Dear Mr. / Mrs. Job Seeker

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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I’m the hiring manager who sifts through hundreds of resumes each year that successfully passed our initial software screening process (

I have a name – it’s Ms. Hanna Hires – and a job title – Talent Acquisition Manager – for ABC Industries. If you weren’t so quick to hit the Apply Now button on our company website, your resume might have made it to the top of my candidate pile.

I really don’t like perusing cover letters addressed to “Dear Sir / Madam” or “Dear Hiring Manager”. They just don’t stand out; it’s a sign of laziness.

Cover letters that grab my attention are written by job seekers who took the time to conduct research, find my name and address the cover letter directly to me – a real person and possibly the first advocate you’ll have within our organization. It’s the beginning of building a relationship with your future employer and a good start on emitting a positive first impression.

The Internet makes it easy to find the name of an HR individual in almost any organization. Let’s start with LinkedIn. Had you done a simple advanced search entering “hr, human resources” in the Keyword field and entered “ABC Industries” in the Company field, you would have found all six employees in our department and I’m the only individual with the title Manager. It might have taken you 60 seconds. While you’re there, click on my profile. Learn a bit about me as I’ll be the first one to interview you, plus, I’ll get a message you viewed my profile. Time permitting, I just might reciprocate and review your online profile. If it’s enticing and well written, that’s another advantage for you as you’ve upped my interest in your candidacy another notch ( )

There’s other ways you can use to find my name. If you reviewed our company website page (and you should since you’re interested in working for us), we have a listing of all department managers on the site. Or simply try a Google search using the query “Who is the HR manager at ABC Industries”. Yes, I admit not all companies make it this simple however don’t give up. The names of many of my HR colleagues who work for municipalities are often found by visiting the municipal website and searching for their organization chart or who works for the Chief Administrative Officer – often HR reports to that position.

I truly appreciate someone who takes the time to uncover my name and personalize their cover letter. It lays the foundation for the type of performer they might be, going the extra mile without being asked. Now, if the rest of your cover letter shows me you took the time to customize your content to the job posting - versus sending the same generic letter to each employer – you’ve succeeded in capturing my attention.

I make hundreds of hiring decisions a year, often based on my first impression of each applicant. If you truly want to work for my organization, give me a reason to pick you over the other candidates. Do your research first (



Martin Buckland, President of Elite Resumes, is a leading resume writer, career coach and job search strategist with a global clientele. Martin currently holds the following certifications: Certified Professional Branding Strategist, Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Employment Interview Professional, Job and Career Transition Coach, Certified Job Search Trainer and Co-Pilot Executive Coach. Visit my website at


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