Aug 16, 2018 - 12:32 AM
Addressing a hiring manager as 'sir' or 'madam' is presumptuous, even if you think you know the gender of the person based off of his or her name. If you presume wrongly, you may ruin your chances of getting a job you are otherwise qualified for. If you want to know the right way to start a cover letter, consider the information shared by The Muse.
The Muse suggests avoiding gender titles entirely if an in depth online search does not reveal a photo of the person. That said, always use a name if you can find one. If you can locate the name of the hiring manager, great! Use his or her name. However, if you cannot find the name of a hiring manager but can find the name of a higher up, use the name of the person who is most likely to care about your application. For instance, if you desire a copywriting role, address your letter to the head of editorial.
When all else fails, address your letter to a job title, such as "Editor in Chief." In short, if you want to know whether or not you should start a cover letter with 'Dear Sir' or 'Dear Madam', the answer is no, you should not.
Sep 28, 2018 - 04:15 PM
You should not start a cover letter with “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam” because it is too formal and too impersonal. In addition, you run the risk of sending a “Dear Sir” to a female hiring manager and vice versa. Start-up companies, which usually have much more informal cultures, may also be turned off by the formal tone, and may prematurely conclude that you wouldn’t be a good fit. Whether you’re sending the letter to a start-up employer, or a more traditional employer, do your best to try and find the name of the hiring manager by looking online (try LinkedIn) or by calling the company directly for the name.
If you call the company, simply explain that you would like the name for your cover letter. If you found the job through LinkedIn, the name of the person creating the ad is often listed, and he or she may be able to give you the name of the hiring manager. If you can’t find the name, use “Dear Hiring Manager,” or use the name of the company CEO or other executives that would oversee the department offering the job. “Dear Hiring Manager” is always a safe bet if you can’t locate a specific name.