it is it might bounce back, but some corporate systems won't bounce incorrect email addresses for security reasons. I would be tempted to send it to both for fear that one I picked the wrong one. Even if both are still good addresses, one might ignore anything sent to them.


This <a href="mailto:[email protected]"> thingy is already a part of the software. If it is wrong, this is simply a bug. Or maybe the writer has not been skilled enough with some authoring tool. Forgot to update the link after updating the visible part. Or the authoring tool itself is buggy.

You should always use the link visible for humans. I am not sure if you should mention the found disagreement but I would not mention say an obvious grammar mistake in the job announcement, so probably here better not also.


I would address it to the "Fred Nurk" name/email since that's what was explicitly stated in the job ad. I think the underlying "mailto:" hyperlink is probably just a tech malfunction.

"JBloggs" (Joe Bloggs) is a standard placeholder name [e.g. I have used "J Bloggs" as an example at least 4 times this week when talking to various people!] so I think you can assume from this that someone has just copy and pasted a "template" of some kind (and forgot to change the text that should be changed!)

Use the name that seems realistic rather than the placeholder.

  • 2
    Both Fred and Joe are both placeholders that I used anonymized the actual email address
    – Peter M
    Jul 11, 2020 at 21:38

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