If you are applying for jobs and don’t know the name of the person who is the hiring manager then you are spending too much time applying for jobs and not enough time researching the companies that you are applying for jobs at. Over the last few days I have pored over hundreds of applications for job openings. I am baffled by one application in which someone applied for a job at a company that has <10 people, a company without an HR Manager by the way, but still used “Dear HR Manager” as the opening in their cover letter. This is outrageous. Cover letters are a complete total waste of your time if you are not going to bother to write something original. Two to three sentences that are concise and direct without a “Dear anyone” is better than a 500 word blob of something for everyone. Save yourself and the people reading your cover letters the time. Even more important is that you should take the time to figure out who is on the team you want to work on or the hiring manager of that team. When you find out, then you can do some personalizing. You might even point out a hobby that you share with them. With all of the social media options available today there is absolutely no excuse for not taking the time. Ok maybe if you are applying for a job at the DMV. Seriously. And take the time to write someone a note – find them on LinkedIn or Facebook or even Twitter. It is hard to find some people, but it is even harder pounding your head into the brick wall that doesn’t give back to you that is represented by most job boards and online classified listing systems. Think of the classifieds list as a starting point for your research, not as the doorway in.