15 “To Whom It May Concern” Letters With Examples
Years back, “To Whom It May Concern” was the traditional opening greeting in professional letters and other forms of business communication. Nowadays, you rarely see any begin with it.
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The methods of communication we use today are more pointed than ever and relatively less formal. Modern communications are more conversational.
For example, if you want to send someone an email , you get their specific email address, and no one else will receive it apart from them.
With the internet, it’ll take little effort to find the recipient’s name so you can address them appropriately. “Dear John,” or “Dear Mary,” for instance.
Coming back to “To Whom It May Concern” letters, let me share some of the best examples of how to use them correctly. I will also discuss situations when to use them and when not to.
Also Read : Best Recommendation Letter Examples For Students
“To Whom It May Concern” Letter Examples
This letter example accurately portrays the use of the “To Whom It May Concern” salutation.
It’s a formal letter of recommendation and highlights the subject in bold capital letters. Meanwhile, the salutation comes after in sentence case and a regular typeface.
From the first sentence, the letter introduces the person it’s recommending in bold letters.
The use of bold letters aims to capture the recipient’s attention. They could easily skip the opening “To Whom It May Concern” and start reading the body from the onset.
Most importantly, the letter maintains formality and only talks about the person it’s recommending.
Also Read : Polite Follow-up Email Examples
If, as a company or individual, you want to express support for some other company or individual, it wouldn’t be wrong to use a “To Whom It May Concern” letter.
As this example indicates, it’s most suitable when writing on behalf of a company or group.
First, it shows anonymity without portraying any individual as the sender.
Secondly, it shows that the support offer is the responsibility of every group member, with pronouns like “We” and “Our.”
Finally, the formatting is remarkable: it first introduces the intention and unambiguously outlines the support terms.
Check Out : Best Business Introduction Email Examples & Tips
A letter of confirmation is not very different from a letter of recommendation, which makes a “To Whom It May Concern” letter suitable.
This sample is a letter confirming that a student was a member of a particular program for a specific duration.
The “To Whom It May Concern” salutation is appropriate because anyone can receive the letter.
The student who the letter is recommending may not need the letter immediately but subsequently. It’s a type of certificate that they can keep forever and present on demand.
This investigation letter follows a formal complaint and broadcast letter style. It’s not an employee making a complaint but a superior – a Captain in the Sheriff’s Department – requesting a company department to complete forms for a fraud check.
Such a delicate situation requires 100% formality, and it doesn’t get more formal than a “To Whom It May Concern” letter.
It expresses a lack of bias. Hence, no recipient will feel like they are a principal suspect in the fraud accusation. However, typical of broadcast letters, what’s most important is the content of the letter and not the salutation.
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Just like making a formal complaint, you can also make a statement, confirming or taking responsibility for something.
This sample letter of invitation is a model example. It’s a “To Whom It May Concern” letter addressed to an embassy, confirming the responsibility of a family member who intends to visit.
When writing such a letter of invitation to an embassy, it’s not entirely wrong to open with “To Whom It May Concern” since you don’t know the recipient.
If you do, it’s still not wrong because even if the embassy approves or rejects your invitation, the letter will remain in the records.
Here’s another “To Whom It May Concern” letter sample addressed to a government agency.
The letter authorizes an agent to undertake business matters with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
It opens with the letter title before the salutation. However, the subject draws the most attention.
The letter is brief, and, most importantly, it highlights the name and position of the person authorizing the agent.
Such a letter is valid for more than two years, which means the agent can use it multiple times. As a result, it’s suitable to not address the letter to a single person or office in particular.
Also Read : Best Counter Offer Letter Examples
This letter of notice serves as a recommendation letter and formal complaint.
It doesn’t recommend a person or group but recommends actions employers can take to foster relationships with their employees.
It can also work as a broadcast “To Whom It May Concern” letter. You can use this sample if you’re writing a notice letter to a company where you’re not an employee.
Since you don’t work for the company, the recipient won’t expect you to address them directly. Hence, it’s safe to open with “To Whom It May Concern.”
This letter of complaint is from a customer to a company they patronize. However, it can also work if you’re an employee wanting to make an internal complaint.
Notably, it’s a pointed letter. Although there’s no bolded or capitalized subject, the first paragraph clearly states who the complainer is and the complaint.
The subsequent paragraphs explain the background behind the complaint.
No matter the complaint, it’s ideal not to sound overly dismissive. Hence, the closing paragraph expresses a sense of understanding and hope that the superior will handle the matter accordingly.
Also Read : What To Include In A Cover Letter For A Job ?
You can use this sample when informing a group rather than an individual. The letter addresses an association of teachers to notify them of a large donation to support a joint project.
Although the name and contact details of the association are available, the “To Whom It May Concern” salutation is still appropriate, as anyone can read it.
For instance, the association may send copies of the letter to its different members. Alternatively, one member can read it to the hearing of everyone in a meeting.
Whichever method, the letter doesn’t address anyone in particular but the group as a whole.
A guardianship letter recommends prospective guardians who will look over a child or ward should anything happen to their current guardians.
As a result, the recommended guardian won’t use the letter immediately but sometime in the future.
Such a letter is also usually sent to a courthouse or a different legal body that handles guardian-related matters. With all of these, you can open with “To Whom It May Concern,” just like in this sample.
When it’s time to effect the letter, anybody in the office could read it. Hence, you don’t need a direct salutation.
Also Read : Best Memo Examples
As mentioned earlier, writing prospect letters is one of the few instances when you can use the “To Whom It May Concern” format.
In this sample, a company is reaching out to other companies and requesting their support in a project.
The project details are of uttermost importance, and the sample letter explains every detail extensively.
From the onset, the aim of the letter is apparent. In addition, it doesn’t fail to state how the companies that decide to support will benefit.
Furthermore, the letter outlines specifically ideal amounts that the companies can donate. It has all the features of a converting “To Whom It May Concern” prospect letter.
When sending out expectation letters to multiple participants, you can use a “To Whom It May Concern” letter. It’s a form of broadcasting.
The sample letter outlines the expectations of employers, students, and schools who elect to be part of a training program.
The letter opens with a “To Whom It May Concern” salutation and immediately thanks and congratulates the participants. As a result, recipients can still feel special as it shows the sender values them.
The first paragraph further explains the purpose and overall goal of the project for each participant.
Also Read : Best Resignation Email Subject Line Examples
Here’s a sample to use if you’re writing a self-recommendation letter.
The letter is short and brief, featuring only three main paragraphs after the “To Whom It May Concern” salutation.
The “To Whom It May Concern” salutation shows that the sender didn’t have any particular company in mind.
Instead, they can submit copies of the letter to different companies. The takeaway from this sample letter is the details.
It highlights the primary strengths of the person it’s recommending. It also highlights what they can contribute should the company hire them.
If you’re an employer and your employee requests a job verification letter, you can issue a “To Whom It May Concern” letter. It could be inconvenient to ask them who the letter is for or why they need it.
Employees usually request job verification letters when they want to leave a company. However, they may not want to tell you who their new employer is.
With a “To Whom It May Concern” letter, it doesn’t matter who the letter is for or why they need it; they could submit it to anyone.
This sample is ideal for such job verification letters. It’s perfect if the employee holds multiple positions in the company.
Also Read : LinkedIn Recommendation Examples
A “To Whom It May Concern” letter will work for a confirmation letter. Such letters aim to verify the authenticity of a person, product, service, or other. It’s similar to the previous job verification letter.
This sample is a shipment confirmation letter confirming the contents of a particular shipment.
The letter could work as an official document since it’s in the form of an invoice. As a result, it’ll be wrong to address it to a particular person, using “Dear Sir/Madam” or similar.
When To Use A “To Whom It May Concern” Letter
Now that we have seen some great examples of “To Whom It May Concern” letters, we’ll be itching to use them. However, in the first place, it’s important to know when to use “To Whom It May Concern” letters and when not.
Here are a few instances when using “To Whom It May Concern” may be appropriate:
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If your friend, colleague, or other acquaintance is applying for a new job or trying to get into college, they may ask you to write a recommendation on their behalf.
You don’t know who will receive and read the letter. It could be the HR manager, the deputy, a CEO, or other department superiors if it’s a job.
For college, it could be the department chair, a head professor, or any member of the graduate admissions committee.
Likewise, whoever reads the letter will be less concerned about how you open or your salutation. The recipient isn’t interested in you but the person you’re recommending.
As a result, it won’t be unfitting to begin your letter with “To Whom It May Concern.”
In business, you get to introduce yourself often. Most times, it’s to people you’ve never met.
For example, an anonymous individual or company may contact you for a quote or any other profitable business prospect.
If you’re an interest-driven marketer or company, you wouldn’t want to overlook any opportunity to increase your clientele.
Hence, when you receive such anonymous prospects, you should reply, even if you don’t know much about who’s contacting you.
In such a situation, it’s safe to take a general approach like opening your letter with “To Whom It May Concern.”
In your letter, you can request to know more about the individual or company so you can address them appropriately next time.
Previously, you received an introductory letter from an anonymous individual or company. The situation is not very different if you were the one sending out prospects.
However, opening with “To Whom It May Concern” in prospect letters is only ideal when you don’t have specific recipients in mind.
Often, with automated marketing campaigns, you may send out prospect letters to many random prospective clients.
Most recipients won’t mind that you open your letter with “To Whom It May Concern” because you’re also anonymous to them.
If the content of your letter is encouraging, they’ll most likely respond.
However, if you can find out more about your prospective clients, it’s better to address them appropriately when sending prospects.
As an employee, you can come across different situations in your workplace that you find inconvenient.
The best thing to do is to make a formal complaint. Any superior in your company can read your complaint letter.
It could be the head of your department, customer service, some administrator, or even the CEO. It depends on the issues you’re addressing in your letter.
The most important thing for anyone that reads your letter is your complaints. Some readers may skip the opening entirely and go straight to the body of the letter.
Perhaps you’re the head of a department, and you want to make a complaint to your subordinates about something you don’t like. You can issue a general complaint letter and open it with “To Whom It May Concern.”
A broadcast letter is always the go-to when contacting a large and complex audience.
Usually, these letters aim to inform the audience of something they may or may not find interesting. In other words, your recipient may take action or not.
As a result, broadcast letters typically contain in-depth information.
For example, you may be informing companies that you are open for employment or your clients that a product is no longer available.
Like the other instances previously mentioned, the details matter the most in your broadcast letter. How you open would be less notable.
When Not To Use A “To Whom It May Concern” Letter
There are instances when you should never use a “To Whom It May Concern” letter. These include:
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When applying for a job, your cover letter could decide your chances. You don’t want to open your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern.”
Using such a salutation could suggest that you’re nonchalant. Showing interest in the company is necessary when seeking a job.
Hence, you should endeavor to find out who receives your cover letter and address it correctly.
If you’re sending in your cover letter via email – which is most likely – you can get a hint of who reads the letter from the email address.
