Career advisors have warned against using “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter for many years, claiming it harms your chances of landing an interview. 

Nevertheless, many job seekers use this generic cover letter greeting anyway and go on to land fantastic positions at great companies. Earlier this year, the Resume Companion team finally began to wonder whether starting your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” actually affects a hiring manager’s decision making.

To get to the bottom of this question, they surveyed over 1,000 US-based hiring managers from different professional backgrounds.

The results ran contrary to what career advisors have been (and still are) preaching. Overall, 83% of hiring managers said that if you use “To Whom It May Concern” on your cover letter, it wouldn’t affect whether they’d offer you an interview.

However, how a hiring manager reacts to “To Whom It May Concern” does differ by the hiring manager’s sex and age. Check out the full To Whom It May Concern survey data set, portrayed using colourful infographics, to find out what types of hiring managers are more tolerant of “To Whom It May Concern” on a cover letter:



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