To Whom It May Concern

Laura writes in about the proper salutation for a cover letter:

One quick question: Should I address the letter to the person who is collecting the resumes or the person hiring?

This is an easy one: the person who’s hiring. That’s who you’re trying to impress with your experience and accomplishments. For most readers of this site, that means the production coordinator or 1st AD.


The only exception that occurs to me is if you personally know someone on the show, and they asked you to send them your resume. In that case, I’d write something like this–

Hi, Stacey,

Good talking with you the other day. Glad to hear Billy’s doing well in school.

Thanks for passing my resume along to Mark.1 As you know, I’ve been a PA on blah blah blah…

And then go into usual spiel about all the shows you’ve done and the responsibilities you’ve taken on above and beyond a normal PA’s duties. There’s a 90% chance your contact will just forward the email to the coordinator, AD, or whoever. Which means, that person will likely see your cover letter. So, think of it as writing for two audiences. You want to maintain the connection with your friend, while simultaneously introducing yourself to this other person.

What If You Don’t Have a Name?

One salutation mistake I can tell you to avoid is, “Dear hiring manager:”. First of all, there is no such thing as a hiring manager on a TV show. Each department head hires the crew in that department.

More importantly, it’s dry and impersonal. You gotta use a name whenever possible. If it’s not possible, like if the job notice doesn’t even give you the title of the show, just begin your email with a simple “Hello,”.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. The number of UPMs I know named “Mark” is astounding. Defies probability. It’s not that common of a name, is it?
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2 Responses

  1. Yes, I do like to use a simple ‘Hello’ when there is no name.

    I’d like to know if there are any articles that advise employers to actually *include* a name in the ad? Lots of do’s and don’ts and all sorts of etiquette for job applicants, but I also see so many things employers don’t do properly to attract said applicants.

  2. Last year an equality in the workplace report found Australia has more CEOs named Peter than than female CEOs.

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