Here's the second blog post in a series I'm doing to refute the ideas in what I believe is a misguided article: "Five Out-Of-Date Job Search Tactics" from Bloomberg Business. (You can feel free to weigh in using the Comments section below, and read the first post in the series here.)
They say: "Creaky Cover Letter Language" is out-of-date.
Okay, I agree with them that you shouldn't address a cover letter to "Dear Sir or Madam" -- and I prefer finding the hiring manager's name (when possible), but sometimes that just ISN'T possible. So "Dear Hiring Manager" is an acceptable substitute, or so is my suggestion -- simply leaving off the salutation entirely.
Contrary to the author's opinion, it can be difficult to find a hiring manager's name. Without the hiring manager's name, you're usually sending it to HR anyway, so addressing it to "Dear Hiring Manager," isn't going to offend the HR person. They know that ultimately the best resumes will be forwarded to the hiring manager (decision-maker).
Of the five "out of date" tactics, I probably have the least objection to this one (and I offer an even simpler alternative -- no salutation -- but I don't think the simple line "To Whom It May Concern" is going to kill a job seeker's chance of an interview if the resume and the rest of the cover letter is solid, and they have the right qualifications.
Tomorrow: "Here's Why You Should Hire Me."