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BusinessColumnistsCarrie Mason-Draffen

‘Dear Personnel Manager’ letter will get lost in the shuffle

Experts say addressing someone by name when contacting

Experts say addressing someone by name when contacting hiring managers is preferable over an anonymous greeting. Photo Credit: Getty Images / iStock

DEAR CARRIE: If I can’t find the name of the hiring manager of a company, how do I address a letter? Can I use “Dear Personnel Manager?” — Mr. Right Salutation

DEAR MR. RIGHT: The simple answer is yes, said a local career expert, but an anonymous greeting isn’t the most effective way to connect with a hiring manager.

“You are not going to score any points for it,” said Don Raskin, a senior partner at the advertising and marketing agency MME in Manhattan and a Jericho resident. “Addressing someone by name is always the better way to go.”

That direct approach allows you to establish an immediate connection with the person reviewing your resume, said Raskin, whose book, “The Dirty Little Secrets — Getting Your Dream Job,” is set to be published April 5.

That is “important because that person will be instrumental to bringing you into the company for the hiring process.”

So what are your options for ferreting out a hiring manager’s name?

Raskin suggests that you start with LinkedIn. Go to the search bar and type in the name of the company and “HR manager.”

“If you are looking at a large company, several names may pop up,” he said. “Look by division, geography or other subcategories that fit the job you are applying for.”

If you are researching a smaller company without an HR department, go to the LinkedIn search bar and type in the name of the company, he said.

“Employee names and titles will come up and you can determine the appropriate person to contact,” he said.

If all those attempts fail to yield a name, he said there is nothing wrong with calling the company and asking for the name of the contact person in HR. You should also ask for his or her email and phone number, he said.

The bottom line is that a job search takes a lot of time and effort, but the hard work will pay off, he said. “It will make you stand out from the pack.”

DEAR CARRIE: For the past 2 1/2 years I’ve worked as a substitute teaching assistant. Each year, I work with the same teachers and students. To the youngsters, I function as their regularly assigned TA. I take home work as if I were a permanent TA and have to prepare for curriculum requirements. Last year, I even received a year-end evaluation. But, I do not get the benefits of permanent status such as paid-time off or health benefits. Furthermore, there are no step salary increases, which permanent TAs receive. Is there a point when my designated substitute assignment has to default to permanent status because of my time at the school and my duties? — Outside Feeling

DEAR OUTSIDE: I can imagine that the split personality you feel because of your status and your duties is frustrating. But determining your status is probably up to the district. You didn’t say how you fared on your evaluation. If you got high marks, you should remind the principal that you are eager to join the staff. If the evaluation wasn’t so great, shore up your weaknesses, and then schedule a talk with the principal about a permanent job. Also ask the staff or union officials for advice on how to become a permanent teaching assistant.

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