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How to Write a Cover Letter to a Blind Ad

by Ellie Williams

When responding to a job posting, ideally, you should tailor your cover letter to the company and the position to which you're applying. That’s difficult with a blind ad because you know little about the employer and the opportunity. Even in the absence of identifying information, however, you can still create a standout letter that showcases your professionalism, skills and knowledge.

Research the Company

It’s important to understand the organization and the job before submitting a cover letter and resume, but without this information, it’s difficult to elaborate on why you’re a good fit. Even without specific information, you might be able to uncover both the organization and the person in charge of hiring for the position. If the posting includes a fax number, address or P.O. Box, you can sometimes track down the company through an Internet search. You can also search for specific phrases within the ad, such as “our company was ranked number one in customer service the past three years.”

Addressing the Letter

Cover letters make a greater impact when addressed to a specific person rather than opening with a generic greeting. If you can identify the company behind the ad, browse the organization’s website to determine who oversees hiring, or call the company and ask. If you cannot find any specific information, address your letter “Dear Hiring Manager.” or “Dear Recruiter.” “To whom it may concern” and “Dear Sir/Madam” are considered outdated and impersonal. Another standard greeting, “Dear Sirs,” might even offend the employer if she’s a woman.

Describing Your Qualifications

Tailoring your experience, skills and other qualifications to the position is more challenging when you don’t know what company you’re applying to. Some ads offer little specific information about the job, possibly because the employer doesn’t want to be inundated with phone calls if applicants discover who placed the ad. Review the posting line-by-line and determine how you fulfill each qualification. Outline this in your letter by listing each requirement and adding an example or anecdote demonstrating your proficiency and skill in this area.

Ending Your Letter

A strong close is crucial in any cover letter, but when replying to a blind ad it can make all the difference. If you can’t uncover the employer’s identity, you won’t have the opportunity to follow up on your resume and reiterate your interest and qualifications. Conclude your cover letter with a statement such as “Based on the qualifications you listed in the job posting, I feel my skills and background are a perfect match for the position, and I’m excited to learn how I can contribute to the company’s growth. I look forward to discussing this with you in more depth at a face-to-face interview. I hope you’ll consider me for the position.”

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