There are a lot of terrible ways you could start an email, but is “to whom it may concern” the worst?
Some people certainly think it’s the bottom of the barrel, including Diane Gottsman of the Protocol School of Texas. She thinks the outdated greeting “sends the wrong message,” according to a Business Insider article.
From Business Insider:
More often than not, a quick phone call or Google search will unearth the name of the individual you’re emailing. If you don’t do your homework, the recipient may be insulted, and your chances of receiving a response decline significantly, Gottsman says. And this is especially true for job seekers.
Apparently there’s always a better option that will beat “to whom it may concern.”
The upshot? Do your research. Put it this way: If you’re not willing to do the research it takes to find out whom to address your cover letter to, do you really want that job?
Share your thoughts, Ragan readers. Can you think of a worse greeting?