To Whom It May Concern: Getting Hiring Managers' Attention

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Lauren McAdams
Senior Career Consultant, Resume Companion
Does it matter how you address hiring managers in your cover letters when applying for jobs after business school? This survey shows that managers might not be as picky as you think.

Career experts have long warned that addressing the hiring manager using “To Whom It May Concern” on your cover letter reduces your chances of landing an interview.

Despite that advice, numerous job seekers continue to use generic cover letter greetings like this and “Dear Sir/Madam” and gain employment. So, does starting your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” actually affect hiring managers’ decisions?

To find out, Resume Companion surveyed over 1,000 U.S. hiring managers. Specifically, they asked whether seeing “To Whom It May Concern” on an applicant’s cover letter affects whether they’d still consider that person for the role.

Results show that 83 percent of respondents say “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter would have little or no impact on whether they’d offer you an interview.

The results of this survey contradict what many career blogs claim: if you don’t want to hurt your job prospects, you must address the hiring manager by name.

There is no one universal opinion, however. Feelings toward “To Whom It May Concern” differ depending on the gender, age, and location of hiring managers.

To learn how the hiring managers you’re likely to send your cover letter to may react, take a look at the full To Whom It May Concern survey and check out the infographic. 

Lauren McAdams
Senior Career Consultant, Resume Companion
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