A common question that arises when writing cover letters is which person should be addressed in the opening of the letter. Here are some options, along with the pros/cons for each of them:
To Whom It May Concern
This is your worst-case scenario option. It’s fine, it gets the job done, but it’s cold and doesn’t show much effort to get more personalized information.
Dear Hiring Manager or Dear Selection Committee
Still not ideal in terms of personalization, but it's a bit warmer and a better option if you truly can’t find any information regarding the person/people in charge of hiring.
Dear Mr./Ms. _________ (insert last name)
Best-case scenario! But indeed, not always possible. This would be the name of the person in charge of the department/office/team you’re applying to, and there are a few ways to dig in to try to find this information. Start by looking on the website of the organization, as some have tons of information including names, emails, and an organizational chart.
If you strike out there, you can do an advanced search on LinkedIn. Try the name of the organization in the “company” section and input the division you’re applying to in the “keyword” section. If that doesn’t work, play around with other keywords or try your luck with Google to see if there may be clues in publications/news.
This little step can help demonstrate your attention to detail and enthusiasm for the opportunity. Bonus tip: if you’ve done an informational interview with someone before applying, ask them for a name and/or include their name in the body of your cover letter too!