Salutation in a Cover Letter
If you know the person's name:
When applying for a job, it is very important to know the name of the addressee and address him/her personally.
Dear Ms / Miss / Mrs / Mr / Dr + Nachname
Example: Dear Mr Miller
Dear first name + surname
Example: Dear Chris Miller
If you don't know the person's name:
If despite all efforts you cannot find out the addressee's name, the only possibility is to use one of the following salutations:
|salutation||when to use|
|Dear Sir or Madam||esp. in British English|
|Ladies and Gentlemen||esp. in American English|
|To whom it may concern||esp. in American English|
Punctuation after the Salutation
In British English, don't use any punctuation mark or use a comma.
Example: Dear Mr Miller or Dear Mr Miller,
In American English, use a colon:
Example: Dear Mr. Miller:
Ms, Miss or Mrs?
- Mrs – to address a married woman
- Miss – to address an unmarried woman (rarely used now)
- Ms – to address a woman whose marital status you don't know; also used to address an unmarried woman
Note: The abrreviations Mr, Mrs etc. are usually written without full stops (Mr) in British English and with full stops (Mr.) in American English.