When writing a letter and you don’t know the name of the recipient
This phrase is a formulaic way of starting or a salutation used at the beginning of a formal business letter or notice when the recipient is unknown. It means that the document is intended to communicate, the information within, to anyone that it has importance for. Please not that if you know the name of the person whose you are writing for, it will sound very rude and very aggressive to start with “to whom it may concern.”
Here you will find some useful tips and letter samples that can be very helpful.
Is a written message from one party (the writer) to another (the reader) that pretends to communicate information. It provides the mutual interaction between both individuals enriching professional relationships and providing self-expression and most important, the letter contributes to the conservation and protection of literacy.
Since the ancient India to the present day this type of communication has been found very useful and its evolution has brought other effective modes of communicating written information. But letter writing is still one of the most globally used mean for communicating any sort of written information. If you watch the corporate world you will encounter that there is no substitute to letter writing even thru mail. The adaptation of the evolution of the letter against technology; the letter writing has found a place to tame and we call it e-mails (electronic mails). The e-mails will also come as formal as handwritten letters, so it is essential to acknowledge how to properly write a formal letter. People fear to the task of writing a formal letter as they might consider their complexity intimidating. To self-educate you might want to acknowledge some basic rules and some practice to effectively perform a formal letter.
As you course your life, sometimes, you engage specific situations where you will find to fulfill the need of writing a letter to an unknown individual. For your luck, such letter is known as: “to whom it may concern;” phrase used due to its own nature. By not knowing who the reader is, you would want to avoid mistaking the identity of the recipient. The right way to address a letter to someone you don’t know is to write the “to whom it may concern” letter and here below you will find some examples.
Here is a list of essential parts to produce a formal letter. Just by including the following parts in a logical sequence, you will be able to effectively write a letter;
- Senders address (if is not mentioned at the top, it can be included below the signature)
- Date (day, month and year)
- “To whom it may concern”
- Name of the recipient’s organization
- Recipient’s address
- Use the salutation “Dear Sir” or “Dear madam.”
- Body of the letter (the information held into logical order and suitable paragraphs)
- Salutation of closure
Follow this standard template strictly when writing the formal letter. The body of the letter may change according to the purpose of the letter, but the layout and the flow should remain the same.
Here below is a shard on how to build the letter:
- “Sender’s name
- Name of the organization
- Senders address
- To Whom It May Concern
- Name of the recipient’s organization
- Subject or reference (describe the purpose of the letter within a line or two)
- Dear Sir or Dear Madame
(Introduce yourself as the opening paragraph of the letter should make the reader confortable)
- Second and third paragraph
Here is where the purpose of the letter is being held; such as your intentions, demands, requests, complaints or the main subject of the letter. Make sure to be precise and clear.
The recipient will expect the sender to be thankful. The sender can also add his contact number, e-mail or further contact for communication.
- Signature and name”
The following sample is a recommendation letter from a former employer, recommending an employee to be considered for the available position.
Name of the Organization
To Whom It May Concern
Name of Recipient’s Organization
Reference or Subject: Recommendation for Ms. Victoria Avil
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing this reference letter at the request of Ms. Victoria Avil. I confirm that Ms. Avil was employed at our organization from (date) to (date).
I have known Ms. Avil in my capacity as a Manager at (name of organization). I have found her to be honorable and trustworthy. She has an excellent command over her decency. She was a faithful employee, and her performance at the organization was magnificent.
I strongly recommend Ms. Avil for employment. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Signature and name”
Regarding the formal and business context, the “Ms” has been adopted as an alternative to Mrs and Miss principally to avoid having to specify a woman’s marital status due to is irrelevant, intrusive, or potentially discriminatory.
You may also use “to whom it may concern” while writing a complaint letter, and so on. At some cases you can write “to whomsoever it may concern” may be used. When writing a letter on a company letterhead paper, it is highly recommended that you write your designation or job title.
By learning and acknowledging the basic rules and the format of the letter you will encounter that writing such formal letter is not difficult. The more you practice the more easily it will get to write those formal letters you need, and will lead you close to be a perfect writer.
Don’t just stay there wondering, now you have some basic rules and templates to practice more and more on how to write formal letters. Now you know where the “to whom it may concern” line has to be implemented, don’t be shy and start using it now!