In formal letters, the salutation "To Whom It May Concern" is widely used. When you don't know or have a certain person in mind for whom you are writing a letter, you utilize it. It is not always feasible to discover the person's contact information. It can also be used when you don't know the name of the person to whom you're writing. You can also use it as a general rule after sending something to a group of people without knowing their names.
Generally, you should use this salutation if you're writing to more than one person with the same company or organization, such as employees of an agency or firm. If you're communicating with multiple individuals who are not connected to each other, you should write separate letters to each one.
Some examples of when you should use the salutation "To Whom It May Concern": letters to schools that request donations, letters to local organizations asking for support, letters to government agencies seeking action on petitions, letters to companies requesting product reviews, etc.
The salutation "To Whom It May Concern" is often used in business situations to address correspondence to larger groups of people without naming them all. For example, if you send out a mass email to hundreds of people within your organization, they would receive the email as "To Whom It May Concern".
In academic settings, the salutation "Dear __________" is commonly used instead.
"To Whom It May Concern" is an outmoded, but still occasionally used, letter greeting, and there are now better ways to begin a letter. The message can also be written without a salutation.
"To Whom It May Concern" is appropriate for instances in which you are unsure who is accountable for your query. When writing to a specific individual, even if you don't know their name, "Dear Sir/Madam" is preferable. "Dear Sir/Madam" indicates that you are writing to someone who has the authority to act on behalf of another named person.
Use "To Whom It May Concern" when you don't have a name or address for the recipient.
It is also appropriate when you want to write to more than one person at a time, but don't want to clutter up the letter with additional names. For example, if you were asking someone to intervene on your behalf regarding a problem with transportation, you would use "To Whom It May Concern" so that other people know that they should not assume that only you and this person would receive a copy of the reply.
In letters, emails, and note cards, "Dear Sir/Madam" is used when writing to someone who has the authority to act on behalf of another named person. For example, if you were writing to the director of a company to request an interview, you would use "Dear Sir/Madam" rather than addressing the letter to someone who had no official role within the company.
When you don't know the recipient's name or aren't writing to a specific individual, the phrase "To whom it may concern" is traditionally used in business letters. However, only add someone's name if you are positive they will be the recipient of your email or letter. Otherwise, leave them nameless.
There are two ways to address a letter: personally and formally. When you write a letter to someone you know, use their full name. If you're not sure who receives your letter, use "To whom it may concern." Even if you send your letter to several people, include a general mailing address so each person gets only one copy. Also include your own return address in case anyone has any questions about where to send replies.
In formal situations such as when writing to representatives of organizations, it is appropriate to use their title followed by the company name. For example, if you are writing to a president of a corporation, refer to him as "Mr. Smith" and say "Dear Mr. Smith," then you can expect a response from only one of them. If you send identical letters to more than one official of an organization, you should include the name of each person you've written to.
In informal situations such as when writing to friends, you can use a first name instead of a last name.
To the individual to whom this pertains, this is a cliche. (An address used when you don't know the name of the person in charge of the type of business you're writing about.) "To whoever it may concern," the letter began. If you're not sure who to write to, simply say, "To whoever it may concern." This phrase is effective in letting people know that what you have to say is for everyone's benefit, so they won't mind if some detail about their operation appears in your article or book.
It's also acceptable to use "to whom it may concern" as an ending for letters and emails. For example, if you were writing to someone who you assumed would be interested in hearing from you, you could end your email with "--to whom it may concern."
However, we recommend against using this phrase as part of another sentence because then it becomes a cliche. We like including the name of the person to which we are writing near the beginning of our letters and emails so there is no confusion about who we are addressing.
In addition, we don't think it sounds good to end a sentence with two words separated by "to whom it may concern". It seems wrong to us. We feel more comfortable seeing each word within the sentence separately. So instead of saying "This is for the benefit of both you and them", try saying "This is for the benefit of you and them".
If you don't know the recipient's name, the old-fashioned "To Whom It May Concern" is still customary and appropriate. The opening paragraph of your letter should explain why you are writing, so that your motivation for contacting the individual is clear from the start.
You can also write "Dear [name]," followed by your explanation of why you are writing.
Finally, you can include both "To Whom It May Concern" and a personal message for the recipient. In this case, be sure to follow up with a note if you haven't heard back from them within a few days of sending the original letter.
"To whom it may concern" isn't a typical greeting used in modern professional letters. However, you should only include a person's name if you're absolutely certain they'll be the one receiving your email or letter. Addressing your message to the wrong person could create confusion or look unprofessional.
In addition to being uncertain who will read your email, you shouldn't address emails to multiple people either. This is because it's not clear who will get what part of the email if more than one person receives it. For example, if you write "Dear John and Jane Doe," there's no way for them to know if they got their name removed from the list of recipients or not. They might think that they didn't receive the email while others received theirs without issue.
Finally, avoid using abbreviations when writing professionally. An exception would be if you're following standard office protocol by addressing messages to specific individuals or departments. In this case, an abbreviation can help save time for those who have to read through many emails daily. However, if possible, we recommend writing full sentences instead so your message comes across as concise and accurate.