To Whom It May Concern is a letter salutation used when you do not have a contact person. Here is when to use it, how to capitalize it, and alternatives. Wait! Stop! Next time you want to address your next cover letter to “To Whom It May Concern,” don't! Use one of these alternatives instead.
There are a number of 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.
Some employers don't list a contact person because they may not want direct inquiries from job seekers. 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. When should you use the term?
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Robert Stigwood , Bee Gees. You may be giving your permission to a bank to change the name on your account or a college institution to release your transcript. Using "To Whom It May Concern" in these situations is appropriate, because you are granting general permission to the institution, company or organization to act on your request.
Sometimes, to make your request official, you may need to put it in writing. When you are writing to a company or organization to notify them of a change in your address or canceling service, use "To Whom It May Concern. If you want to write a formal complaint about your experience with a faulty product or your dissatisfaction with a service, you may not know which department or individual to address and you want your letter to reach as many people as possible.
Or you may not want to take the time to research to whom to address your letter. While customer service may be the appropriate department to handle your letter, you don't want to limit who may respond. Some people will address the letter of complaint to the CEO or president of the company and hope it reaches the leader.
In some companies, an assistant will forward it along to the appropriate person. When filing a complaint, you want anyone reading it to know about your dissatisfaction and reply to your complaint, so using the general phrase should work. Never sounds like a strong word, but in today's work environment , writing a cover letter without researching the intended recipient conveys either a lack of interest or laziness.
Take a extra few minutes to research the name or even the department conducting the hiring.
There are many suitable alternatives you can use instead. For the rare occasions when you do use this phrase, there are some subtle formatting rules you should know.
First, format the phrase with a capital letter at the beginning of each word. Second, end the phrase with a colon, not a period or comma.