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Are you writing a cover letter and wondering whether starting it with to whom it may concern negatively affect your cover letter and the chances of getting called for an interview? Explore the findings of a research conducted recently to find out if it negatively affects a cover letter or not.

Will to whom it may concern negatively accept your cover letter?

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Will to whom it may concern negatively affect your cover letter? Explore the result of a research done to find out if using to ‘whom it may concern’ on your cover letter will negatively affect it and your chances of being called for an interview.

For years, career advisors have warned that using “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter reduces your chances of landing an interview. 

Nevertheless, many job seekers start their cover letters this way and are successful in their job applications. The team at Resume Companion was curious whether this cover letter opening really harms your chances of landing a job.

They sent out a survey to more than 1,000 US-based hiring managers, asking whether they’d judge a candidate starting their cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” less favourably.

They found that 83% of hiring managers would not change their decision about offering you an interview if you used this greeting on your cover letter.

However, hiring manager sentiment toward “To Whom It May Concern” differed depending on their sex, age, and geographic area.

For instance, managers in the northeast were least bothered about applicants using “To Whom It May Concern” on their cover letter, with only 10% of hiring managers saying it would put them off your application.

Interestingly, Generation Z hiring managers — the youngest age bracket sampled — were the most likely to reject a cover letter addressed to “To Whom It May Concern.” It’s unclear why but could be because this generation grew up with the internet, and knows how easy it is to find a hiring manager’s name through a quick LinkedIn search.

The responses also showed that women were more accepting of cover letters starting with “To Whom It May Concern.”

To whom it may concern: will it negatively affect your cover letter

To whom it may concern: will it negatively affect your cover letter 2

Will to whom it may concern negatively affect your cover letter 3

Will to whom it may concern affect my cover letter


For more information, check out the full “To Whom It May Concern” survey data set, along with some cover letter opening alternatives that are more likely to impress a picky hiring manager than “To Whom It May Concern.”

See 10 Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you have explored whether to whom it may concern will affect your cover letter, what do you think? Let’s hear from you. Leave your comment below.

Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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