Want to stand out in a cover letter? Don’t mention a single thing that you want from the company. Except a phone call.

My preferred format

The introduction: there’s always a name

Never address a cover letter “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager”. If you’ve done your due diligence and research, you can always get a name to address this to. If you’re still very lost, here’s the heirarchy I suggest you follow, in this order:

  • Human Resources / People Operations
    • who is the head of the HR / PeopleOps department? Look for a VP or Director
    • do they have “senior” level recruiters? if so, pick the person who has been there the longest
    • anyone else with “recruiter” or “talent” in their title
  • Engineering
    • VP of Engineering
    • Director of Engineering
    • Engineering Manager of your desired team

If you still don’t have a name after looking through this list, I’d guess one of two things is happening: the company is so small they don’t have an HR team yet, or much of a hierarchy, in which case I’d address it to their CTO. Or, their company has some other group of people in charge of hiring. Keep researching, keep networking, see if you know someone who knows someone, that can get you a name of who to address it to.