Dear Sir or Madam: When To Include This Greeting

“Dear Sir or Madam” is a formal way to address a letter to a specific person whose name, title, or gender is unknown. There are certain situations when this letter salutation can be used, but it’s best to avoid it as it comes off as old-timey, impersonal, and lazy.

Dear Sir Or Madam

Is it ever appropriate to use “Dear Sir” or “Madam”?

As mentioned above, it is no longer appropriate to use “Dear Sir or Madam” as a professional greeting—in fact, under any circumstances today. This is particularly valid given that there are numerous alternative email opening options:

Try using a different greeting if you know the recipients title or name

Consider starting your email with a less formal salutation, such as “Dear [Name]” or “Hello [Name],” if you know or learn the recipient’s name. If you are aware of the recipient’s name, use that instead. You could also just use the salutation “Dear Hiring Manager” at the start of your email to a hiring manager. ” .

Try using a different greeting if you know the department name

Similar to that, think about sending your email to the department or company directly if you know their names. For example, “Dear Swish Street Company” or “Dear Uniforms Department. These greetings enable you to personalize your message and guarantee that it reaches the intended audience.

Why you shouldn’t use Dear Sir or Madam

In the digital age, using “Dear Sir or Madam” has become archaic. This kind of ambiguous greeting could potentially cause some issues with your cover letter or other business correspondence. Reasons why include:

Alternatives to Dear Sir or Madam

There are many alternatives to using “Dear Sir or Madam. Many can still be polite and appropriate while being less formal and more personalized. Here are some to consider:

1. If you’re unsure of the hiring manager’s name when writing an email to them, think about using this salutation rather than “Dear Sir or Madam.” This greeting could also be used in a follow-up email regarding an application or when attaching your cover letter.

2. If you know you’ll be working with a larger recruiting team when applying to a larger company, you might include this salutation with your cover letter.

3. If you don’t know the recruiter’s name, you can use this salutation in a cover letter, application, or follow-up email.

4. If you don’t know someone’s name, you can address an email to their title, such as “Dear Brand Manager,” instead.

5. If you have access to the recipient’s name, you can also send your email to them directly. For instance, now that you know the hiring manager’s name and have scheduled an interview with them, you can personally address them in a thank-you note.

6. This salutation is appropriate for a casual note to a team at a nearby office or a team you’d like more information from. “Hello Organix Berries Team, I wanted to ask you about your new signage,” for instance Do you have a minute for a call?”.

7. Greetings from [Department name]: Use this when addressing a department informally. For instance, “Hello Cloisters Brand Management department, I just noticed a opening for a coordinator within your division. Could you please provide me with more details about this position?

8. You can start an email with this salutation when addressing a smaller business with a more laid-back brand, such as [Company name].

9. Dear [Name of Department] Manager: If you have a question about that department, you can send an email to that person. You could even use this for a professional email from a third party regarding sales or other departmental issues.

10. Hello, I hope this email finds you well. You can use this salutation in a less formal email when you’re writing to a group rather than a single person, like a team email or an unofficial email to another department.

FAQ

Is Dear Sir Madam rude?

There is nothing impolite about “Dear Sir or Madam,” but it is extremely formal and now appears to be primarily used for legal correspondence. It’s usually acceptable to use something like “Dear Customer” or “Dear Resident” as a salutation if you don’t know the recipient’s name.

What can I use instead of Dear Sir Madam?

Here are the best alternatives to use instead of “Dear Sir or Madam” to create a great impression:
  1. Dear [First Name] …
  2. Hello, [Insert Team Name] …
  3. Hello, [Insert Company Name] …
  4. To Whom It May Concern. …
  5. Hi There. …
  6. Good Morning. …
  7. Dear Customer Service Team.

How do you address a letter to an unknown recipient?

There are two conventionally appropriate salutations to use when addressing a business letter to an unidentified recipient. Please address anyone who is the intended reader with respect by using To Whom It May Concern, Dear Sir, or Madam.

Which is correct Dear Sir or Sir?

Yes, it is appropriate to use “Dear Sirs” when addressing multiple recipients of a professional email. “Dear Sir” used to be the standard. That’s the most common non-specific salutation. Use a plural salutation if more than one person will be reading the letter at once.

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