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Ask online career experts what they think of using “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter and you’ll soon find out the vast majority strongly recommend against it.
For years, they’ve insisted that using “To Whom It May Concern” to open your cover letter is a guaranteed way to leave a bad first impression and hurt your chances of getting an interview.
What the Experts Say
In fact, most career experts assert that you must address your cover letter to the hiring manager using their actual name.
Yet countless job seekers open their cover letters with “To Whom It May Concern” anyway — they’re certainly not all jobless. It begs the question: how much does this little 5-word cover letter opening really impact your chances of getting hired?
To shed some light on this situation, cover letter would influence their hiring decision.
“While most of us know what goes into a good resume, cover letters are more mysterious. cover letter writing may seem like a necessary evil when you are looking for work, but it’s just as important as preparing your resume. Crafting an awesome cover letter will help get your foot in the door and land that job. But what actually makes a good cover letter? How long should a cover letter be? Who should I address it to?” – How Long Should A Cover Letter Be? Tips for Writing a Great Cover Letter
The results were overwhelming: more than 83% of hiring managers claimed that seeing “To Whom It May Concern” on a candidate’s cover letter would have little or no impact on how they viewed that candidate.
This result contradicts what career experts have been writing about for years: that your cover letter must be personalized to the reader, and that addressing your cover letter any other way is career suicide.
Also intriguing is how the results varied depending on the hiring manager’s age, gender, and even geographic location. To dive into the data (and learn more about what hiring managers think about “To Whom It May Concern”) take a look at the full To Whom It May Concern survey.
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