Generally, opening with “Dear” is the industry standard. “Dear Sir/Madam,” is ok.
However, if you know who receives and reads your letter, you can open with greetings like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiting Manager.”
You write an inquiry letter to learn or get information about something.
For example, you may write to a company to inquire how much a service costs or to a customer to collect their delivery details.
In both instances, your opening needs to be specific because you don’t want the recipient to ignore your letter.
The recipients need to know that they alone can provide the answers to your inquiry. Opening with “To Whom It May Concern” shows that the letter could be for anyone and not them in particular.
Usually, people send inquiry letters to recipients they’re not acquainted with or are contacting for the first time.
Nevertheless, if you want a response, you should open with something better like a simple “Sir/Madam.”
It’s ok to send your recommendation letter, introductory letter, prospect letter, or formal complaint with “To Whom It May Concern.”
However, if you get a reply and you’re to send a follow-up letter, you should drop the “To Whom It May Concern.”
You most likely included your name and contact details in your first letter. With this information, your recipient should address you adequately in their reply letter.
You can then use the information in their reply letter and address them accordingly in return in your follow-up letter.
Even if they do not, sending a follow-up with a “To Whom It May Concern” greeting is unwelcoming. It could suggest to the recipient that you don’t want to communicate.
As an employee, you may need to send reports to your superiors from time to time.
It’s not only unprofessional to address your superiors using “To Whom It May Concern,” but it’s also disrespectful.
Reports in letter form are usually requested. Therefore, it shouldn’t take much effort to find out who receives the letter and address them accordingly.
When you address the recipient correctly, it indicates to them that you carefully prepared your report. It’ll be easier for them to trust what you’re reporting.
You could be sending out report letters to multiple recipients. You can use a general “Dear Sir/Madam” salutation in such a situation.
Also, you can be creative. For example, if your recipients are the board of directors, you can open with a greeting like “Dear Members Of The Board.”
Usually, someone writes a recommendation letter on behalf of another person. However, there are instances when you could write a self-recommendation letter.
If you’re in school, you could write a self-recommendation letter recommending yourself for a scholarship.
In a business setting, you could self-recommend yourself for a new position in your current company. Another typical instance is recommending yourself for transfer to a new branch.
The recipient of the letter could forgive someone writing on your behalf if they open with “To Whom It May Concern.” However, for a self-recommendation letter, it’s unsuitable.
Opening with “To Whom It May Concern,” when self-recommending for a new job position could appear like a demand.
You should address the recipient or group of recipients by their title and name, respectively. If you’re writing a general recommendation, it’s better to leave out the salutation than use “To Whom It May Concern.”
If you must open a letter with “To Whom It May Concern,” make sure it’s in the right setting and that the letter is well written.
You can follow the tips in this post to ensure you’re doing it right. Ultimately, you can model the outlined letter examples.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.
How to Use ‘To Whom It May Concern’
Updated August 9, 2022
‘ To Whom It May Concern ’ is a formal salutation traditionally used to head correspondence when you are unaware of your recipient’s identity.
But is there still a place for ‘To Whom It May Concern’ in this day and age? Nowadays, the term is increasingly seen as outdated, unnecessary and even a little lazy. This article will explore those instances when you should still use it, and alternatives you can consider.
The Problems With ‘To Whom It May Concern'
We live in a digital age where you can usually discover a person's identity via a quick internet search or phone call. Using an inappropriate salutation can make or break the success of your correspondence, especially if the intended recipient is easily identifiable.
For example, in the context of job applications, never address your cover letter ‘To Whom It May Concern’ when the hiring manager is listed as a contact on the job description.
The employer’s first impression of you will be that you lack communication skills and attention to detail, or that you are not interested in the job. A little research to identify a recipient goes a long way.
How Should You Address Your Correspondence?
The best way to address correspondence is to name the person who is going to read it. Picture your letter or email being opened. Whom do you want to read it?
If the answer to the question is ‘anyone’, using the term ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is acceptable. Otherwise, it should be avoided.
Tips for Identifying Your Recipient
When applying for jobs, always check the job listing first for the name and contact details of the person handling the applications.
If the job listing is inconveniently silent on whom to contact, here are some tips to help you undertake your own detective work. Remember, you need to do everything possible to identify your recipient before reverting to ‘To Whom It May Concern’.
1. Check the Company’s Website
Many companies will list their employees’ contact details on their websites. If you don’t know the specific name of the person you need to contact, look for the person in the most relevant job role .
Go to the company’s ‘Contact’ or ‘About Us’ page to find a list of employees. Look for people with job titles such as ‘Recruitment Officer/Administrator’ or ‘Talent Acquisition Officer/Manager’.
Sometimes putting these search terms into Google with the company name can bring up results, too.
2. Check the Company’s LinkedIn Page
The entire purpose of LinkedIn is for professional networking . It is, therefore, a great way to track down your recipient.
Go to the company’s LinkedIn profile, where there will be a link to ‘See all [number of] employees.
Just scroll through the list until you locate the best person to contact.
3. Enquire Directly
There is no rule saying you cannot contact the company directly to ask for the name of the person you should be corresponding with.
If you cannot find a general enquiries number on the company's website, use Google or LinkedIn to search for job titles such as ‘Secretary/Receptionist’, ‘Administrative Assistant’ or ‘HR’, as these people will be best placed to help you.
4. Ask a Friend or Colleague
If you know someone who has worked for the company or applied for a job there previously, ask if they have contact details for the most appropriate recipient.
How/When to Use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ Correctly
If you have no option but to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’, your execution must be faultless. To use the term correctly:
- Capitalise every single word.
- Follow the phrase with a colon , not a comma.
- Use a paragraph break after the colon, to leave a blank line between the salutation and the introduction of your letter.
Example of Correct Formatting
To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to apply for the position of Finance Assistant at your company...
Things to Remember
Never use ‘Who’ or ‘Whomever’ instead of ‘Whom’ or ‘This’ instead of ‘It’ as it is grammatically incorrect.
Commas should be avoided, as they are usually reserved for casual correspondence. Colons are indicators of formal correspondence.
Scenarios Where It Is Appropriate to Use ‘To Whom It May Concern’
1. you are producing multiple copies of the same letter.
For example, you are writing a letter of recommendation for a colleague to send to potential employers.
If the content of the letter is not specific to an individual company and the same letter will be sent to many people, it makes sense to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’.
To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to recommend [name] for a marketing position at your company...
2. Reference Checks
If a company contacts you for a reference check, it will not expect you to take the time to research the company for the correct recipient.
To Whom It May Concern: I confirm that [name] has been employed at this company on a full-time basis since…
When introducing yourself to an unknown recipient, it may be appropriate to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’.
For example, if you are contacted by a general company inbox asking for a quote or information about your business:
To Whom It May Concern: Thank you for your enquiry regarding a potential commission. Please find attached a quote and time estimate for the project…
4. Formal Complaints Against a Company
In this situation, it generally doesn’t matter who the recipient is, so long as your complaint is addressed.
To Whom It May Concern: I would like to make a complaint regarding order number 12345, which I received in a damaged state…
5. Prospective Correspondence
If you find it necessary to send unsolicited emails, for example to pitch your business, then ‘To Whom It May Concern’ usage is not your best option, as your goal is to build a connection.
However, if you cannot find a specific recipient, using the term is considered acceptable.
‘To Whom It May Concern’ Alternatives
What if you are still unable to find a recipient? Before reverting to ‘To Whom It May Concern’, consider whether there is a better alternative.
Here are a few examples of salutations you could use – though remember some of these are only appropriate in certain contexts, so use wisely.
‘Dear [Role]’ – Trying to identify a specific role is your second-best option. For example, if the job listing states, ‘Please send applications to the Recruitment Manager’, address your letter, ‘Dear Recruitment Manager’.
‘Dear [Department]’ – For job applications, a safe bet is to use ‘Dear Human Resources Team’, or ‘Dear Recruitment Team’.
‘Hello’ – This is usually only appropriate for casual emails, and unacceptable in formal business correspondence. You will need to use your own judgment to decide whether it is OK to use this greeting. For example, you should never start correspondence to highly corporate businesses, such as law firms, with ‘Hello’. But it may be acceptable to use with small local businesses.
‘Good morning/afternoon’ – As with ‘Hello’, ‘Good morning/afternoon’ is only appropriate for emails, and usually not suitable in a business context.
‘Dear Sir or Madam’ – Like ‘To Whom It May Concern’, ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ is viewed as antiquated and it comes with the same connotations of laziness. Furthermore, this greeting has more scope to offend as some people prefer not to be addressed by gendered pronouns. If you are looking to avoid ‘To Whom It May Concern’, you should also avoid ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.
In conclusion, there are still some scenarios where it is appropriate to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’. Remember, though, that your best option is usually to name a specific recipient.
Here is a summary of the key points covered, to help you draft perfectly written correspondence:
- Avoid the term ‘To Whom It May Concern’ if possible.
- Always attempt to find a specific recipient.
- If you can’t find a name, try to find a job title or department instead.
- Consider whether there is a suitable alternative.
- If you have no other options, ensure you format your letter correctly and use impeccable spelling and grammar to impress your recipient.
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How to write a “to whom it may concern” letter in four steps
We explore situations where you’ll need to write a letter without knowing the recipient – and how to get it right
It’s tricky enough to know how to write a proper business letter when you know the recipient, let alone when you’ve never met the person at the other end of the document.
You’ll undoubtedly have to face this situation throughout your working life, though, and the best way to tackle this challenge is by writing a “to whom it may concern” letter.
It’s a document that can help you address formal situations and unknown recipients. You’ve got to get it right if you want to impress, though, so we’ve rounded up the four steps needed to produce a proper business letter that’ll help you get the desired results.
We’ve got more help at hand if you’re struggling with corporate communications. Here are some fantastic recommendation letter samples (opens in new tab) , and here’s our verdict on the best AI writing software (opens in new tab) .
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Is this kind of letter appropriate?
The salutation “to whom it may concern” is traditionally used when you don’t know who you’re writing to, or if you’re unsure about the name of the person you’re addressing.
There are plenty of situations where you’ll find yourself in this situation. It’s a suitable salutation if you’re writing to an organization with an unfamiliar structure, or if you’re addressing a complaint towards a business.
This is a common greeting if you’ve been asked to provide a recommendation or letter of reference (opens in new tab) that you’ll have to submit through an automated system, and it’s ideal if you’re writing to introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met formally. It’s also a good option if you want to send a speculative letter about vacancies or a prospective letter about sales opportunities at an unfamiliar business.
While you’ll inevitably come across situations where you can’t avoid using “to whom it may concern,” you should take steps to avoid this stuffy and old-fashioned phrase if you possibly can. Before you sit down to write, it’s worth scouring the website and LinkedIn profile of the company involved to see if you can find the appropriate contact – a personal letter will always be better received. If you head to the company’s website you’ll often find the names of senior staff on the About Us page, and the firm’s LinkedIn profile will usually link to loads of people who work at the business.
