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Old 10-04-2010, 10:53 AM
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"Dear Sir or Madam" alternatives

Something one notch less formal, but not "To Whom It May Concern," for replies to people offering jobs who don't provide company or personal names.

I am thinking "Dear Recruiting Agent" but that seems like it might be offensive if that's not their exact role.

Whatcha think?
Old 10-04-2010, 10:54 AM
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I have been sending out résumés with the generic, "Greetings;" salutation.
Old 10-04-2010, 10:58 AM
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In before the 20 people who are gonna jump on to tell you to call the company and find out who the individual is, because if you don't, you obviously don't want the job enough.
Old 10-04-2010, 11:01 AM
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Friend Dough Ho: that's good.

ReticulatingSplines: good idea if there is any form of contact besides email.
Old 10-04-2010, 12:07 PM
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Dear Hiring Executive:
Old 10-04-2010, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Dough Ho View Post
I have been sending out résumés with the generic, "Greetings;" salutation.
Sounds a bit too 'First Contact' to me. Perhaps it's a cultural thing, from my Brit perspective, that sounds gimmicky/too jolly. Do you also Come In Peace?

To the OP, what don't you like about Sir/Madam?
Old 10-04-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Dough Ho View Post
I have been sending out résumés with the generic, "Greetings;" salutation.
Sounds a bit too 'First Contact' to me. Perhaps it's a cultural thing, from my Brit perspective, that sounds gimmicky/too jolly. Do you also Come In Peace?

To the OP, what don't you like about Sir/Madam?
Greetings Earthling,

The Madam. I don't recall using that word ever. Maybe it's more common in the UK.
Old 10-04-2010, 12:47 PM
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I think "Dear" sounds awfully weird in conjunction with anything that isn't either an actual name or a formal style.
Old 10-04-2010, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
I think "Dear" sounds awfully weird in conjunction with anything that isn't either an actual name or a formal style.
example?
Old 10-04-2010, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraman100 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanVito View Post

Sounds a bit too 'First Contact' to me. Perhaps it's a cultural thing, from my Brit perspective, that sounds gimmicky/too jolly. Do you also Come In Peace?

To the OP, what don't you like about Sir/Madam?
Greetings Earthling,

The Madam. I don't recall using that word ever. Maybe it's more common in the UK.
In the U.S., in spoken English, it's mostly said as "Ma'am", so why not address the company as "Dear Sir/Ma'am"?
Old 10-04-2010, 01:20 PM
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If you can't find out the name of the person, use the company name

Dear Chicago Reader:
Old 10-04-2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraman100 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
I think "Dear" sounds awfully weird in conjunction with anything that isn't either an actual name or a formal style.
example?
Dear Recruiting Agent
Dear Hiring Executive
Dear Chicago Reader (a name, but not the name of an actual person for whom the message is intended)

Last edited by Peremensoe; 10-04-2010 at 01:26 PM.
Old 10-04-2010, 01:26 PM
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"Ladies and Gentlemen:" is the convention for what you're looking for. It doesn't matter how many people you're writing to, nor that they all should happen to be of one sex.
Old 10-04-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
If you can't find out the name of the person, use the company name

Dear Chicago Reader:
I submit eight to ten résumés a day and they are all being done via a blind site. 99% of the time, I have no clue of the company, just the job for which I am applying.

Honestly, having been in the seat that reviews such applications, the salutation is not important and is usually glossed-over. It is the substance of the cover letter and attached C.V.
Old 10-04-2010, 06:13 PM
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"Hail Ceasar! Morituro Te Salutenant!" (SP? High School Latin was so long ago....)
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
"Hail Ceasar! Morituro Te Salutenant!" (SP? High School Latin was so long ago....)
Ave Caesar! Moriturus (or Moritura) te salutat.

It's usuually given in the plural, but I'm giving the singular, since there's just one person writing the letter. It's "Moriturus" or "Moritura" depending on the gender of the letter-writer.
Old 10-05-2010, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraman100 View Post
Greetings Earthling,

The Madam. I don't recall using that word ever. Maybe it's more common in the UK.
Ah, yes, we still use Madam in the UK.

Titbit alert: The only person called 'Ma'am' here is The Queen. I have no idea why.
Old 10-05-2010, 06:39 AM
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As this is a job application, I think you want to appear professional, polite, with good social skills and au fait with correct etiquette.

Dear Sir and/or Madam
Dear Madam
Dear Sir
To Whom it May Concern

All polite, professional, acceptable and widely accepted salutations when you know very little about the recipient.

I, personally don't think this is the place to be quirky, humourous, avant garde or interesting.

