In the world of online communication, often the only information you have about a company is its name and e-mail address. But, if you're applying for a job, you'll need to show the company that you're not only qualified for the position, but that you're also interested and invested in the company -- which may mean seeking out the information you lack. However, if you must write a cover letter and don't have a physical address for the company, you have some options.
Research the company as much as you can to find out the address of the company headquarters or Human Resources department. Visit the company's website and look for the "Contact Us" or "About Us" sections, which often provide physical addresses. If that doesn't bear fruit, visit the Web page for the Department of Revenue or Department of State in your state and perform a business name search. This will often provide information -- including a physical address -- for all companies registered in the state. If you manage to find the company's address in this way, it willv show the type of initiative that your prospective employer is looking for.
Type the specific name of the hiring manager, Human Resources director or other company contact at the top left of the cover letter, justified to the left margin. All the receiver's information will be left-justified at the top left of the paper.
Type the title of the company contact just under the name of the person.
Type the company name just under the company contact's title.
Type any physical address information you may have obtained from your search. If you've only managed to find a city and state for the company, type that on the line just below the company name. If you have a street address, type the street address on one line, and then type the city, state and ZIP code on the line below.
Type the e-mail address of the person or entity receiving the letter on the line just below any city, state and ZIP code you may have, or at the very bottom of the address section if you didn't locate the physical address.
Begin your cover letter by addressing the specific person to which the letter will be sent. Use the person's full name, if you know it. As a fall-back, you can address the letter to "Dear Hiring Manager," or "Dear IT Department Recruiter."
- You should also include your own name, title -- if you have one -- and physical address near the top of the cover letter, justified to the right of the paper. If you're e-mailing your cover letter and resume to your prospective employer, include the documents as an attachment, in the PDF -- or Portable Document Format -- which is compatible with most computers. You can also paste the cover letter into the body of your e-mail, but be sure to also include that attached, printable copy.
About the Author
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.
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No Company Info? Write a Great Cover Letter Anyway
I get notes in my inbox every day, but this one stood out — so I decided to give it a little extra attention!
If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask me, feel free to send it to email@example.com. Due to volume I can’t always get to every question, but I’ll do my best to send you a quick response.
I have a question. When responding to job postings on Craigslist, you will not know the company, address or person to address etc. How does one format a CV for such an instance? Besides the typical Dear Sir or Madam, there is no other formatting/information that one could include for a professional cover letter other than personal contact info and the body of the letter and of course date. I am confused on how to write a cover letter for a response like this.
Hi Robin, thanks for emailing!
This is an excellent question. Craigslist postings are tough because you can’t just Google the email that’s listed, and sometimes the poster won’t even put in the name of the company. If that’s the case, customize your cover letter to the industry and not that particular company — this can also save you some time if you’re applying to multiple Craigslist postings that all have zero direct contact information.
The administrative field is great for customizing because you can be an admin in a number of different industries, but your job essentially will be the same: you’re the rock that holds everyone together.
Here’s what to emphasize:
• How much money you saved your previous employer. Give specific amounts if you can, otherwise an educated guess is fine- just don’t exaggerate!
• Your computer skills: typing wpm rate, and which programs you’re familiar with
• Customer service experience. This is a great one, because every company wants a shining star in their customer service department.
• Your ability to learn quickly and adapt — an essential job function of any admin. A more professional way to put this would be, “Driven, adaptable and graceful under pressure.”
• Your industry experience. If you’re not sure which industry you’re applying for, list all the industries you’ve worked in.
If the Craigslist post actually does have a little bit of information about the company, try the tips in our article Stalk Your Way to a New Job. There are plenty of tips on how to sneakily get lots of information about a company even with the tiniest lead, so you can more easily customize your cover letter.
Good luck and keep us posted!
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