If you really want to commit to finding the appropriate name, you can call the company and ask what name you should use on the letter – they may let you know the precise person involved. It’s also worth asking any of your professional contacts who may have worked at the company in the past in case they know the right name, and consider checking job postings for the names of hiring managers and recruitment staff.
At the end of this process you may only have a surname, but that’s often still a better option than using “to whom it may concern” – it’s still more a personal connection and it’ll prove more eye-catching to the recipient.
Are there alternatives?
There are undoubtedly some situations where you’ll have to use “to whom it may concern”, and others where some smart web searching can reveal the name of the person you need to address – and you can avoid the phrase all together.
Often, though, you’ll find yourself in the middle ground, with some extra information that doesn’t quite reveal a full name.
If you do end up in that position, don’t feel like you must resort to using “to whom it may concern” if you’d prefer to avoid its sheer formality. If you know the department you need to contact, open your letter with a greeting like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Customer Service Manager”.
You can address the person’s job title directly if you’ve got that information to hand, and if you want to project a less formal tone you can open with a simple “Hello” or “Greetings”.
How to use “to whom it may concern
If you’ve exhausted all avenues and you have to open a letter with “to whom it may concern”, there are rules you should follow to ensure that you meet the standards associated with this kind of document.
When you want to write “to whom it may concern”, you need to capitalize the first letter of each word. Use “whom” instead of any “who” or “whoever”, and use a colon immediately following the phrase – not a comma. When you start your next paragraph, use a double space before you begin writing.
How to format your letter
You should follow formal business letter rules for the rest of your document, too. Include your name, address and contact details, the date, and then the address and contact details of the recipient’s company.
Include a subject line, use your first paragraph to outline the contents of the letter, and use consistent formatting, a professional font, and make sure you leave a line between your paragraphs.
The professional tone needs to continue to the end of the letter. Use a formal closing phrase like “yours sincerely” or “respectfully yours”, leave four lines for your signature, and include your full, typed name and title. Run a spelling and grammar check and proofread the letter before you post.
It can be tricky to know when to write a “to whom it may concern” letter, and it’s worth avoiding unless you can’t really help it – if you can use a friendlier or more personal greeting then you’re probably going to get better results.
But if you’re making a complaint, speaking to unfamiliar recipients, or writing a reference or an introductory letter then it sometimes can’t be avoided. At least if you follow these rules then you’ll get the job done – you’ll avoid offending anyone and you’ll get the right outcome.
- Write using the best language and grammar possible with the help of the best writing software (opens in new tab)
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Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.
To Whom It May Concern: When and How to Use It Properly
Once, in a time before nearly everyone had access to the Internet in the palms of their hands, it was common to begin business correspondence with the salutation To Whom It May Concern. But times have changed.
We’ll take a look at whether you should use To Whom It May Concern, explore a few alternatives, and talk about the only type of correspondence where this greeting is still acceptable.
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When not to use to whom it may concern
We can’t think of many good reasons to use To Whom It May Concern in an email or letter. But there are a few compelling reasons not to.
For starters, the phrase is old-fashioned and stuffy. (If you concentrate, you can almost hear it spoken in an affected posh accent, can’t you?) It’s a remnant from a time when business correspondence had a much more formal tone. These days, however, we aim for a natural, conversational style.
In some correspondence, To Whom It May Concern might even imply a degree of laziness on the sender’s part. Be honest—do you really not know who your email or letter concerns, or is it more that you can’t be bothered to find out? Be careful that To Whom It May Concern doesn’t show a lack of concern on your part.
Here’s a tip: The same guidelines apply to another formal generic greeting—Dear Sir/Madam. It’s equally stuffy and glaringly non-specific. You can do better!
RELATED: 7 Useful Tips on How to Write a Perfect Professional Email in English
Three alternatives to to whom it may concern
You can almost always find another salutation . Let’s look at a few options.
1 Dear [Specific Person],
You’re savvy. You have the entire Internet (including LinkedIn) at your fingertips. If you know you’re writing directly to someone (a hiring manager, for example), do your homework and search out the relevant person. Yes, your letter may be passed along to other people, but those people will see that you cared enough to find the right person to address in the first place.
If your Internet search doesn’t reveal a contact name, you can always resort to the retro option—pick up the phone and make a call. There’s no need to be stealthy about asking for the person’s name, so be honest. If you’re looking for the name of a job contact, you might say something like “Hi! I’m applying for the marketing manager position and I’d like to personalize my cover letter. Could you tell me who’s responsible for talent acquisition for that job?”
2 Dear [Role], or Dear [Department],
If you can’t find an individual’s name, you can expand a bit and reference the person’s role or a specific department, instead. (E.g., Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Admissions Department.)
Sometimes, researching a contact name isn’t the best use of your time. A hiring manager, for example, doesn’t spend more than a few minutes looking at a résumé , so the fact that your cover letter lacks personalization is probably not going to register as a red flag. At least you addressed the right department. Spend your time writing an amazing cover letter instead.
3 Hello, or Greetings,
If you’re not reaching out to an individual, or if your message could be seen by a number of people, you can’t go wrong with a simple hello. Keep in mind that Hello and Greetings are slightly more casual than the other options we’ve listed, so they may not be the best option for things like cover letters or other formal business correspondence.
When is it okay to use to whom it may concern ?
Let’s say you’re writing a letter of recommendation for a colleague. He’s going to be making multiple copies to hand out at interviews, and those letters are meant to be seen by anyone interested in hiring him. In this case, because the correspondence is generally considered formal, and because there’s no single specific addressee or department, To Whom It May Concern works.
Some cases where To Whom It May Concern is appropriate:
- Letters of recommendation/reference
- Formal complaints lodged with a company
- Letters of introduction
- Letters of interest / prospecting
Here’s a tip: Always format “To Whom It May Concern” with a capital letter at the beginning of each word. Follow it with a colon. Double-space before you begin the body of your letter.
To Whom It May Concern:
I’m writing to file a complaint about the service I received during my November 15 visit to your store.
RELATED: How to End an Email: 9 Never-Fail Sign-Offs and 9 to Avoid
In most cases, though, try to narrow your focus rather than cast a broad net. Ask yourself “Who does this email concern?” If you can honestly answer “Anyone,” then feel free to use To Whom It May Concern. But if you can home in, whether on an individual (Mr. Smith) or a department (Admissions Department), always use the more specific approach.
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To Whom it May Concern Letter Sample
The salutation 'To whom it may concern' is used in formal business letters when the recipient is unknown. Here is a template and letter samples that will be helpful to you.
The salutation ‘To whom it may concern’ is used in formal business letters when the recipient is unknown. Here is a template and letter samples that will be helpful to you.
Although there have been other effective modes of communication in the recent years, letter writing is still one of the most widely used means of communication. Specially in the corporate world, there is no substitute to letter writing or mailing. Electronic mails (e-mails) are widely used for communication today. But, mails are as formal as handwritten letters. So, it is essential to know how to write a formal letter effectively. Writing a formal letter is often considered as an intimidating task by people. However, a basic knowledge of rules and a little bit of practice helps to write an effective formal letter.
Letter Template Sometimes, you face certain situations where you may have to write a letter to an unknown recipient. Such a letter is known as ‘to whom it may concern letter’, as the phrase is used as a salutation. This is the right way to address a letter if you wish to avoid mistaking the identity of the recipient. The following ‘to whom it may concern letter’ samples will help you overcome the challenging task of writing this type of letter.
Following is a list of all essentials parts of a formal letter. You can write a letter effectively just by including these parts of letter in a proper sequence.
- Sender’s Address (In case the letter is not written on a letterhead)
- Date (With month and year)
- ‘To Whom it May Concern’
- Name of the Recipient’s Organization
- Recipient’s Address
- Salutation (In this case, you will have to use ‘Dear Sir or Madam’)
- Body of the Letter (Divided into suitable paragraphs)
- Closing Salutation
If the sender’s address is not mentioned at the top, it can be included below the signature. This standard template should be followed strictly when writing a formal letter. Although the body of the letter can vary according to the subject of the letter; the layout and the flow should remain the same.
Letter Samples ► Sample # 1
The following is a reference or a recommendation letter from a former employer, recommending an employee to be considered for a new position.
► Sample # 2
Following is a complaint letter sent to a company to complain about a damaged product.
Sometimes the phrase, ‘to whomsoever it may concern’ can also be used. In case you are writing a letter on a company letterhead paper, then it is also essential to mention your designation or job title.
The letter format mentioned above is the standard American letter writing format. In case you are using the British style of letter writing, you should mention the sender’s address to the top right hand corner. In that case, only the sender’s address is mentioned, and not the name. The rest of the letter format is similar to that mentioned above.
Lastly, you should remember that writing a formal letter is not difficult if you understand and follow the basic rules and the format of the letter. Also, a bit of practice will definitely make you perfect. Good luck!
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How to end a letter beginning with "To whom it may concern"
How should one end - ie, sign-off - a letter that begins with "To whom it may concern"?
- possible duplicate of Is it "Yours faithfully" or "Yours sincerely"? – Matt E. Эллен Mar 28, 2012 at 20:32
- @Matt Эллен: Absolutely. In this case, since the addressee is not named in the opening, the "traditional" closure would be faithfully . – FumbleFingers Mar 28, 2012 at 21:30
5 Answers 5
If you are referring to the "Complimentary Close" (the word above your signature), it depends on the tone and formality of the letter. If you do not have a specific person to address the letter to, I would use either of these:
- 5 The complimentary close when you don't have the person's name is "yours faithfully". – Matt E. Эллен Mar 28, 2012 at 21:33
- 1 Hmm. I would never use that. Can I respectfully ask for a source? – JLG Mar 28, 2012 at 22:23
- 1 I give a source in answer below. – Ellen Spertus Mar 28, 2012 at 23:34
- Also this answer cites the Oxford Handbook of Commercial Correspondence. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 29, 2012 at 7:54
- 2 @Matt, thank you. Do you think this is a UK/US difference? I don't think I have ever seen "yours faithfully" and we do receive letters addressed to "To whom it may concern." It sounds quaint. – JLG Mar 29, 2012 at 13:36
According to Miss Manners , the answer is "Yours faithfully". That is what I use.
- -1 What, are we the recipient's dog now? – user14070 Mar 28, 2012 at 20:57
- 1 @JoshuaDrake - this is the traditional sign off of a letter for when you don't know the name of the recipient. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 28, 2012 at 21:32
It partly depends on the contents of the letter. If I'm submitting, say, a letter of reference, that might warrant something a little different than a general inquiry, a request for a favor, or a formal complaint.
As was stated previously, Sincerely is perfectly acceptable, and almost always a safe option. But if you wanted to soften a complaint, then Respectfully might be a better choice.
