Re: Sexist cover letters?

Subject: Re: Sexist cover letters?
From: Bill Burns <WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 13:50:14 MDT

Arthur asked:

>> What do you use as a greeting in the cover letters you enclose
with your resumes?

Unless I know specifically whom to address in a letter, I don't include an
opening salutation. "Dear Sir or Madam" has always seemed archaic to me, and
"To whom this may concern" sounds tactless. If possible, I find out the name of
the contact person to whom I'll be sending the application materials or the name
of the person who is actually hiring the employee. If I can't get this
information or if I'm writing a general-purpose cover letter, I just start with
the first line.

A professor/supervisor of mine suggested this approach. I haven't ever been
told specifically not to use it. If anyone knows of a hiring agency that frowns
on leaving out the opening salutation, please let me know.

If I know the name and gender of the person on the other end, I write, "Dear
Mr./Ms. ______." I've never met any women who object to "Ms" as opposed to
Miss or Mrs. It's quite possible that it might offend some, but I'd rather
err in this manner than assume that Miss or Mrs. is acceptable or even relevant.

Bill Burns * These are MY opinions,
Assm. Technical Writer/Editor * MINE I TELL YOU!
Micron Technology, Inc. *
Boise, ID * (not that they amount to much. . .)
WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM *

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