How to address a cover letter or CV

It’s not unusual to wonder how to address a cover letter or CV when applying for a job in the UK. These days it’s frequent to see different ways of addressing a cover letter or hear opinions on whether formal, informal, full name or “To Whom It May Concern” works better.

The truth is that no technique will work in the same way for every UK company. You might meet more old-fashioned recruiters who would like to be addressed formally or even anonymously. However, recruiters with more modern views may deem it okay to address a cover letter with a name or even first name. There’s just no way of telling.

So what can help to understand how to address a cover letter or CV and which techniques can you use in your job application and company research?

Carry on reading to learn about writing a cover letter and the different ways of addressing a cover letter and CV.

how to address a cover letter or cv

Addressing a cover letter

The top recommendation for addressing a cover letter in the UK is to try and find the recruiter or hiring manager’s full name. This personalises your job application and helps to create a greater connection between yourself and the reader of your cover letter.

With most job listings and applications taking place online, it’s fairly easy to find out the name that you should be using to address your cover letter. Job listings on LinkedIn, for example, usually include the profile or the hiring manager/recruiter which enables you to see their profile and discover their full name.

However, it’s not always easy to locate the name of the recruiter on the job listing page or the company website. So, it is okay to go with a “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” if you’re not sure how to address a cover letter? Most professional career advisers will tell you to avoid it at all costs and to address a cover letter with a name. Here are some tips to help you dig deeper and be able to find your cover letter addressee.

  1. If the email address provided for application doesn’t give you a clue as to the name of the recruiter, try copying and pasting it into Google to see if information or a name will come up.
  2. Be sure to read through the job listing carefully and identify a name or email address which may have a name. Recruiters will put contact information and job application instructions at the very bottom of the job listing as a way of finding out who reads the whole things and follows the instructions correctly. Jobseekers often get caught out by not scrolling the whole way down.
  3. Check out the profile of the person who has published the job listing if it’s on a professional platform such as LinkedIn.
  4. Occasionally, job descriptions will include information on to whom the position will report. If it says that you’ll be reporting to the Marketing manager, it could be a good idea to look up who this is and address your cover letter or CV to them, as well or instead.

Addressing a CV

In general, CVs tend to be attached in job applications or emails and therefore, addressing a CV is not necessary. If you’re sending an email, you can use a cover letter to reinforce your job application and avoid figuring out how to address your CV.


Writing a cover letter to accompany your CV is the ultimate way to achieve a powerful job application which brings you success. Create a cover letter which matches your CV using an online CV maker. This way, the hard work formatting and styling your CV or cover letter if sorted and you can focus on the content of your job application.