Have you ever wondered how to approach someone when you just don't know how to address them?
When you meet someone in person, you greet them with a "Hi!", but what if you have to reach out through an email or letter?
In such cases, most professionals use "to whom it may concern" to address the person. It is considered as one of the laziest way to greet someone.
In modern times, every person's detail is just a click away. Instead of making an effort to find the receiver's name, if you end up writing to whom it may concern, it would suggest that you have not done your homework.
Here we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions and topics related to how to write to whom it may concern by answering the following questions.
What is the Meaning of "To Whom It May Concern"?
To whom it may concern is a salutation used while framing a letter or an email to a business professional. It is generally used when you do not know the recipient's name. However, as mentioned earlier, it is not the best way to reach out to people of interest.
Also Read: How to address a cover letter in 2022?
“To Whom It May Concern” in Cover Letter
"To whom it may concern" is generally used when the recipient's name is unknown.
But, with the frequent use of this phrase, it has lost it's charms.
If you use this phrase in your cover letter it may come off as impersonal, or uninterested.
That's why you should not use "to whom it may concern" in your cover letter.
However, there are some alternatives, where you can use "To whom it may concern" in cover letters
When to Use “To Whom It May Concern” in Cover Letters
Here are some situation where you can use "to whom it may concern" as a salutation.
1. If You Don't Find the hiring manager's name
If you are applying to a company through agencies or any 3rd pary way, it's difficult for you to find the hiring manager's name.
In that case, you can start your cover letter with "to whom it may concern." Since, having any type of cover letter address is better than no address at all.
2. If the name of the hiring manager is gender neutral
If you have the name of the hiring manager, but the name is gender nuutral, it's best to use a generic salutation such as "to whom it may concern" rathar than offending your potential employer.
3. If the hiring manager are a group of people
If the hiring manager in not one person, of if you found multiple hiring managers in a company, but don't know who will get your resume and cover letter, it is better to use 'to whom it may concern' instead of a specific name.
Also Read: How to address a cover letter without name in 2022?
What are the Alternatives for 'To Whom It May Concern"?
It cannot be emphasized enough that the phrase to whom it may concern must be avoided at all costs. But if not, what else can be used when no information is available?
We have wracked our brains so that you don't have to when it comes to alternatives that you can use instead of to whom it may concern.
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Recruiting Team
- Dear (the job title you are applying for) Hiring Team
- Dear Recruiting Department
- Dear Recruiting Manager
- Good Morning/Afternoon
- Dear Human Resources Manager
- Hello There
- Dear Customer Service Manager
Also Read: How to start a cover letter professionally in 2022?
How to Write 'To Whom It May Concern' in Cover Letter?
If you must add 'to whom it may concern' in your cover letter, keep these cover letter formatting tips in mind:
- Capitalize the first letter of each word
- Make use of "whom" instead of "who" or "whomever"
- Follow the phrase to whom it may concern with a colon than a comma
- Add double space before typing the body of the message
Things to Do Before Using 'To Whom It May Concern' in Cover Letter?
Here are some things to do before using 'To Whom It May Concern' in cover letter.
- Read the job description carefully. Look for recruiter's name there.
- Check the website of the company. You might find information about the person in the "about us" section.
- Make use of job networking sites such as LinkedIn, where you can find the professional details of the concerned person.
- Call the company and seek the hiring manager's name if nothing works.
Example of 'To Whom It May Concern' in Cover Letter
To Whom It May Concern:
In response to the job opening posted on LinkedIn, I am thrilled to submit my application for the post of Sales Representative at Click Global Services. With a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration (Finance Majors) from the University of California, I have a prolific record of promoting digital products and IT services adhering to effective customer handling. I was awarded top sales representative in my previous company, making me a perfect fit for your company.
I started as a Sales Assistant at Brain Maniacs Inc., where I sold the company's new products and educated potential customers via cold calling. I assisted the sales team in client relationship management, customer retention, and implementation of new sales strategies that boosted company sales by 15%. I also served as a Sales Representative at Constantine Co., where I managed a database of over 500 clients under the supervision of the sales manager and managed Salesforce to identify new business opportunities and Improvise customer feedback by 30%.
Continuously learning to practice and implement new sales methodologies, I am obliged to apply at Click Global Services, the leading IT company that helps in modernizing traditional businesses globally. Given the role, I will ensure smooth execution of sales operations and complete client satisfaction to uplift sales margin.
Enclosed for your consideration is my resume. I'd appreciate the opportunity to discuss my suitability and qualifications further with you on call or in person.
'To Whom It May Concern' Email Example
In case of an email where you have to seek more information, the letter can draft the message in the following manner.
To Whom It May Concern:
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing this mail to find more information regarding the recent job advertisement in your organization. I stumbled across the ad for the Product Manager role on LinkedIn. From my years of experience in the same field, I think this opportunity would be an excellent fit for me. I think I will be able to contribute to the organization in the best way possible.
Thank You for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Also Read: How to end a cover letter professionally in 2022?
When to Use 'To Whom It May Concern' Other Than Cover Letters?
Before shooting your email, always ask yourself who the person who will read my email is. If you fail to find an answer, write to whom it may concern.
But if you have access to their names, ensure to use their name.
There can be certain cases that will propel you to use to whom it may concern. Let us look at a few scenarios.
Reaching Out to Large Companies
It might happen that you have to reach out to large companies that have complex structures, and the only contact details you find on their website are contact@abccompany[dot]com. In such cases, address the letter with 'to whom it may concern.'
Filing complaints is usually not pleasant business. When you need to file a complaint against someone or something (such as an airline) it's best to keep things professional and formal with "to whom it may concern."
Writing a Letter of Recommendation
Since you don't know the person's name to whom you're writing the recommendation letter to, it is best to keep things formal with "to whom it may concern."
Writing a Letter of Introduction
You may use the To Whom It May Concern phrase at the beginning of your introductory letters when you want to introduce yourself to a mass of people, where you don't know everyone individually.
Writing a Prospecting Letter
When you write a prospectice letter, most often than not, these are cold touch-points. That means you don't know the person's name while you writing the letter to them.
In these type of situations you can use 'To whom it may concern' to keep things professional.
Now that you know when to use and not use to whom it may concern phrase, make your letter stand out and use the alternatives to create a better first impression.
Here are some significant points that you should keep in mind whenever you wonder how to write to whom it may concern.
- To whom it may concern is the salutation used to address business professionals in letters and emails.
- Use to whom it may concern phrase only when there is no alternative available.
- Always capitalize the first letter of each word and follow it with a colon rather than a comma.
- Do not use the to whom it may concern phrase while writing a cover letter or writing a letter on your behalf.
- Always try to obtain information to whom you are writing the email or letter.
- Make use of job networking sites like LinkedIn and visit the company's website.
- Use alternatives instead of to whom it may concern, as it is highly generic and overused.
If you have any queries about job recruitment, reach out to Hiration's Career Activator Platform, which has 24/7 chat aid and professional assistance.
You can also write to us at email@example.com.