By default, in the To-Whom-It-May-Concern situation, I don't know who will be reading the letter (otherwise, I would have begun with something less generic). With that in mind, I'll sometimes want to end with my contact information, in case the matter needs further discussion to resolve:
"Sincerely" is a fairly common formal sign off.
School taught me to sign letters addressed personally 'yours sincerely' and letters addressed impersonally 'yours faithfully'. Thus, if your salutation is 'To whom it may concern' the corresponding valediction would be 'yours faithfully'.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged letter-writing or ask your own question .
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To Whom It May Concern + Letter Examples
Although personalising your cover letter with the recipient’s name is always best, using ‘To Whom It May Concern’ in a cover letter is better than not using any greeting at all. We explain the right times to use this phrase and provide 6+ alternatives.
When you can’t find the name of a contact person, ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is an acceptable way to start a letter to apply for a job .
However, we recommend finding the name of a contact and addressing your cover letter to them because it:
- makes your cover letter more personalised
- shows you understand professional cover letter writing practices
- reveals you took the time and effort to research the person who will read it
Below, we show you when and how to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ as well as provide professional alternatives for your cover letter.
When to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’
‘To Whom It May Concern’ is acceptable in these two situations:
1. If you’re writing a prospecting cover letter
When you send your job application to companies to see if they have any open positions, you probably won’t have a direct contact person to address.
In that situation, use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ if you can’t find a suitable contact person.
You can also use a prospecting letter (also called a speculative cover letter ) to ask for the right point of contact for your application.
Have a look at this example of a prospecting letter in the body of an email:
Prospecting Letter Example (Text Version)
To Whom It May Concern,
I’m writing to ask if you have an opening for an experienced receptionist at your organisation. I’d love to contact the person in charge of recruitment for this role as I’m interested in discussing the possibility of working for your company.
2. If you’re providing a letter of recommendation
If you’re writing a recommendation letter for a former colleague or employee as one of their chosen CV references , you can use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ (unless the person you’re writing the recommendation for provides you with a specific contact person to address).
The person who reads your recommendation letter won’t expect you to know whom to address the letter to.
Here’s a ‘To Whom It May Concern’ example used to start a letter of recommendation:
Recommendation Letter Example (Text Version)
I’m writing to confirm that Carole Birkins was an employee at FarmTrust Ltd. for three years.
In that time, she dedicated herself to becoming one of our top-performing business analysts and volunteered for projects that were beyond her role. I highly recommend Carole for this position.
Please feel free to contact me anytime by phone on 07351 382 124 or via my email, [email protected]
How to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ in an email or letter
If you must start a cover letter for an email or one sent by post with ‘To Whom It May Concern’, here’s how to do it properly:
1. Follow formal cover letter formatting
When using formal greetings like ‘To Whom It May Concern’, follow these ways to format your cover letter :
When using ‘To Whom It May Concern’, always:
- capitalise the first letter of every word
- end the phrase with a comma
- start a new paragraph after typing your greeting
When using ‘To Whom It May Concern’, never:
- use awkward variations like ‘Dear Whom It May Concern’, ‘To Whomever It May Concern’, or ‘To Whom This May Concern’
2. Choose the right ‘To Whom It May Concern’ ending
The cover letter greeting you start with will end up determining how you should end your cover letter .
Use these standard UK letter endings depending on the cover letter introduction you use:
Appropriate endings for your cover letter
- Use ‘ Yours faithfully ,’ if your cover letter starts with ‘To Whom It May Concern’, or another opening without a person’s name
- Use ‘ Yours sincerely ,’ if your cover letter starts with a person’s name
How to replace ‘To Whom It May Concern’
If the job advert doesn’t include the contact person’s information, you can find alternatives for ‘To Whom It May Concern’ by following these four tips:
1. Check the company website
Companies often have an ‘ About Us ’, ‘ Team ’, or ‘ Company Directory ’ page that lists their employees’ names and current job titles .
At minimum, you’ll find a general information email inbox where you can send a request to learn the name or title of the person you’re addressing your letter to.
2. Do a targeted Google search
Try using Google’s site search operator to find specific information on the company’s website.
Type in this site search format and fill in your target company’s website and job title information, like so:
- site:companyname.com “job title”
- site:companyname.co.uk “job title”
3. Visit the company’s LinkedIn profile
Search for the company’s profile on LinkedIn . On the top of the company’s page is a hyperlink that prompts you to ‘ View all [number] employees ’.
You can click that link and then scan the list until you find the person or job title you’re looking for.
And if the company has thousands of employees, try narrowing your search with the ‘ Location ’, ‘ People ’, and ‘ Job Title ’ filters.
4. Contact the company
Call or email the company to ask for the contact person’s name, job title, and work email address. But don’t forget to explain why you need the information, or you may be confused for a spammer.
Reaching out to the company shows the employer you’re willing to take initiative and are genuinely interested in the job.
Just remember that emails include your name, so if you prefer to remain anonymous before sending off your application, place a call instead.
6 ‘To Whom It May Concern’ Alternatives
Starting your cover letter with ‘To Whom It May Concern’ can make you seem old-fashioned and impersonal. So here are six better options:
1. Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs/Miss/Mx [Contact Person’s Surname],
The standard greeting for cover letters is ‘Dear’ followed by your contact person’s title, surname, and a comma.
Below are examples of how to address a cover letter with the contact person’s name:
Dear Mr White, Dear Ms Rodney, Dear Mx Taylor,
Remember these points when choosing a title:
- Use ‘ Mr / Ms ’ if you know the employer’s gender. If a female contact has a preference they’ve mentioned in the job advert, use ‘ Mrs ’ or ‘ Miss ’.
- Use ‘ Mx ’ if the gender of the contact person is unclear, if they have a unisex name like Jessie, Alex, or Jamie, or if they use ‘they’ pronouns. (You can also use ‘Dear [Full Name],’ to avoid offending the reader.)
2. Dear [Job Title],
If you know the contact person’s position but don’t know their name, you can address them by their job title. For example:
Dear Managing Director, Dear Human Resources Manager, Dear Human Resources Director, Dear Customer Service Manager, Dear Head of Sales,
3. Dear [Department Name],
If you know the name of the department you’re applying to, try addressing your cover letter like this:
Dear Sales Department, Dear Human Resources Department, Dear Finance Department, Dear Customer Service Department, Dear Marketing Department Manager,
4. Dear Recruiter,
If you’ve done your research and still can’t find a contact name, job title, or department, address your cover letter to the recruiter, like so:
Dear Recruiter, Dear Recruiting Manager, Dear Recruiting Team,
5. Dear [Position You Want] Hiring Team,
Beginning your cover letter ‘Dear [Position You Want] Hiring Team,’ is a great way to emphasise the job title you’re seeking.
Here are three examples of how to address the hiring team for your target position:
Dear Graphic Design Specialist Hiring Team, Dear Accounting Intern Hiring Team, Dear Marketing Manager Hiring Team,
6. Dear [Creative Nickname],
You can also use a creative nickname to open your cover letter — but only if the job description’s tone and directions make it clear that the recruiter values unique, creative applications.
Creative nicknames instead of ‘To Whom It May Concern’ might include:
Dear Future Boss, Dear Leader of Data, Dear David Brent of [Company Name],
‘To Whom It May Concern’ FAQs
If you’re still unsure when to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’, here are some frequently asked questions and answers about this phrase:
- Is it appropriate to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ in an email cover letter?
- Is ‘To Whom it May Concern’ suitable for all types of cover letters?
- How do you properly format ‘To Whom it May Concern’ in a cover letter?
1. Is it appropriate to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ in an email cover letter?
Yes, ‘To Whom it May Concern’ can be used if you’re writing a cover letter for your email as an attachment or directly in the body text, just like a traditional cover letter .
However, keep in mind that emails often have a more informal tone, so consider using a more personalised greeting if possible.
2. Is ‘To Whom it May Concern’ suitable for all types of cover letters?
‘To Whom it May Concern’ can be used for many types of cover letters, including job applications, business inquiries, and general inquiries.
However, you should always try and find a specific person to address the letter to if possible, as doing so can increase the chances of your letter being read and considered.
3. How do you properly format ‘To Whom it May Concern’ in a cover letter?
‘To Whom it May Concern’ is typically formatted as the first line of the cover letter, followed by a colon or a comma. Here are two examples:
To Whom it May Concern, To Whom it May Concern:
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Eva Chan is a Digital Marketing Specialist & Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) at CV Genius and Resume Genius, with a background in the education management... more
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Business Letter Format With Free Template
Updated: Aug 22, 2022, 8:26pm
Table of Contents
When to use a business letter, 7 essential elements to include in a business letter, how to format a business letter, download free business letter template, business letter examples, writing an email business letter, frequently asked questions.
As straightforward as a business letter may initially seem, it can be a challenge to sit down and write one with the correct format. Since business letters are written by an organization or professional to another organization or individual for professional communication, it’s important to use an established business letter format to form a good first impression.
Keep reading to know the essential elements of a business letter, how to format it and tips for writing effective business letters. We’ve also provided a free template that can make drafting your letters easy.
A business letter is used by an organization or an individual for professional communication with other individuals or companies. Examples of business letters are job offer letters , sales letters, investor interest letters, resignation letters, business circulars, shareholder letters, letters of recommendation , etc.
Your Contact Address
If the contact address is already included in the letterhead, skip it. Otherwise, include these in your contact information:
- City, state, ZIP Code
- Phone number
- Email address
This is the date when you are writing the letter. If your contact information is included on the letterhead, your business letter starts with the date.
The address should include:
The salutation that you use depends upon how familiar you are with the recipient.
Use “To whom it may concern” if you’re not sure about who will receive and read your letter.
If you know the recipient formally, use Dear [last name].
If you know the recipient informally, use the salutation Dear [first name].
This is the meat of the business letter. Use single line spacing for readability. You can use extra lines between paragraphs, after the salutation and above the closing salutation.
Closing Salutation or Valediction
Again, the closing salutation depends upon how formal or informal your relationship is with the recipient. Some of the most commonly used closing salutations in business include:
- Kind regards
- All the best
You should always end with a handwritten signature even if the letter is typed and printed using a computer. Handwritten signatures help in establishing a rapport with the recipient even if this is your first communication. Always write your full name and title below the signature.
Optional Things To Include
If you are including any additional documents pertaining to the letter, make a list of those enclosures after your signature and name. If you are sending a sales letter, you may consider including a call to action (CTA) at the bottom of the letter.
A business letter must be formatted for clarity and ease of understanding. Here are some points to consider while formatting the letter:
- Block or indent. In the block format, all elements of the letter are left-aligned. But, if you want to use an indented format, right-align your address, date, closing salutation and signature. The rest of the elements will be left-aligned.
- Font. Use a professional font such as Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, Helvetica, etc. The size must be from 10 to 12.
- Margins. A one-inch margin on all four sides of the page is the standard. You can increase it to one-and-a-quarter inches to differentiate it from other types of letters.
- Spacing. Use a single line for the body of the letter. Use extra lines after your address, date, recipient address and salutation. Also, leave an extra line before the closing salutation.
