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How to Use the Salutation To Whom It May Concern


The business letters follow specific formats which are accepted by professionals across various corporate domains. However, the business personnel finds it challenging to find the name of the right person for writing letters who is responsible for making key decisions. In that context, using the salutation “to whom it may concern” helps to make the letter acceptable to any concerned stakeholders. However, the use of salutation has become a cliché over time. In the competitive business world, it is always preferred to address the key contact person while writing a letter to communicate the necessary information successfully. It further helps the businesses to successfully develop prospective relations while maintaining expected professionalism.

Why “to whom it may concern” is used.

Business communication follows a specific framework for using the ‘To Whom It May Concern’ format. It is mainly used when the sender does not know the person’s contact name or relevant details to whom the letter is sent. However, the phrase, i.e., Whomsoever It May Concern, is not used in communication within a closed or business network. It is mainly used at the first stage of communication when the other person would be helpful if all the norms or clauses are followed as applicable. In that context, using the salutation To Whom It May Concern means no commitment or responsibility to respond at the receiver’s end if the recipient does not find it helpful.

How to use “to whom it may concern.”

The phrase is used in a proper format in the case of formal communication. To Whom It May Concern format has the initial of each word written in capitals. A full stop and a gap follow the phrase. The next part of the letter starts from a new paragraph or line. The style and usage of the To Whom It May Concern letter have been shown below.

It is used as a salutation where usually the name of the concerned person was to be mentioned. The phrase, i.e., Whomsoever It May Concern, is used exclusively in cases where there are no other options to know the concerned person’s name. It is always advisable for the managers or other associates who would want to send letters for business communication to search for the person’s name through website references, LinkedIn networks, or other authentic peer sources. They must try to avoid using the phrase To Whom It May Concern meaning ambiguousness of the recipients.

When to use “to whom it may concern.”

To Whom It May Concern format is used for business communication in five key scenarios such as;

  • Cover Letter Writing
  • Clients Introduction Writing
  • Company Suggestions Writing
  • Recommendation or Referral Letter Writing
  • Client Prospecting

Cover Letter Writing: The job applicant can use the salutation in writing a cover letter. The cover letter will be read by many HR specialists, specialist managers, hiring managers, and other recruiters. Therefore the applicant cannot mention the name of a single person. In that context, using Whomsoever It May Concern is appropriate to send the cover letter to any concerned recipient.


Clients Introduction Writing: In case of any new business proposal or client meeting, the sales team would find it difficult to mention any one person’s name in business letters. Since the introductory letter would be necessary to many stakeholders or the client company, in that context, the To Whom It May Concern format is used to avoid any issues or conflicts.

Company Suggestions Writing: In case of providing suggestions for a company for any improvement or grievance, the use of salutation helps to make the letter appropriate for various concerned persons of the HR department and other business units.

Recommendation or Referral Letter Writing: The phrase helps write a recommendation or referral letter based on a request of persons from business networks. The letter is usually submitted via an automated platform on the company website, where anyone can drop emails. In that context, using the salutation Whomsoever It May Concern helps to write a letter for any concerned persons without knowing their names or relevant details.


Client Prospecting: In the case of client prospecting, the sales team finds the phrase helpful to send emails to any company in the target market. When the key contact details of prospective clients become unavailable, using the phrase, i.e., Whomsoever It May Concern, will help address any concerned persons who would be interested in the information conveyed in the letter.

When not to use “to whom it may concern.”

It is advisable to avoid using the salutation in writing business letters if possible. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or other professional networking sites have made it easier to find the contact person’s name to whom the letter will be addressed. If the letter mentions the name of the concerned persons, it becomes highly probable that the letter will reach the right person and work will be done as required. Therefore, the business person must follow the processes mentioned below to find the contact person’s name and avoid using the salutation To Whom It May Concern, meaning ambiguity about the recipient.

Asking the HR associates: If the letter is written for any hiring process, the person must ask the HR team to mention the names of concerned persons and provide necessary contact details.

Visiting the LinkedIn profile: In writing a letter to a prospective client, the business person must visit the LinkedIn profile of the concerned company and find key contact details such as names and email IDs of recipients. They must also use their network to find out the contact details of the concerned person.

Visiting Company Website: The business personnel must visit the company website of the prospective clients to find out their contact details available at About Us, Management Team, or Contact page. The contact names and other details must be used while addressing the person in the letter.

Directly Communicating with Company: If the contact name of the concerned person is not available, the business person must call the company and communicate with the representative or other key persons to find the name of the right person to whom the letter must be addressed.

Alternatives to use “to whom it may concern.”

There are other alternatives available that will not require using the phrase as a salutation. In case the name of the contact person is inaccessible, the business person must use the last name of the person, designations, department name, or other welcome notes such as Good Morning, Good Day, Hello, Hi, and others as a salutation.

The salutation can be followed by “Dear,” “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” and others as applicable. However, these salutations should be used based on the context and scenarios as appropriate. The business letters must be properly reviewed before sending it successfully to the concerned persons to ensure that it serves the purpose successfully without impacting adversely existing client relationships.


The process discussed on the usage of salutation, Whomsoever It May Concern, shows that the businesses must consider alternatives to find the name of the contact persons while writing the letter. The salutation is effective in those cases where the business person does not find the name or other necessary details of the key persons of prospective clients. However, in writing business letters, other salutations can be used if found appropriate. It is always advisable to ensure that the business letters are written based on the formats accepted by corporates and professionals.


1. How to find the proper format for professional emails?

The email formats for various business purposes are readily available on the Internet or at various business consultancy firms.

2. How to understand if the right person has received the letter?

If the concerned person finds interest in the letter received, they would respond to the email. The reverted response will help to know if the letter has been received.

3. What should be the size of the letter for business communication?

The business letter should be concise and crisp, containing all the necessary information.

4. What happens if the recipient’s email ID is wrong or invalid?

The recipients must be approached through professional networking sites such as LinkedIn etc. Otherwise, the business person must help their business network communicate with the recipient through other ways available.

5. How to understand the salutation used in the letter is appropriate for any client?

The response shared by the recipient will help the person to understand the correct salutation they should use in further communications.

More Resources: Job vacancies in Mysore | Job vacancies in Meerut | Java interview questions | Agile methodology interview questions

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