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How to Address HR for a Job

by Audra Bianca, studioD

A job search might require writing a letter to the human resources department of a hiring organization. Addressing your letter appropriately to HR will help you grab a recipient's attention. Ensuring the tone and intent of your letter are professional and clear will make it easier for an HR official to take action in response to your letter, whether that means returning your correspondence or offering you an interview.

Applying for a Job

Obtain the contact information for the human resources department of a prospective employer from a printed or online job posting. Include the full name of the organization, the mailing address, and the name or position title of your HR contact. In your letter, include the name of the vacant position and the position number. Use the body paragraph to describe why you should receive ample consideration for the job.

Dos and Don'ts

Many applicants write a letter to share more information about themselves, including why they're interested in a position and what makes them unique and highly qualified. Do use the letter to be conversational and grab the recruiter's attention. For example, discuss a recent job or internship that would impress an employer, such as completing a White House internship or a research fellowship at an Ivy league institution.

Make It Personal

You want any edge that will help you get selected over other qualified candidates and avoid the slush pile. So, your letter of interest should not be a boring explanation of why you're best for the job. This is your chance to mention how you found the job opening and who recommended that you should apply for the job, especially if that contact works for the organization. If you had an informational interview with a recruiter for that organization at a job fair, it's worth mentioning that exchange because the recruiter might remember you. Although you should use a formal style of writing, making a joke or otherwise showing your personality is encouraged.


A recruiter will remember a good story. In a few lines, share how you developed an innovative solution for an employer and how it changed its operations or how you became interested in a particular profession. Examples include becoming a personal injury lawyer because you knew someone crippled in a vehicle crash, or becoming a special-education teacher because you have a sibling with a learning disability. Effective storytelling captivates recruiters and makes them want to meet you in person.

About the Author

Audra Bianca has been writing professionally since 2007, with her work covering a variety of subjects and appearing on various websites. Her favorite audiences to write for are small-business owners and job searchers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Public Administration from a Florida public university.

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