Copy Business Letter Template
Business letter is a formal document and you are accountable for the information you pass in it. So you must be very intentional about its content and format. We have discussed this in detail in the article. Here are a few examples for your reference.
Here is an example of a business letter from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab . The sample also specifies recommended margins and spacing for the letter.
This is a marketing letter example from GCF Global . Note that as CTA, the writer had provided multiple ways (contact number and email ID) to reach out to her. This makes it easier for the reader to respond.
If you have to send the business letter through email, you need to tweak the format a bit. For example, while the salutation, body and signature will remain the same, you will need to add the subject line to notify the recipient of the purpose of your email and you can include both links and attachments.
Here’s how a business letter via email differs:
- Add a subject line to include the topic you are writing about
- Your address and contact information should come below your signature
- Option to add links as well as attachments
It’s not that difficult to write an effective business letter that gets you the desired results. Use the template shared here to ensure each section of your letter adheres to the appropriate style and format.
What are the seven parts of a business letter?
The seven parts of a business letter are: sender’s address, date, recipient address, salutation, body, closing salutation and signature. If you have documents attached with the letter, include a list of enclosures after the signature.
Why should I use a business letter format?
When you use a standard business letter format, it establishes your commitment to the recipient and forms a good first impression.
What is a business letter?
A business letter is a formal document used by companies for professional communication to other companies, employees and stakeholders.
What is the best font to use for a business letter?
When writing a standard business letter, the preferred fonts are either Times New Roman or Arial, especially if you are sending the letter to a conservative company. The preferred size of the type is 12. For a more modern or liberal company, you can be a little more creative in your font choice, but it should still be legible. Calibri, Verdana, Courier New, Cambria and Verdana are also possible options to consider.
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Career Development Tips
To whom it may concern’ capitalisation guidelines.
Posted by Glassdoor Team
Career Advice Experts
Last Updated 9 June 2021
‘To Whom It May Concern’ is a common salutation for letters and emails that are more formal in nature. This phrase is typically used in business correspondence rather than for personal correspondence. While this salutation is formal, there are particular times when you should and should not use it. Here we explore the type of correspondence when this phrase is acceptable, ‘To Whom It May Concern’ capitalisation guidelines, when to use this salutation, and steps to take before using ‘To Whom It May Concern.’
What kind of correspondence would include 'To Whom It May Concern?'
There are several different types of correspondence in which it may be appropriate to begin the correspondence with ‘To Whom It May Concern.’ This phrase is most often used in business correspondence, such as a business email. Common types of letters and emails in which this salutation could be used include:
- Cover letters
- Sales letters
- Confirmation of orders
- Delivery letters
- Appointment letters
- Business memos
- Business faxes
- Business emails
- Reference letters
'To Whom It May Concern' capitalisation guidelines
In nearly all instances, capitalising all of the first letters of each word in ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is appropriate. A good rule of thumb is to consider this phrase as a stand-in for the person’s name in which you are writing. Since you would capitalise the first letter of a person’s name, you should do so for the phrase ‘To Whom It May Concern.’ Follow ‘To Whom It May Concern’ with either a colon or a comma, a space, and then immediately go into the body of the letter.
When to use 'To Whom It May Concern'
The following are several instances in which it would be appropriate to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’ as a salutation:
- Response to a prospective customer: If you receive an email or automated message from a potential client and the email does not include their first and/or last name, using ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is a more generic yet formal salutation to consider using. Be sure to ask for the potential customer’s name in your email so you can properly address them in future correspondence.
- Cover letter: When you’re writing a cover letter to a hiring manager or employer, you may not initially know their name(s). Using ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is a good alternative as it shows professionalism. You should also use an alternative greeting if you are not sure of the proper spelling of the recipient’s name, as it will come off as unprofessional to spell their name incorrectly.
- Recommendation letter: If you’re asked to write a letter of recommendation for a previous coworker or another individual you know from a professional setting, you may wish to begin the letter with ‘To Whom It May Concern.’ This is especially true if you are not provided with the full name of the recipient. But, be sure to ask the person who requested the letter first, as addressing the recipient by their first and last name is typically preferred.
- Feedback letter: If you wish to share feedback with your employer or another company but are unsure of whom to address in the letter, using the salutation ‘To Whom It May Concern’ is a professional yet generic way to begin the letter. This also ensures that no matter who ultimately reads the letter, it’s addressed in a way that is acceptable to all readers.
Steps to take before using 'To Whom it May Concern'
The following are steps you should take before using this salutation in correspondence:
- Review the job listing . If you are submitting correspondence to apply for a position, you should first thoroughly review the job listing to ensure the contact name is not available. Some hiring managers or recruiters will include their names on the job posting, or you may notice the name in the email provided for application purposes.
- Search the organisation’s website . Some companies will list the hiring manager or head of the department that you’re submitting your application to on their website. This information would usually be in a section titled ‘Staff’ or ‘Team’ or in the ‘About’ area on the website.
- Call the company . If you are unable to find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter using the above methods, you could also consider directly calling the company and asking to speak to a human resources employee. This person should be able to provide you with the full name of the person you should address your correspondence to.
- Look on networking websites . Some recruiters and hiring managers will have profiles on professional networking websites like LinkedIn. You can search for the company on the website and then take a look at their employees currently on the website to find the appropriate person to address your letter or email to. For example, you may see that Ryan Titus is the hiring manager for the organisation you’re applying to. This is likely the name you’d want to address your correspondence to when submitting your application.
If you take all of these steps and are still unable to find the name of the person you’re writing to, using ‘To Whom It May Concern’ or another generic greeting is appropriate.
Alternatives to 'To Whom It May Concern'
The following are several alternative salutations you can use in place of ‘To Whom It May Concern’:
- Dear Recruiter
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Human Resources/HR Manager
- Dear Hiring Committee
- Dear [Title of Department]
- Dear Personnel Manager
- Dear Recruiting Manager
- Dear Sir or Madam
- Dear Recruiting Department
- Dear [Company Name] Recruiter
- Dear [Title of Department] Director
- Good Morning
- Good Afternoon
- Good Evening
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30+ To Whom It May Concern Letter & Email Samples in PDF | MS Word
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How to Write Letter of Consent
Last Updated: August 23, 2022 References
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD . Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 2,111,814 times.
Letters of consent are used in many contexts. Essentially, you write a letter of consent to give someone permission to do something or use something that belongs to you. However, unlike a simple letter of permission , a letter of consent has legal significance. Treat the letter seriously, typing it in business letter format and signing it in ink in the presence of a notary public. For many letters of consent, you can find a template to use. If you have to draft the letter yourself, keep it brief and to the point.
Formatting Your Letter
- For example, if you're writing a letter of consent for your child to travel abroad, your country's embassy or state department typically will have a template or form you can use.
- Government agencies also have templates available for letters of consent related to business transactional matters, such as the use of intellectual property.
- Choose a professional, legible font. The default font on your word processing app is typically appropriate, or you can use something more formal, such as Times New Roman.
Note: You may write your letter by hand if you need, but make sure your handwriting is legible and try to follow a template. Typed letters will feel more formal, but always make sure to sign the bottom in ink.
- If you don't know the name of the specific recipient of the letter, or if the letter will potentially be read by numerous people, simply use "To Whom It May Concern."
- Remember to leave space after the closing of the letter for you to sign the letter, then type your full legal name below. You may also want to place additional contact information under your typed name.
- Search online for a notary block that is used where you live. You can typically find one that you can copy and paste into your own letter.
Tip: Some letters of consent require 2 signatures. For example, if you're writing a letter of consent for your child to travel abroad, you may need the signature of both parents.
Writing Your Draft
- For example, if the person has asked your permission to use your property in a certain context, or for a specific purpose, you would want to include that information in your letter. Including that information makes clear that you are only consenting to that particular use, rather than consenting to blanket use of your property for any reason whatsoever.
- For example, if you're writing a parental consent letter for your child to travel to another country, you'll need details such as your child's full name, date of birth, passport number, flight number, and other travel information. You'll also need details about any adults the child is traveling with, or who they will stay with once they get to the other country.
- For example, if you're giving someone permission to use your car, you would state your name and that you are the registered owner of the vehicle in question.
- If you're giving permission for your child to travel internationally, you would identify yourself as the child's parent. In that case, you may need to identify the other parent and get their permission as well.
- For example, in a consent letter for a child to travel abroad, you would include the names of adults traveling with the child, or who the child will be staying with when they arrive.  X Trustworthy Source Official UK government website Official website for the public sector of the UK government Go to source
- If you are consenting to someone else's use of your property, describe that property specifically. For a vehicle, you would typically include the year, make, and model of the car, as well as the license plate number and VIN for the specific vehicle.
- If you were consenting to someone's use of your intellectual property, you would identify it specifically by title and date of creation. Include copyright or trademark numbers if you have those.
Tip: Keep your consent simple and direct. For example, if you're writing a letter of consent for your child to travel internationally, there's typically no need to go into detail about what your child is going to do on the trip.
- For example, if you were writing a letter of consent for your child to travel internationally, you might include the specific dates the child is traveling. Be sure to allow for any incidental travel delays. You might make a statement such as: "My child is traveling from March 1, 2019, through March 20, 2019, subject to any incidental delays."
- If you were allowing someone to use your car, you might include a statement that they are expected to return the car by a certain date.
- If you're writing a personal letter of consent and you work during the day, it would be appropriate to provide both your home and work contact information, along with the hours you're typically available at each place.
- If you're writing a letter of consent on behalf of a business or organization, you typically would only include your business contact information.
Making It Official
- When proofreading, start with the last word and move backward to the first, reading each word separately. Mistakes are easier to see that way.
Tip: If you're writing the letter in a language other than your native language, you may want to have a native speaker read it over and check for any errors or awkward phrasing.
- For example, if you're writing a letter of consent for your child to travel abroad, you wouldn't normally put this on business letterhead – even if you own the business. The letter is related to a personal matter, not a business matter.
- A notary does not review your letter or confirm its accuracy. They only verify that you are who you say you are and that your signature is legitimate.
Tip: It's often a good idea to have several copies of the letter signed and notarized. Anyone who needs a copy of the letter should have one with an original signature and notarization, not a copy.
- For example, if you're allowing someone to use your car, you may include a copy of the registration or title as proof of ownership.
- If you're writing a letter of consent for your child to travel internationally, you may include a copy of the child's birth certificate as proof that you are the child's parent and that the child was born in the country you've stated.  X Research source
- For permission to use intellectual property, you might include a copy of any copyright, patent, or trademark certificates.
- For example, if you're writing a letter giving a child permission to travel or conduct a particular activity, you'll typically give the letter to the child. The child may in turn hand it over to the person overseeing them, such as a teacher or other adult.
- In some cases, you'll need to mail your letter to a third party. For example, if you're writing a letter of consent for another business to use a trademark or corporate name similar to yours, you would send the letter to the government agency that approves corporate names or trademarks.
