Salutation for Cover Letter?

Adrianne writes:
I am in the preliminary stages of a job search and I found your
article on researching a company to be very useful.
I also understand that cover letters should be specific. But to
avoid writing “dear sir/madam” I wonder what one can do if the
company’s human resources department does not want to divulge
the name of who is assessing the applicants?

The Career Doctor responds:
The bad news is that technology trends make it even harder for job-seekers
to track down the names of hiring managers. The good news is that when
you do you will certainly have an edge over other job-seekers.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from job-seekers is the ever-increasing
difficulty in reaching or following-up with a hiring manager.
So what’s the best way around HR folks screening assistants voicemail
or vague email addresses? Having someone inside the company who can
get you the information — this is the real power of networking.
A lot of job-seekers have a misconception that networking is all about
asking people for jobs — and it’s not. Networking is about sharing information –
about people companies and yes job leads. A strong network will provide
you with plenty of information and resources to help your job search. And
having this information will give you the inside edge in the job hunt.
Another misconception about networking is that you are using people but the
whole idea behind networking is one of reciprocation; someone helps you now
and you’ll help that person in the future. So get your network out there
helping you!
And if you must use a salutation I prefer “Dear hiring manager” or “Dear
hiring manager for [fill-in-the-blank] position.

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