Aug 20, 2018 - 09:32 AM
"Dear Sir," "Dear Madam," or "To Whom It May Concern" are all standard cover letter salutations, but that doesn't mean they're effective. In fact, if you used any of these salutations in your cover letter, it may be the very reason you have yet to land an interview. So, who do you address a cover letter to? The Muse says to skip the canned greetings and instead, be as specific as possible.
"Sir" or "Madam" implies that the hiring manager is one gender or another, a dangerous assumption in today's world. "To Whom It May Concern" is a canned greeting that indicates that you don't care enough about the position to put in a bit of legwork to uncover a hiring manager's name. An actual name, however, shows that you did your company research.
Ideally, you should address the cover letter to the hiring manager. However, if you cannot find the name of that person, address the letter to the head of the department of the position for which you apply. One note of caution: if you cannot figure out if a person is a male or female based on the name alone, and if you performed a thorough Google search, drop the title entirely.