You might also like.
- ↑ https://research-compliance.umich.edu/informed-consent-guidelines
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/professional_technical_writing/basic_business_letters/index.html
- ↑ https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter
- ↑ https://www.janefriedman.com/sample-permission-letter/
- ↑ https://sos.nh.gov/media/ddbnk102/consent-letter-examples.pdf
- ↑ https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad
- ↑ https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/faq
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
About This Article
To write a letter of consent, use a template if there's one available, especially for legally-required or government-requested letters of consent. If you can't find a template, draft your letter using a formal business letter format. Address the letter using the recipient's first and last name, or use "To Whom It May Concern" if you're not sure. Then, at the bottom of the letter, include signature and notary blocks so you can sign the letter and have it notarized. For tips on how to write the content of your letter, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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A-Z Grammar Terms
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"Yours sincerely", "Yours faithfully," and "Yours truly"
When to use "yours sincerely", "yours faithfully," and "yours truly".
The Quick Answer
- If you know the recipient or use their name, end your letter with 'Sincerely yours' (US) or 'Yours sincerely' (UK).
- If you don't know the recipient or don't use their name, end your letter 'Yours truly' (US) or 'Yours faithfully' (UK).
Starting and Ending Letters
"Yours sincerely" or "Yours faithfully"?
Use "yours faithfully" ( ) or "yours truly" ( ) for unknown recipients, use "yours sincerely" ( ) or "sincerely yours" ( ) for known recipients, with "yours sincerely" and "yours faithfully" give only the first word a capital letter.
Follow "Yours sincerely" and "Yours faithfully" with a Comma
Write the salutation, postamble, and your name by hand, top tip: don't use "s" twice.
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- Cover Letter
- To Whom It May Concern: How to Use it & Best Alternatives
To Whom It May Concern: How to Use it & Best Alternatives
One size fits all rarely fits anyone. Learn when it’s ok to use “To Whom It May Concern” in a cover letter and when you need to tailor your greeting.
As seen in:
You know those times that you just can’t deal with figuring out what to wear so you just throw on your favorite pair of sweats and consider it done?
That’s kind of what a cover letter that starts with To Whom It May Concern is. You didn’t know the hiring manager’s name so you’ll just go with this common phrase and call it a day.
But just like a pair of comfy sweats isn’t the greatest idea for every situation, a To Whom It May Concern in a cover letter may sometimes cause a lot more harm than good.
This guide will show you:
- Why this generic phrase is a poor choice.
- Alternatives to To Whom It May Concern that work better.
- The ideal way to address the reader to create rapport.
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“To Whom It May Concern” in a Cover Letter
To Whom It May Concern is a general way to address correspondence to a recipient whose name is unknown. It's a formal choice of words that hasn't dated well and comes off as impersonal, tired, and potentially irate or desperate.
To Whom It May Concern has been around so long that is has almost become a type of cover letter format. It’s not. It’s merely a phrase used in place of simply not knowing who you’re sending your cover letter to. Now it’s considered overused and archaic and makes you just look like you’re too lazy to find a simple name.
That’s where it gets tricky. What if you’ve searched and still have no idea what the hiring manager’s name is? Or they have a gender neutral name? What then? What cover letter salutation do you use?
Let’s go through each situation you might encounter when sending out your cover letter.
Why You Should Avoid Using “To Whom It May Concern”
Here’s the thing—recruiters don’t sit down to have a relaxed, pleasant read of your cover letter. They scan.
There’s a good chance that if a hiring manager sees “To Whom It May Concern” at the top of their cover letter, they’ll automatically toss it, thinking that you’ve sent them some generic “pls hire me” note.
To avoid that, try these tips to find a name to add to your cover letter salutation:
- Scan the job ad if there isn’t a name or title listed. Check the email you need to send your application to, sometimes there’s a name there.
- Read through the company’s “about us” or “our team” pages to see if there’s someone there who already works in or leads the department you want to get into.
- Check LinkedIn to see if you can find some relevant employees of the company you’re applying to.
- Ask a friend or colleague in the company if they can supply you with a name.
- Call the company and simply ask for the name of a person tied to the job opening.
All these strategies can not only end up giving you a name, but also demonstrate that you put in some effort to make your cover letter the best it can be and quality is what hiring managers are looking for.
Read more: How to Write an Effective Cover Letter
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“To Whom It May Concern” Alternatives
In all honesty, even though you can use “To Whom It May Concern” when you’re addressing your cover letter to unknown recruiters, there are better options out there. And no, I’m not talking about “Dear Sir or Madam” since that’s considered just as old fashioned. It’s always better to be more specific .
Here are some better options for addressing a cover letter with no name:
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Recruiter
- Dear [Department] Manager
- Dear Recruiting Manager
- Dear Hiring Team
- Dear HR Manager
- Dear [title of the person you would be reporting to]
The last tip is especially useful given that many job ads will mention who you would be reporting to if you’re hired. Use that to target your salutation even if there are small chances that your future boss will actually be the one reading it. It shows that you at least made the effort.
Remember, make sure to get your whole cover letter heading format right—your salutation shouldn’t be the first thing on your cover letter.
Read more: How to Address a Cover Letter
When Can You Use “To Whom It May Concern” in a Cover Letter
First, let's play devil's advocate. Arguably, you can use “To Whom It May Concern” in your cover letter only in the following situations:
1. The name of the hiring manager is nowhere to be found
That can be relatively common when applying through recruitment or headhunting agencies or some companies that have specific concerns with sharing employee information. This can also pop up if you’re making an inquiry when no open position has been listed.
If you’ve done what you could and still come up nameless, a generic greeting is better than nothing at all (especially “Hello!”). That’s when you can start your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern”.
2. The name of the hiring manager is gender neutral
Let’s say the recruiter’s name is Casey Waters. Great! You send out your cover letter that starts “Dear Mr. Waters.” And Casey is actually a woman.
What happens next will depend on the sensitivity of the hiring manager, but why even put yourself in that position in the first place? Using “To Whom It May Concern” takes away the chance of unintentionally offending your potential employer.
3. The hiring manager is actually a group of people
There are times that the company is so large or the number of open positions so numerous that there will be a team of people dealing with recruiting. Obviously, it’s next to impossible to get a name then and even if you do find one, you can’t be sure that’s the one who will read your cover letter.
But, like it or not, even in situations above the use of the phrase in question is discouraged.
How to Write "To Whom It May Concern"
If you’re in a situation where you need to use “To Whom It May Concern” in your cover letter, you need to know how to add it to your covering letter format properly.
1. Capitalize the first letter of each word.
Mind you, even the minor words are capitalized.
2. Use a colon after "To Whom It May Concern".
A colon rather than a comma should follow the cover letter salutation .
3. Add a space or double space before the beginning of the letter.
Improve readability by ensuring your resume cover page has enough white space.
Here's how your cover letter intro should look like:
Spelling and Punctuation For “To Whom It May Concern”—Sample
To Whom It May Concern:
First paragraph of cover letter
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
Even though there are situations in which you have to address a cover letter with no name, using “To Whom It May Concern” isn’t necessarily the best option.
When thinking about how to address your cover letter to an unknown recruiter, keep this in mind:
- Using “To Whom It May Concern” is only acceptable in a few circumstances.
- Always put in your best effort to find the hiring manager’s name or title.
- When using “To Whom It May Concern”, remember to use proper capitalization and punctuation.
That’s it! Not too hard, was it?
Have any questions about how to write a “To Whom It May Concern” cover letter? Drop a comment down below!
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When and How to Use "To Whom It May Concern"
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
Options for Starting a Letter
When to use “to whom it may concern”, how to use “to whom it may concern”, alternative greetings to use, when to leave off the salutation, frequently asked questions (faqs).
Miguel Co / The Balance
“To Whom It May Concern” is a letter salutation that has traditionally been used in business “To Whom It May Concern” is a salutation traditionally used in business letters when the sender doesn’t know the name of the person who will receive the message. Although it’s somewhat old-fashioned, this greeting is still an option when you’re sending cover letters, job inquiries, or other business correspondence.
That said, you should make every effort to find a contact name to use in your letter. You also have other options. Find out more about alternatives and when it's appropriate to start your letter with this greeting.
- Before you use “To Whom It May Concern,” consider alternative letter greetings, such as "Greetings" or "Dear Hiring Manager."
- Do your best to find a contact person; doing so will increase the likelihood that your letter or email will be read and acknowledged.
- The first letter in each word is capitalized and the phrase is followed by a colon.
"To Whom It May Concern" is an outdated letter greeting. It is still sometimes used, but nowadays, there are other, better options for starting a letter.
One simple approach is to not include any salutation. In that case, simply begin your email or letter with the first paragraph or with “Re: Topic You’re Writing About,” followed by the rest of the letter or message.
When other options don't work for your correspondence, it's acceptable to start a letter with "To Whom It May Concern."
If you do choose to use “To Whom It May Concern” when you're applying for jobs, it shouldn't impact your application. A Resume Companion survey reports that 83% of hiring managers said that seeing it would have little or no impact on their hiring decisions.
Here is when and how to use “To Whom It May Concern,” as well as examples of alternative salutations to use when writing letters.
Here is when and how to use “To Whom It May Concern” along with examples of alternative salutations to use when writing letters.
Look for a Contact Person
Ideally, you will try to ascertain the name of the specific person to whom you are writing. For example, if you are writing a cover letter for a job application and do not know the name of the employer or hiring manager, do your best to find out.
If you’re writing a business letter, it will more likely be read if you address it to a specific person at the company. You’ll also have a person to follow up with if you don’t get a response from your first inquiry. Taking a few minutes to try to locate a contact is worth the time.
Check the Job Listing
There are several ways to discover the name of the person you are contacting. If you are applying for a job, the name of the employer or hiring manager may be on the job listing. However, that is not always the case.
Many employers don’t list a contact person because they may not want direct inquiries from job seekers.
Check the Company Website
You can look on the company website for the name of the person in the position you are trying to contact. You can often find this in the “About Us,” “Staff,” or “Contact Us” sections. If you cannot find the name on the website, try to find the right person on LinkedIn, or ask a friend or colleague if he or she knows the person’s name.
Ask the Employer
Another option is to call the office and ask the administrative assistant for advice. For example, you might explain that you are applying for a job and would like to know the name of the hiring manager.
Be sure to ask the administrative assistant to spell the hiring manager’s name. Then double-check the spelling on the company website or LinkedIn.
If you take all of these steps and still do not know the name of the person you are contacting, you can use “To Whom It May Concern” or an alternative generic greeting.
When should you use the term? It can be used at the beginning of a letter, email, or other form of communication when you are unsure of who will be reading it.
This might happen at many points in your job search. For example, you might be sending a cover letter, letter of recommendation, or other job search materials to someone whose name you do not know.
It is also appropriate to use “To Whom It May Concern” when you are sending an inquiry (also known as a prospecting letter or letter of interest ) but don’t have the details of a contact person.
