Feminist alternative to open letter?

(13 Posts)
oxcat1 Wed 10-Feb-16 11:30:50

I am writing a covering letter for a job application with a company with a known and very strong feminist ethos. I am therefore very unsure how to address the opening of the letter, as 'Dear Sir/Madam' seems deeply inappropriate in the context. Is there an accepted or usual feminist alternative? Thanks!

sleepyhead Wed 10-Feb-16 11:33:31

I don't think there is an accepted alternative, but you could call them and ask for the name of the person fielding applications.

AJ279 Wed 10-Feb-16 11:40:05

To whom it may concern is a possibility. Sleepyhead is right though, it's probably best to find out a name if you can.

oxcat1 Wed 10-Feb-16 11:59:38

Thanks. I'll do that.

AAAgghhhh!!! It's a job that I would really like, and I am fascinated by everything within the generalised area, but I do feel very inexperienced and ignorant, terrified of making some blundering error and assuming everyone is male or something daft like that!

AJ279 Wed 10-Feb-16 12:09:01

You'll be fine, even if you did say anything that would make you feel like that, what may seem like a big slip up to you will probably go unnoticed by them. And I'm sure the fact you care so much will shine through- Good luck!!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 10-Feb-16 12:46:43

Yy, finding out the name always makes a good impression.

BreakingDad77 Wed 10-Feb-16 13:45:19

Dear Madam/Sir - M comes before S alphabetically....

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 11-Feb-16 00:54:59

Do not use "to whom it may concern"

If it's a largeish company there will be a head of HR/Recruitment and the letter can be addressed to that person. If you can't find it on the website or on the application form phone them and ask to whom it should be sent.

If it's an application form does it need a covering letter at all?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 11-Feb-16 01:17:37

There's some useful stuff on here. I agree with writer of these articled that if you are really stuck for a name "Dear Sir or Madam" is much better than "Dear Sir/Madam".

She also suggests "Dear Recruiter" or similar job title or omitting a salutation completely. You simply have a heading

"Application for. ..."
which is underlined and in bold (she suggests capitals , I would prefer bold and underline).

Of the options if you cannot find a name I would say a letter with a subject heading but no salutation is preferable (or rather it's what I would prefer to see)

www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2006/01/greetings_and_s.html

www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2009/11/theres-no-excuse-for-dear-sir-or-madam.html

oxcat1 Thu 11-Feb-16 09:34:22

Thanks again for more ideas.

I emailed back to ask to whom it should be addressed but so far no response. It is a very small company so no HR department, and because of their ethos and equality drive, there is not even a single named individual who runs it, but rather about 12 equal individuals.

Sadly it does request a covering letter as well as the CV, so no avoiding it. If I don't hear back though I might see if there is a way to avoid the salutation altogether. My first sentence is 'please find enclosed my application for the position of X' so I don't think I could simply title it with the position applied for? Although there is a fair bit of repetition anyway so maybe that is ok?

Thanks again

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 11-Feb-16 23:17:52

I think no salutation is fine but you do need a heading.

What about

"Application for....."

"I enclose my application for the above vacancy/position or similar "

How are you going to address the envelope if you don't have a name to put on it

EBearhug Sat 13-Feb-16 00:46:30

I've sent letters to "Dear <company name>" in the past, when I've failed to find out an individual person's name.

dontcallmecis Tue 16-Feb-16 02:31:07

If I couldn't find out the person's name, I'd say 'dear recruiter'. It does sound a bit clunky, but madam/sir is a bit old fashioned for me.

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