What is the correct salutation in an application letter?

When you are writing the cover letter for your job application, there are many things you should pay careful attention to. First of all of course you must present yourself well, but in addition it is important to send a faultless letter to the company you want to be working for. Many people spend so much time on the content of their cover letter that they forget to write the correct salutation. Are you in the process of writing a cover letter and do you want this letter to be perfect? Read this article to find out what the correct salutation is to use in your letter.

The importance of the correct salutation

The salutation used in a letter is the line by which the writer addresses the reader, for example, “Dear Mr Smith”. Many people underestimate the value of a correct salutation and just pick any old salutation when writing their letter. This is a bad idea, however, as the salutation in your letter is the first comment you are directing to the reader of your cover letter. This means that with the salutation you are setting the tone for the entire letter. So never pick any old salutation, but focus on choosing the right salutation for the reader of your letter as well as on the content of your further letter.

The best salutation for a job application letter

The best way to begin your letter is with a personal salutation. This means you do not choose to write “Dear Sir/Madam,” but try to address the reader of your job application letter by name. Often you can find the correct name by reading the vacancy text well, but sometimes no name is listed. In that case you can use the website of the company you are applying to to search the name that you need.

Salutation when the addressed person is unknown

Did you try to find out who the person is who will receive your job application letter, but without success? In this case it is best to begin your letter with a general salutation such as “Dear Sir/Madam,”. It is better to address your reader by name, but some companies do not provide any information about who will be reading the job application letter. A general salutation is then the best option.

Salutation when gender is unknown

Some times you only know the surname of the person who will receive your job application letter, and there is no way of finding out if this person is a man or a woman. When you don’t know if the reader of your letter is a man or a woman, you address the letter: “Dear Mr/Mrs SURNAME,”: never pick one gender. It looks terribly strange if your letter is received by a woman but you addressed her as Mr.


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