Using “To Whom It May Concern” And Other Business Letter Salutations Plus An Expert Guide

“To Whom It May Concern” is a salutation commonly used in formal letters when the writer does not know the name of the person to whom they are writing the letter.

Apart from that, this salutation can also be useful when he or she isn’t addressing a specific person in the letter.

The Necessity Of This Business Letter Salutation

According to a survey report from Resume Companion, 83% of hiring managers who were interviewed admitted that seeing this salutation in a cover letter would have little or no impact at all in their hiring decisions.

That begs the question; is To Whom It May Concern really a very necessary part of a business letter when you aren’t addressing a specific person or when you don’t know the name of the recipient? The answer is NO.

Writing A Letter Without Using To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern

Since you are at liberty to write a business letter without using this salutation, here is how to not use it and a few examples of alternative salutations you can use;



Find The Name Of The Recipient

Do your best to find the name of the specific person to whom you are writing the letter. There are many ways you can do that, including looking up the organization’s website, particularly in the “Staff”, “Contact Us” and “About Us” sections.

Other ways include contacting the company’s secretary and asking them for assistance with that, or looking up the name in the listing, post or advert to which you are responding.

If after taking all these steps, you still can’t find that, there is a number of other alternative business letter salutations you can use, depending on the intended recipient’s(s) job title or department, including;

1. Dear[Department] Name

2. Dear Hiring Manager

3. Dear Recruiting Manager

4. Dear Personnel Manager

5. Dear HR Manager

6. Re(Topic of the Letter)

7. Dear Hiring Committee

8. Dear Human Resources Representative

9. Dear Customer Service Manager

10. Dear Search Committee

11. Dear Recruiter

12. Dear[Department]Manager

13. Dear Sir

14. Dear Madam

Furthermore, it’s also allowed to use a generic greeting such as “Greetings”, “Hello” and so on alternatively. Additionally, it is ok to leave the salutation part completely off your business letter.



Perfect Instances In Which to Use “To Whom It May Concern” Or Any Other Alternative Business Letter Salutation

As said above, you may use To Whom It May Concern or any other alternative salutation for a formal letter when you don’t know the name of the person to whom you are addressing the letter or when you are not talking to a specific individual through the letter.

But apart from that, it’s also not a bad idea to use these salutations when you are writing an inquiry letter, but you don’t have the contact person’s details.

Punctuation And Spacing

It is advisable to use the right punctuation and spacing in every salutation that you choose to use in your business letter.

That said, the first letter in every word that makes up your salutation phrase must be in CAPS and separated from the next word by a space, e.g “To Whom It May Concern”, “Dear Sir”, “Dearing Hiring Manager” and so on.

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