You may feel awkward writing "madam"- but you don't want to be perceived as clueless, gauche, rude or weird by the person assessing whether or not to interview you for a job.

The body of the letter is where you should make your mark and set yourself apart- not the salutation.
Old 10-05-2010, 07:21 AM
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I always use Dear Sir/Madam because I am a repressed Brit with an inbuilt need to bumlick my superiors, but you might like to mark it For The Attention Of, then your choice of whatever comes next.

I like For The Attention Of The Hiring Executive.

Think about your use of capitals though; I'm sure I've not got them right in that example.
Old 10-05-2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgirl View Post
As this is a job application, I think you want to appear professional, polite, with good social skills and au fait with correct etiquette.

Dear Sir and/or Madam
Dear Madam
Dear Sir
To Whom it May Concern

All polite, professional, acceptable and widely accepted salutations when you know very little about the recipient.

I, personally don't think this is the place to be quirky, humourous, avant garde or interesting.

You may feel awkward writing "madam"- but you don't want to be perceived as clueless, gauche, rude or weird by the person assessing whether or not to interview you for a job.

The body of the letter is where you should make your mark and set yourself apart- not the salutation.
So I guess "Wassup" is out of the question?
Old 10-05-2010, 09:51 AM
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Hey, good lookin' !
To my new BFF.
Yo!

are all probably bad ideas as well
Old 10-05-2010, 02:23 PM
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Just stick with "Dear Sir or Madam".
While it might seem odd to you, the person receiving the letter doesn't even really notice - they get tons of letters and skip over salutations in a mega-second. For them, this is just blah, blah...but "normal" blah, blah.
Trying to be clever will simply put you in the "unprofessional" stack of applicants.

I used to hire lots of people and would get stacks of letters - any letter that was "cute and quirky" usually ended up at the bottom of my stack and I would not bother calling them in for an interview; pink paper, smiley faces, weird fonts, bright color fonts - childish gimmicks of any kind - didn't exactly bode well for potential professional employee of the month.

Last edited by DMark; 10-05-2010 at 02:23 PM.
Old 10-05-2010, 02:48 PM
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So "What up bitch?" is out then?
Old 10-05-2010, 04:44 PM
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I'm not sure why you'd need an alternative to "Dear Sir or Madam." It's the standard business style for writing to an unknown person. Why would you want a notch less formal? Less formal for a job application? That's pretty much as formal as it gets in the business world.
Old 10-05-2010, 05:15 PM
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In academia when the name of the chair of the search committee isn't given I address it to "Dear Search Committee".

Personally I think "Hello" sounds better than "Greetings".

Though I always liked the opening I've read in some history books by kings who didn't have the time to figure which honorific worked:

"To Ultraman 100 of the Dope, Whatever greeting is due unto your station. We've got Saxons out the ass up here so get an army up here pronto."
Old 10-05-2010, 06:12 PM
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I usually go with "Yo, Homie!"

(Seriously, everyone I know - including me - uses "Dear Sir or Madam:")
Old 10-06-2010, 12:12 AM
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Use an augmented reality tag in place of the greeting and have it link to something like Stephen Hawking's voice synth.
Old 10-06-2010, 12:27 AM
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I just put "To whom it may concern" - generic is best, I think.
Old 10-10-2010, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Dough Ho View Post
I have been sending out résumés with the generic, "Greetings;" salutation.
There's nothing generic about using "Greetings;" as a salutation in a business letter. Especially with that semicolon; people are liable to think you don't know how to write.
Old 10-10-2010, 10:06 AM
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I think:

"Good evening, Ladies and Germs. How are ya, how are ya, how are ya? But seriously..."

is a good start. And then sign off with a flourish:

"I wish you and your family the most effusive of salutations,
I remain,
Your most Humble Servant,
Captain Sir Peter Uxbridge, Esq."
Old 10-10-2010, 10:47 AM
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I always use "Dear Hiring Manager" in that situation.
Old 10-10-2010, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fried Dough Ho View Post
I have been sending out résumés with the generic, "Greetings;" salutation.
There's nothing generic about using "Greetings;" as a salutation in a business letter. Especially with that semicolon; people are liable to think you don't know how to write.
You are correct. Thanks for making me look again at this and I have now altered my salutation and punctuation.
Old 10-10-2010, 11:39 AM
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deleded

Last edited by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor; 10-10-2010 at 11:40 AM.
Old 10-10-2010, 02:39 PM
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I use 'Sieg Heil!' But, that's only for casual and romantic correspondence.

When I'm looking for a job, I go with 'Hello," or "To the Human Resources Department,"

Best wishes,
hh
Old 10-10-2010, 03:01 PM
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I use re: position/job name. I have seen that before and it makes sense to me.
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