When you use the phrase “To Whom It May Concern” it can make you sound ancient and offensive. It’s an outdated salutation that sounds out of place in this century. In fact, using it in the wrong situations can leave a negative impression on the person receiving the letter or email.
Yet, it’s completely appropriate to use it in a few situations, so let’s find out more about it.
When to avoid it
In most situations, sending an email or letter with the greeting “To Whom It May Concern” can indicate laziness or a lack of concern to spend some time researching the person you need to reach.
Whether that’s a hiring manager, co-worker, or subscriber, addressing your letter or email properly can show that you cared enough to find the relevant person.
So, here are a few better options you may want to consider.
To whom it may concern alternatives
1.Dear (Mr. Mrs. Ms. Miss) (Last Name)
Use this simple greeting if you’re sending a cover letter or writing directly to someone.
Dear Mr. Ben Smith
2.Dear (Department) or Dear (Role)
If you can’t find the contact name, the least you can do is address the person’s role or the correct department.
Dear Accounting Department / Dear Office Manager
3.Greetings or Hello
This salutation is great for messages addressed to many people, such as newsletters or meeting announcements.
Greetings, sales team.
When to use it
This outdated salutation is appropriate for emails or letters when you don’t know who will read it, such as:
· Letters of recommendation
· Letters of interest
· Letters of introduction
· Formal complaints lodged with a business
To Whom It May Concern:
I’m writing to recommend Miss. Lora Smith for the open position as an IT technician in your company.
To whom it may concern – Capitalized or not?
If you are going to use this phrase, make sure you always capitalize it and add a colon and space after it, before writing the first paragraph.