How do you address an e-mail when you do not have a specific person’s name? Onliners often run into this dilemma when job hunting and e-mail me asking what to do.
Most websites do include an employment or “Careers” section that details exactly what you should do. Read it and follow those instructions to a “T” to make sure you send your information as requested.
Believe me, blindly sending a resume to any address you find is not only ineffective but will also make clear what little effort you are willing to make. Not a good impression.
Addressing Employment Email Inquiries
Address the proper person by Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. or Dr. (see my articles on this topic on my earlier post “Dr, Mr., Mrs., First Name, Last Name”). Formality matters when job hunting because being formal is a sign of respect. Taking the premature liberty of addressing your contact by their first name lacks professionalism.
Many years ago before e-mail existed it was proper and accepted to use the salutation “Gentlemen”. Today, addressing those we do not know in that way seems archaic especially since are we not always aware of gender. “To Whom It May Concern” seems better suited to a legal document than to correspondence.
How to Address Resume Submission E-mails?
I recommend that you make the effort to find out the specific person’s name if at all possible. Perusing the employer’s website may give you the specific contact information you seek and is better than a generic greeting where it is clear you did not make the effort to find their name.
When I get addressed as “Gentlemen” through any of my sites, I know the person didn’t even make the minimal effort necessary to find out my company is me. If they did they would know I’m not a “gentlemen”.
As far as “To Whom It May Concern”, that isn’t very impressive is it? Tells me you aren’t concerned enough to make the effort to find out my name! Especially considering my name is in my logo and on my About page. Generic greetings are just that and will never lend to standing out from the crowd or impression.
So, what to do if there is no specific name on their website? If you cannot find a specific contact name on the site, pick up the old-fashioned telephone. The job market is competitive. Getting the job you want means you have to be willing take an extra step or two — that’s called initiative!
Make that extra effort to find out and ask who to send specifically address/send your e-mail to. And it wouldn’t hurt to ask how they prefer to be addressed (Ms., Mrs., Miss).
Simple, right? Go for it!