Standard Business Correspondence Cover Letter

Cover Letter Salutation Examples

Get Formatting and Punctuation Tips

What is a cover letter salutation? A salutation is the greeting you include at the beginning of a cover letter written to apply for a job. In your salutation, you will set the tone for your letter, which should be professional and appropriate. Avoid casual salutations (“Hey There” or “Hi” or “Hello”) in your job search correspondence.

How to Write a Cover Letter Salutation

When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job, it's important to include an appropriate salutation at the beginning of the cover letter or message.

Standard business correspondence formatting requires that, after providing your own contact information and the date of your letter, you then write down your contact person’s name, the company’s name, and the company’s address.

The formal salutation / greeting comes next: “Dear [Contact Person’s name].” If you have a contact person for your letter, be sure to include their personal title and name in the salutation (i.e. "Dear Mr. Franklin"). If you are unsure of the reader's gender, simply state their full name and avoid the personal title (i.e. "Dear Jamie Smith"). Leave one blank line after the salutation.

You should always make every effort to find a contact name to use in your letter. It leaves a good impression on the hiring manager if you have taken the time to use their name, especially if you needed to work a little to find it.

If this information was not provided in the job announcement and you cannot find it on the company’s web site, then it is a good idea to call the company, ask to be forwarded to their Human Resources department (if they have one), explain that you will be applying for a job there, and ask for the name of their hiring manager.

When you can't find a contact person or if you are unsure of who will be reading your cover letter, you can use a generic salutation (i.e. “Dear Hiring Manager”).

When You Have a Contact Person

The following is a list of letter salutation examples that are appropriate for cover letters and other employment-related correspondence when you have the name of a contact.

  • Dear Mr. Jones

  • Dear Ms. Brown

  • Dear Riley Doe

  • Dear Dr. Haven

  • Dear Professor Lawrence

Punctuation

Follow the salutation with a colon or comma, and then start the first paragraph of your letter on the following line. For example:

Dear Mr. Smith:

First paragraph of letter.

When You Don't Have a Contact Person

Many companies don't list a contact person when they post jobs, because they have a team of hiring staff who sort through cover letters and resumes before passing them to the hiring manager for the appropriate department.

They prefer to leave the hiring manager anonymous until he or she contacts you for an interview.

An organization may also not want to disclose who the hiring manger is to avoid emails and phone calls from applicants, particularly if they anticipate receiving a large number of applications from potential job candidates. So, don't worry if you can't find someone to address your letter to. It will be forwarded to the correct department and recipient.

If you don't have a contact person at the company, either leave off the salutation from your cover letter and start with the first paragraph of your letter or, better yet, use a general salutation. When using a general salutation, capitalize the nouns.

Examples of General Salutations

Punctuation

Follow the salutation with a colon or comma before beginning your first paragraph on the following line. For example:

Dear XYZ Enterprises Recruiter,

First paragraph of letter.

Cover Letter Samples for Business and Administration

When you're applying for administrative and business jobs, one of your most important qualifications will be your communication skills. The first time they will be evaluated is when the hiring manager reviews your cover letter and resume. It's important to make a good first impression, in order to increase your chances of landing an interview (and eventually, the job).

Before you start writing a cover letter, take a look at administration and business cover letter examples to get an idea of how to construct a professional and effective letter that is going to sell your credentials to the hiring manager.

What to Include in the Letter

Before you start writing your cover letter, review the job posting. You'll find a list of the job qualifications that the employer is looking for. Use your cover letter to show the hiring manager that you meet those requirements.

Match your qualifications to the job listing by analyzing the ad and making a list of keywords related to the skills and experience sought by the hiring manager. You can also include the general administrative and business skills that employers seek in the candidates they evaluate for employment opportunities, as well as any hard or soft skills related to the role but not specifically included in the ad.

Work these keywords into your cover letter and resume, to ensure that your application materials make it through the applicant tracking system and get to a real person with the ability to call you for an interview.

The letter should include the following:

  • Subject Line, with your name and the job (if you’re sending your cover letter via email)
  • Contact Information (top of letter for printed letter, below signature for email cover letter)
  • Professional Greeting
  • Paragraph 1: A brief introduction and why you are writing
  • Paragraphs 2 and 3: Your qualifications for the job for which you're applying
  • Closing Paragraph: Appreciation for being considered for the job, and how you will follow-up if you have a contact person
  • Professional Closing
  • Signature

If you're not sure what to write, review these tips for how to write a cover letter before you get started, and a list of what to include in a cover letter.

Cover Letter Examples for Administration / Business Jobs

Review cover letter examples and then write a personalized letter that explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting.

It's important that your letters are customized for each job you apply for, highlighting your relevant experience.

Sample Cover Letter -  Business / Administration

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, ZIP Code
Your Phone Number
Your Cell Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Dear Hiring Manager,

I was excited to read about the Administrative Assistant job opening at XYZ company. I have several years of experience in a variety of fields including insurance and finance.

In addition to my extensive office experience, I have strong communication, customer service, and administrative skills. My broad background makes me an excellent candidate for this position.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you to arrange an interview.

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Typed Name

More Cover Letter Samples:

Cover Letter Templates and Formats

Starting your cover letter from scratch? It’s often easier to start from a template. Staring down that blank page has the effect of making even the most accomplished job seeker momentarily forget all their qualifications and achievements.

These templates can offer a good starting point for your cover letter. Be sure to personalize your cover letters each and every time you apply for a job. It’s essential that your cover letter be targeted to the role you’re applying for; generic cover letters won’t show the hiring manager that you’re serious and enthusiastic about the role.

Again, these templates are just a starting place for your resume, which should be personalized to reflect your unique skillset, and targeted to the job for which you’re applying. 

Administration / Business Resume Examples
When you are preparing to apply for jobs, it's helpful to look at resume examples, as well as cover letters, for your occupation. Review sample administration / business resumes including human resources, consulting, marketing, public relations, management and more resume examples.

More About Cover Letters

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