Best Alternatives to Dear Sir or Madam
When writing a business email, it's critical to appropriately address the recipient. What do you do if you're not sure whether the recipient is a man or a woman?
One of the most typical greetings in business writing is "Dear Sir or Madam." It's respectful, professional, and relevant to a wide range of situations. However, it is very common, and might sound very generic to your recruiting manager. Luckily, there are a few alternatives to Dear Sir or Madam that will help you maintain your professionalism.
1. Dear, [First Name]
Dear [First Name], while it may appear "weird" or unprofessional, it has some real benefits. First and foremost, it is an excellent technique to establish rapport and trust with the recipient.
When speaking with a stranger, using one's personal name rather than the more formal "Dear Sir or Madam" will make them feel more at ease and trusting.
In addition, when there are several receivers, salutations are either obligatory or preferred. For the sake of clarity, Dear [First Name] ensures that each individual has been properly addressed.
2. Hello, [Insert Team Name]
Although the manner in which team members introduce themselves and address their teammates varies based on the company's culture, there are several reasons why I advocate addressing sales teams in email with "Hello, [Insert team name]." It is customary to give the name and level of the person to whom you are writing. Even in a cover letter salutation, you could include a friendly welcome like "Good morning!" or "Best regards."
When sending an email to a large group of salespeople, phrases like "To all members of our team" or "Hey everyone" are fine. The recipient will understand that the information is personal to them, and nothing will be lost in translation.
3. Hello, [Insert Company Name].
"Hello, [Insert company name]" is a respectful greeting. I say 'respectful' because it serves as a reminder to the recipient that you are contacting them about something very serious.
Simply said, you don't need to address organizations as "Dear Mr." or "Mrs." as you would in a formal letter because that level of formality would imply you aren't reaching out as a potential customer. Take advantage of this opportunity to obtain useful information and resolve any issues you may have with your order. Prospects may be less inclined to reply if they believe they've been dismissed before receiving good customer service.
4. To Whom It May Concern
It's best to use "To Whom It May Concern" when emailing someone with whom you don't have a personal relationship. This reduces the risk of offending someone. This is because many people misinterpret "Dear Jane" as "Hey Jane."
Furthermore, most businesses prefer that you address them professionally rather than personally for a variety of reasons. However, when addressing a person such as a manager or colleague, it is appropriate to use their first name rather than the company's complete name on the first reference. For example, unless they specifically request otherwise later in your correspondence, we would change "To Whom It May Concern" with "Dear James Smith."
5. Hi, there
When sending an email, you should always address the recipient by their name, which may or may not begin with a salutation like "Hi" or "Hello." It takes only a few seconds to address your receiver by their first name, but it demonstrates that you care about developing and keeping a professional relationship with them.
If it's their first time hearing from you, say "Hi there" to demonstrate that you've gone above and beyond by offering a personalized introduction to show how serious you are about continuing the sales prospecting conversation.
6. Good morning!
Good morning wishes the receiver a pleasant day and extends a friendly greeting. This ubiquitous remark has only one purpose: to greet someone a good morning!
When people wish for hope and good fortune in their lives, they utilize this term. As a result, it's worthwhile to consider how you greet someone by email.
7. Dear, Customer Service Team
Because you don't know how the customer support team will respond, you should start with a more official tone. For instance, if the email requests a rapid response without providing any rationale for why it is required so quickly. You may know from past experience that they aren't always quick to respond; addressing them as "Dear Customer Service Team" may give them a sense of entitlement or access to confidential information.
Alternatives to “Dear Sir or Madam” for cover letters
Use one of the following salutations to start your cover letter:
Dear Hiring Manager
Dear Recruitment Manager
Dear Human Resources Director
Dear [Job Title]
Alternatives to “Dear Sir or Madam” for emails
Here are a few good alternatives to using “Dear Sir or Madam” when you send a business email or if you email your resume and don’t know who to address:
Dear [Department Name]
Dear [Team Name]
Dear [Title or Position]
Why not use "Dear Sir or Madam" instead?
If you want to contact a certain person who is well-known, start by identifying the person by name. Adding the salutation devalues more important messages, which may lead to them not being taken seriously.
Here's why you shouldn't address recruiting supervisors with "Dear Sir or Madam":
1. It's a generic term
One of the most common blunders made by job seekers is sending the same generic application to multiple organizations in the mistaken belief that sending out more applications will boost their chances of getting an interview. While this is partially true, the quality of your resume and cover letter are far more crucial. You should always address your cover letter to the hiring manager by name to grab the attention of the recruiting manager (if possible).
2. It’s outdated
While “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” used to be the recommended way to address a letter or email when you didn’t know the name or gender of the recipient, it’s considered overly formal today. Letter writing etiquette changes over time, as do the standards for business correspondence.
3. It isn't all-inclusive.
Not everyone enjoys being addressed in a gendered manner. For example, if a company's hiring manager is non-binary, they are unlikely to want to be called as "sir" or "madam." It's best to employ a gender-neutral cover letter introduction just to be safe.
Here are some gender-neutral titles you might come across:
"Mx." (pronounced "mix") is the most frequent gender-neutral term, and it can be used in any case where you don't know someone's gender or which title they prefer.
4. It appears to be spam.
Many generic sales emails feature the greeting "Dear Sir or Madam," as you'll see if you check your spam folder. "Dear Sir or Madam" is one of the words and phrases that regularly appear in unsolicited bulk emails, and spam filters are designed to detect them. It's best to use a different salutation to avoid your email cover letter ending up in the spam folder of the hiring manager.