Capitalization and Spacing
When addressing a letter with “To Whom It May Concern,” the first letter of each word is typically capitalized, and the phrase is followed by a colon:
To Whom It May Concern:
Skip the next line, and then start the first paragraph of the letter.
“To Whom It May Concern” is considered outdated, especially when writing cover letters for jobs. “Dear Sir or Madam” is another salutation that was commonly used in the past, but it too may come across as old-fashioned. It’s also non-inclusive.
There are better alternatives you can use for letter salutations when you are writing a letter and don’t have a named person to write to.
Here are some options:
- Dear Hiring Committee
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Hiring Team
- Dear HR Manager
- Dear Human Resources Representative
- Dear Human Resources Team
- Dear [Department] Name
- Dear [Department] Manager
- Dear [Department] Team
- Dear Personnel Manager
- Dear Search Committee
- Dear Recruiter
- Dear Recruiting Manager
- Dear Recruiting Team
- Dear Talent Acquisition Team
- Dear Customer Service Manager
- Re: (Topic of Letter)
You can also write a greeting that is still general but focuses on the group of people you are reaching out to. For example, if you are contacting people in your network for help with your job search , you might use the greeting “Dear Friends and Family.”
Another option for starting your letter is to leave off the salutation entirely. If you decide not to include a greeting, begin with the first paragraph of your letter or email message.
What is the best format for business letters?
Business letters are typically written in block format, meaning that the type is left-justified, with single-spaced text and a double space between paragraphs. Leave a few spaces after the closing to make room for your signature.
What are the sections of a business letter?
The sections of a business letter are the address of the sender, the date, the address of the recipient, a salutation, the body of the letter, a closing, and a signature.
Resume Companion. " Is "To Whom It May Concern” Acceptable on a Cover Letter ?."
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To Whom It May Concern: The Quick and Simple Guide to Using This Phrase (With Examples)
Published: December 30, 2019
"To Whom It May Concern" is kind of like that favorite old sweatshirt you pull on when you just can’t — or don’t want to — consider wearing anything else. It’s easy, it covers a multitude of sins, and it gets the job done. But is it doing more harm than good for you in business settings? That answer is a hard " Yes " when it comes to your sweatshirt and a little more nuanced for "To Whom It May Concern."
It’s largely considered an outdated and lazy way to approach correspondence. The internet gives us almost infinite ability to search for the names and contact information of the people we need to reach — and honing good communication skills is crucial to success.
So, before you slap another "To Whom It May Concern" on your outreach email or cover letter, read through this simple guide to determine when to use it, how to use it, and which alternatives to consider instead.
To Whom It May Concern
"To Whom It May Concern" is a broad way to address professional or formal correspondence. It’s widely used when the recipient’s name or title is unknown, such as when you are providing a recommendation for a former colleague and do not know the name of the hiring manager.
When to Use "To Whom It May Concern"
Before each piece of correspondence you send, ask yourself, " Who is the intended recipient of this message? "
If the answer is, " Anyone, " you should be safe to use, "To Whom It May Concern." If, however, your end reader is someone with a specific role or title, keep digging to find their name. It can be difficult to know when it’s appropriate to use "To Whom It May Concern," so here are a few scenarios where it’s usually alright:
1. Reaching out to a large company or new department
If you are reaching out to a large company with a complex organizational structure and aren’t sure who the proper point of contact is, you may need to submit a message through a message form on the company’s website or sending an email to a general address such as "[email protected]" In this case, "To Whom It May Concern" may be appropriate. When taking this approach, we recommend asking for the right point of contact for your request in the body of your message.
To Whom It May Concern:
I saw your company announced the opening of two new coworking spaces on the east coast. I work with Levol, a sustainable office furniture company in the Boston area.
We are coming out with a new line of pieces that coincide with the opening of your new space. I’d love to contact the team member in charge of furnishing your locations to discuss the possibility of working together.
2. Recommendations/reference checks
If you’re providing a reference or recommendation for a former colleague or employee, the request might come through an automated system that doesn’t include any information about the hiring manager.
They don’t expect you to research them or their company, they just want your thoughts on the candidate they’re about to hire. This would be an acceptable time to address your audience with, "To Whom It May Concern."
Dwight was an excellent employee during his three years at Dunder Mifflin.
He took his work very seriously, volunteered for projects outside his regular duties (i.e., volunteer floor fire warden and safety officer), and was our top-performing salesperson all three years. I would highly recommend him for this position.
3. Company complaints
Lodging a formal complaint with a company? It likely doesn’t matter if that complaint reaches an administrator, customer service associate, or the CEO — you simply want your complaint to be heard and addressed.
I was extremely disappointed the cat poster I ordered only has three jazz-playing cats instead of the four depicted on your website. I would like a full refund and the correct poster as soon as possible.
If you are introducing yourself to someone you’ve never met, it could be appropriate to use, "To Whom It May Concern." For example, if you received a request for a quote, or information regarding your business, from a generic company inbox or feedback form, you might address your response, "To Whom It May Concern." Just make sure to ask for their name in your message.
I received your request for a price quote on 50 reams of paper from Dunder Mifflin. I’ve attached the quote to this email and would be happy to answer any questions you have.
Also, I’d love to know your name and a little more about your business!
This is acceptable but not ideal. If you’re a salesperson conducting outreach — it’s your job to put in the time and research to know exactly who you’re contacting.
Ideally, you should build rapport with them over LinkedIn or Twitter — or reaching out via a mutual connection — first. If there seems to be no way to find their personal information, you might reach for "To Whom It May Concern," but don’t expect a high response rate.
I noticed your company recently parted ways with its paper supplier. I work with Dunder Mifflin, a local Scranton paper supplier, and would like to speak with the person in charge of paper ordering at your company.
We pride ourselves on personalized customer service and fast delivery, and I’d love to see if we’re the right fit for you.
How To Write "To Whom It May Concern"
If you’re using a formal greeting like "To Whom It May Concern," it’s important to format it correctly. Here's how to write "To Whom It May Concern:"
- Capitalize the first letter of each word
- Always use "Whom" instead of "Who" or "Whomever" ( In the case of "To Whom It May Concern," "Whom" is the object of a verb or preposition and is appropriate to use in this context )
- Use a colon after "To Whom It May Concern" rather than a comma
- Add a double space before beginning the body of your message
As we’ve identified above, if you’re using "To Whom It May Concern" you’re likely approaching a business formal conversation. Don’t let sloppy formatting muddle your first impression. These tips should always set you up for success.
When Not To Use "To Whom It May Concern"
Whenever possible, avoid "To Whom It May Concern." It’s largely outdated, stuffy, and lazy. With our access to the internet today, it’s fairly simple to find the name and even email address of the person with whom we wish to speak.
Because of this, "To Whom It May Concern" can demonstrate a lack of effort in correspondence which doesn’t set a positive tone for the rest of your business relationship.
Here are a few tips for finding almost anyone’s name:
- Ask your HR rep or recruiter - If you’re writing a cover letter or email to a hiring manager, ask your recruiter or HR rep for the correct name.
- Visit the company’s "About Us" page - Smaller companies might list all employees and their titles on their "About Us" or "Team" page. At the very least, you’ll find a general company inbox where you can send a request to learn the name of the person you’re trying to reach.
- Pick up the phone - Call the company where your prospect works and ask the receptionist or administrator for that person’s name, contact information, or advice on how best to reach them.
It might take a few extra minutes, but finding the name of the person you’re reaching out to is important. Show your email recipient their name matters to you and find it before resorting to "To Whom It May Concern."
If you happen to find your contact’s name from doing your own research, you’ll want to be honest with them about how you found their information.
We have some mutual connections on LinkedIn, and I saw your recent post requesting introductions to sales automation specialists.
This is an area of expertise for my organization. Would you like to schedule an introductory phone call? I would be happy to answer any questions you have.
To Whom It May Concern Alternatives
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear Recruiter
- Dear Recruiting Department
- Dear [Name of department you’re interested in]
- Dear [Name of the title or role of the person you’re pursuing]
- Dear Customer Service Manager
- Dear Search Committee
- Dear [Name]
- Season’s Greetings
- Hello There [Name]
- Good Morning
1. "Dear Hiring Manager"
When applying to a new position, it's not always possible to know the name of the hiring manager. If you can, figure it out with some good-old-fashioned LinkedIn sleuthing. If not, this greeting is an appropriate choice.
2. "Dear Recruiter"
Similarly, if you're unable to identify the recruiter or gatekeeper for the role you're applying for, "Dear Recruiter" is a widely used greeting.
Save this for colleagues or business associates you already have open and casual correspondence with. It's friendly and familiar, so leave it behind for more formal introductions.
4. "Dear Recruiting Department"
If you're applying for a job with a larger company, your application may be directed to a broad recruiting inbox. In this case, you're not writing to a specific person and might need the approval of several recruiters. This greeting ensures you're casting a broad net.
5. "Dear [Name of department you’re interested in]"
If you're selling to a specific company department and are unsure who your target buyer is, addressing your email to the department alias is best. It's not ideal but if you can't identify the right contact person, don't be afraid to send this greeting.
6. "Dear [Name of the title or role of the person you’re pursuing]"
Know the title of the person you're writing to? Great! Hopefully you can use that information to find their actual name — if not, addressing them by their title (i.e., "Dear Marketing Director") is an acceptable, if not slightly distant, way to reach out.
7. "Dear Customer Service Manager"
Whether you're addressing a message to a business contact or reaching out to customer support for a personal matter, it's smart to put your best foot forward. A more formal, respectful greeting is sure to be appreciated.
Already mid-conversation with the person on the other end of your email? Open with a casual "Hello" and continue your message thread.
9. "Dear Search Committee"
Perhaps you find yourself addressing an email to a final panel of buyers, or maybe you've made it to the final round of interviews for a new job. Regardless, if you need to send an email to a group of people in one of these scenarios, this greeting works well.
10. "Dear [Name]"
An oldie but a goodie. This greeting is almost always appropriate. When in doubt, pull this one out.
11. "Hi Friend"
Reserve this familiar greeting for non-professional email correspondence — think happy hour plans and weekend BBQs.
12. "Season's Greetings"
Looking for a way to give your emails some inclusive, work-appropriate holiday cheer? Dust off "Season's Greetings" — just don't forget that apostrophe 's.'
13. "Hello There [Name]"
This is another less formal way to open your correspondence. Save it for peers, colleagues, and business associates with whom you already enjoy open rapport.
14. "Good Morning"
Sending an email you know will be read right away? Alluding to the time of day with a "Good Morning" or "Good Evening" is suitable for all audiences.
15. "Good Day"
Feeling international? "Good Day" isn't a common greeting in the United States, but it might just enliven your next Monday morning email.
