Allison Cheston, Career Connector


Career Connector Blog

To Whom it May Concern


Imagine you’re a senior person at a company and you’re looking for the right person to work for you. You’ve been looking at resumes all day long, and you’re tired and looking for some inspiration. You open yet another email, hoping for “the one”, and it’s addressed to: To Whom it May Concern.

As someone who’s done a lot of hiring and advises a lot of Gen Y’s on how to get hired, I would never hire someone who sent me a note addressed, essentially, to nobody. It is a sign of laziness when someone who’s applying for a job doesn’t take a few minutes to identify the name of the prospective employer.

This just came up because I’m helping a friend who’s a CEO of a non-profit identify good candidates for a marketing manager job. Without mentioning her name, I put notices up on my various social networks, indicating that she heads the company and its name.

One of the responses I received was addressed to “To Whom it May Concern”.

And by the way, “Dear Sir/Madam” won’t cut it either.

There are many ways to get a name, and they may involve some cunning and chutzpah, but probably not a lot. My suggestion is this: Leave no stone unturned, it is worth your time to get that name. Because otherwise, your perfectly good resume will get filed under “G”, and you will never know why.