To whom it may concern is a letter or email greeting used when the sender doesn’t know who will be receiving the message.
But it’s 2020, and it’s pretty easy to figure out who will be reading your email or letter or message, whether it's the hiring manager or a future mentor or a coworker (please, know your coworker's names) . And even if you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to, or if you’re writing to more than one person, there is always—always—a better way to address your letter.
Please, just stop using ‘to whom it may concern.’ It’s lazy.
To whom it may concern really reads this way: I have no idea who I’m writing to. Hope this ends up in front of the right person!
It just comes off as lazy. If you don’t have the slightest idea who you’re writing to, then you should consider whether you should write it at all.
Plus, there are alternatives you can use instead.
Read more: How to End an Email That Gets Results
Now what we’ve officially retired the greeting, here’s what you can use instead
If you’re unsure of exactly who will be opening your email—email@example.com, for example—then address your email to the person or people you want to read your message, like Dear Hiring Manager, Dear InHerSight Team, or Dear Most Brilliant Editorial Team.
Here are some other options for you to play with:
Dear Hiring Committee
Dear InHerSight Team
Dear InHerSight Hiring Manager
Dear Hiring Manager
Dear VP of Analytics
Dear Communications Team
To the InHerSight Tech Team
To the Writer of the Treatise on the Abolishment ‘To Whom It May Concern’
More resources for writing a professional email or letter
Need a quick refresh on the nuance of professional communication? Re-up below.
- How to Address a Cover Letter with No Name
- How to Start a Professional Email (And Easy Peasy Guide)
- How to Write an Email Like the Professional You Are
- 6 Ways to Start an Email That Aren't: 'I Hope This Email Finds You Well'
- Your Guide to a Professional Email Signature (with Examples)
- How to End an Email: The Best Sign-Offs for Every Tone