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Will kill for peace.
Sep 18, 2002
When addressing your cover letter to a large company, how do you begin if you don't know the specific person the letter is going to?

Do you start:

To whom it may concern,
Dear Sir or Ma'am,

Sorry if the question seems ridiculous. I don't like the above examples and threw away my college technical writing books......... or did I burn them......... :angryfire
check6 said:
Find out the name of the person who is going to read it and address it to them.
The question I was asking was if you don't know and/or can't find out. There are hundreds of jobs listed on climbto350.com and monster.com that provide you no way of finding out.

I've seen "to whom it may concern" too many times, and I think it's too informal. I've used "Dear Sir or Ma'am" several times and even though I've been successful with some of those letters, I have have had a few proof readers question if that was proper. Just trying to see if anyone has any other thoughts.......
It depends on who is doing the hiring. You can put "Dear Pilot Recruitment Manager," but the best thing is to find a name. Look for someone on the board who works for the same company and ask.

Good luck!

Post Edit!!

Geez, this thing froze up on me and went haywire before I got to put the rest of my comment.

Kathy - Resume Writer - what would you suggest to this person?
Last edited:
That is the option I sometimes use for my clients. Marinegrunt is right that there are many ads out there that do not list a person to contact. That was a good idea that you had to network here on flightinfo.com to find a person that works for the company.

I do not ever use Dear Sir or Madam, or To Whom It May Concern. They are very outdated and impersonal. It is not the fault of the applicant; the employers make it hard to find the person. Sometimes HR or Hiring people just do not want their name out there since they sometimes get tons of calls on a position.
Thanks. Anything you recommend for those impossible to find names?
MarineGrunt said:
Thanks. Anything you recommend for those impossible to find names?

You can maybe try to find someone who has an NBAA directory (if corporate). Or you could call the company (if listed) and ask the receptionist for the name of their Pilot Hiring Manager, as you want to address the letter to the right person.

You could also possibly Google the company, such as "XYZ Company Chief Pilot" or "XYZ Company Pilot Recruiter."

It is amazing the stuff you can find on Google and Yahoo. Many recruiters are turning to this now in corporate America, as the tables have turned to a "candidates" market. Just be careful everyone what you post with your name on it. I have several pages on Yahoo, and there are things in the results from flightinfo.

Go to Yahoo and type in Kathy Sweeney The Write Resume as your search, and you will see what I am talking about.
Call up the company and tell them you would like to apply as a Pilot (or whatever) and ask who the proper person to send a resume and letter to is. With a little luck you can fax your resume to the right person while you're speaking to them on the phone. Be ready to do that. Dear Sir letters and stamps are pretty much out of date for pilot hiring today.

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