The internet removes many excuses for using "To Whom It May Concern." Before you slap it in an email, consider the recommendations in this post. And wipe a few other outdated or lazy phrases from your vocabulary, including " Looking Forward to Hearing From You, " " Best Regards vs. Kind Regards, " and " Dear Sir or Madam. "
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- Certificates and Other Documents /
- Updated on
- Nov 18, 2022
Whether you are aiming for a career change or opting for a better job opportunity , you will need to provide certain documents corresponding to your previous employment. Amongst these crucial documents, the Experience Letter is an essential one which you will be asked about by your new employer. Leaving an organization without taking the experience certificate is similar to bidding adieu to your school without taking your degree certificate. An experience letter plays a decisive role in shaping your future employment career. Often referred to as a service certificate, this blog brings a detailed guide on what an experience letter is, its format as well as useful samples.
This Blog Includes:
What are the contents of an experience letter, who writes a work experience letter, why is a work experience letter important, what should a work experience letter contain, experience letter format, experience letter samples , work experience letter for companies sample, sample work experience letter for accountant, experience letter for director sample, sample work experience letter for professor, sample work experience letter for ceo, experience letter sample for it sector, experience letter sample for tourism and hospitality industry, experience letter sample for financial analyst, retail sales experience letter sample, sample of internship completion letter, application for experience certificate, how to write a work experience letter, experience letter template.
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What is an Experience Letter?
It is a letter which is duly issued by an employer stating the duration of your employment, the main roles you were assigned, the skills you learnt and your overall performance review. The experience letter is mostly required when you are switching to a new job. In simple words, an experience letter is an official form of documentation given by a supervisor or employer with their truest knowledge of the time an employee has spent with the company. An experience letter is framed in a manner that the individual’s experience and skills are mentioned by their reporting manager . Also, it also consists of valuable feedback from the supervisor or head of the company.
Your experience letter must contain the following information:
An experience letter contains information such as –
- Your job role/position
- Date when you joined/ started working in the organization
- skills and experience gained
- date of resignation
- date of issue of letter
HR of the organization is responsible to write the work experience letter. HR usually collects the information from your reporting manager before writing the experience letter
A work experience letter is important and required by job seekers which act as proof you have worked for X years in an organization at what level and your remuneration. It also showcases your skills and knowledge.
- Letterhead: It must be written on the company’s letterhead. It makes it official and authorized that you were employed in that organization,
- Date of issue: The date of the issuance is on the second line on the top right corner
- Employee’s details: The Employee’s details must include his designation, roles, responsibilities, skills, and tenure
- Conduct of the Employee: This contains your negative/positive feedback from your managers.
An experience letter needs to be well-structured and written in a formal tone. Let’s take a look at the format of an experience letter:
Now that you are familiarized with the format of this official document, take a look at the following samples for the Experience letter:
Experience Letter Sample 1
Experience Letter Sample 2
It is to certify that Ms Ishita Singal D/O Aman Singhal was under the employer of ABC.pvt.ltd as a ‘Software Engineer’ in the Engineering team from 17 August 2019 to 20 August 2021. She has been a hardworking, honest, and dedicated employee.
We hope for her a good future.
Head of Department
Teacher Experience Certificate
Now that you are familiar with all the nuances of the experience letter and its essential components, let’s move to another important section and discuss how you can request for an experience letter. Glance through some of the pivotal steps;
- You need to mail your concern in a more polite way. Make sure that you mention your tenure to your reporting manager.
- You may equally mark the mail to the Human resource team as well if you find your matter unable to resolve by reporting manager.
- Your formalities with the organization have to be completed in a more professional manner. Be sure that any pending formality may hinder the process.
- You need to save your payslips as well as screenshots of your job profile.
- Make sure you will have a word with the HR manager personally.
- Do send reminder emails and keep a tap on the communication.
- Make sure you express utmost sincerity towards the organisation. Maintain a formal tone in a more transparent way. Make sure you are giving a decent time to your employer.
It has four major parts:
- An introduction: Make sure that you include here the named person rather than writing words like ‘DEAR SIR/ MADAM ETC.
- Why would be a perfect hire? Justify here with relevant examples which will include skills, attributes as well as knowledge.
- Make sure that you write why you want to do an internship.
- Sign off in a gracious way.
Your address Date of issuance
Subject: Work experience letter
To whom it may concern,
This is to certify that (name) worked as (position) from [DD/MM/YEAR of joining by Employee] to [Employee’s last DD/MM/YEAR of employment]. We can confirm his/her time here with us, his services and dedication towards the organization and duties have been satisfactory. [Employee’s name] decision to leave [name of organization] is solely his, and we hope and pray that he has a bright and successful future ahead.
Sincerely, Your name Your designation Name of your organization.
It is a formal document which is written by a former or current employer mentioning all the quintessential details about the status of an employee. This sort of document necessary includes the time an employer has spent in the company, the skills as well as experience an employee has gained. It may include skills, experience as well as work habits.
It has four major parts. An introduction: Make sure that you include here the named person rather than writing words like ‘DEAR SIR/ MADAM ETC. Why would be a perfect hire? Justify here with relevant examples which will include skills, attributes as well as knowledge. Make sure that you write why you want to do an internship. Sign off in a gracious way.
Here are some of the important elements of an experience letter: Date of issuance Mention a specific recipient Make sure you write an employee’s name Make sure that you include the role, designation as well title. Make sure you include the date of joining as well as the resignation. Work details with the pivotal role are quintessential to include. Make sure that you include other relevant details. Wish success to the candidates for future endeavours.
Hope you are familiarized with the essential features and the format of an Experience Letter. Are you considering a career change or struggling with your career choices? Sign up for an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu and we will assist you in taking the right decision to steer towards your dream career! Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.
- certificates and documents
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- work experience certificate
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"To Whom It May Concern" Letter Examples 1. Scholarship Letter Of Recommendation 2. Letter Of Support 3. Letter Of Confirmation 4. Letter Of Investigation 5. Letter Of Invitation 6. Letter Of Authorization 7. Letter Of Notice 8. Letter Of Complaint 9. Broadcast Letter Sample 10. Guardianship Letter 11. Prospect Letter 12. Expectation Letter 13.
To Whom It May Concern: Thank you for your enquiry regarding a potential commission. Please find attached a quote and time estimate for the project… 4. Formal Complaints Against a Company In this situation, it generally doesn't matter who the recipient is, so long as your complaint is addressed. For example: To Whom It May Concern:
If you're writing a "to whom it may concern" letter format for business purposes, it's recommended to use a colon instead of the comma. This is because it's considered more formal. On the other hand, using a comma for a personal "to whom it may concern" email would work better.
When you want to write "to whom it may concern", you need to capitalize the first letter of each word. Use "whom" instead of any "who" or "whoever", and use a colon immediately following...
Here's a tip: Always format "To Whom It May Concern" with a capital letter at the beginning of each word. Follow it with a colon. Double-space before you begin the body of your letter. To Whom It May Concern: I'm writing to file a complaint about the service I received during my November 15 visit to your store.
The following sample letter can be amended to meet your specific situation and requirements. To Whom It May Concern: I (We), _____ (full name(s) of custodial and/or non-custodial ... Please note that this Letter of Consent does not automatically guarantee the problem-free immigration of minors travelling
"To Whom It May Concern" is a salutation that is used when you do not know who you are to address your formal letter. If you do not know the name of the person that handles the particular issue you are writing about, you use this salutation.
'To Whom it May Concern' Name of the Recipient's Organization Recipient's Address Salutation (In this case, you will have to use 'Dear Sir or Madam') Body of the Letter (Divided into suitable paragraphs) Closing Salutation Signature If the sender's address is not mentioned at the top, it can be included below the signature.
By default, in the To-Whom-It-May-Concern situation, I don't know who will be reading the letter (otherwise, I would have begun with something less generic). With that in mind, I'll sometimes want to end with my contact information, in case the matter needs further discussion to resolve:
To Whom It May Concern, Please accept this letter as verification of Samantha's employment with the ABC Inc. Employee Name: Samantha Rice Employment Dates: May 5, 20XX - Present Current Job Title: Senior User Experience Researcher Current Salary: $140,000
When using formal greetings like 'To Whom It May Concern', follow these ways to format your cover letter: When using 'To Whom It May Concern', always: capitalise the first letter of every word end the phrase with a comma start a new paragraph after typing your greeting When using 'To Whom It May Concern', never:
Use "To whom it may concern" if you're not sure about who will receive and read your letter. If you know the recipient formally, use Dear [last name]. If you know the recipient informally,...
'To Whom It May Concern' is a common salutation for letters and emails that are more formal in nature. This phrase is typically used in business correspondence rather than for personal correspondence. While this salutation is formal, there are particular times when you should and should not use it.
How to Write a To Whom It May Concern Letter and Email. Whatever your reason for using To Whom It May Concern, your letter should still follow standard rules. It is good to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Follow the easy steps below when crafting your email or letter: Step 1: Use the Right Format for the Salutation
One of the most common professional salutations is "To Whom It May Concern." With so many alternatives, it can be challenging to determine when it's appropriate to use this greeting and when you should use a recipient's name, title or something else.
2. Use formal business letter format. If you have to draft your letter of consent by hand, organize it as a formal business letter. Most word processing apps have templates that will format your letter like this for you, with the correct margins and spacing.  Choose a professional, legible font.
The Quick Answer. If you know the recipient or use their name, end your letter with 'Sincerely yours' (US) or 'Yours sincerely' (UK). If you don't know the recipient or don't use their name, end your letter 'Yours truly' (US) or 'Yours faithfully' (UK). So, if your letter starts "to whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir," end the letter with "Yours ...
Step 1: Authorization Letter's Header. Start by writing your name on the top left side of the letter followed by your address. leave one line and write the date. The date should follow the following format: dd/mm/yy and should not be abbreviated. Leave one line and include the recipient's address.
To Whom It May Concern is a general way to address correspondence to a recipient whose name is unknown. It's a formal choice of words that hasn't dated well and comes off as impersonal, tired, and potentially irate or desperate. To Whom It May Concern has been around so long that is has almost become a type of cover letter format. It's not.
When addressing a letter with "To Whom It May Concern," the first letter of each word is typically capitalized, and the phrase is followed by a colon: To Whom It May Concern: Skip the next line, and then start the first paragraph of the letter. Alternative Greetings To Use
Use a colon after "To Whom It May Concern" rather than a comma. Add a double space before beginning the body of your message. As we've identified above, if you're using "To Whom It May Concern" you're likely approaching a business formal conversation. Don't let sloppy formatting muddle your first impression.
An experience letter needs to be well-structured and written in a formal tone. Let's take a look at the format of an experience letter: Name of the Organisation. (It has to be at the top of the page. Mostly an organisation's name is clearly mentioned on the official letterhead.) TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
A "To whom it may concern" letter should be written in a formal manner, in standard business letter format. This salutation is used when the letter writer is unsure of the name of the intended recipient. An example would be a letter of recommendation or request for interview. When writing a letter to an unknown recipient, instead of using ...