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I don't the know the exact receiver for the job.I don't even know the company's name because i found the job position online.I only know the email.How should i start the letter? I read that for that kind of salutation, the proper way to start is with "Dear Mr.Lastname", but i don't know the name.

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Greedily promoting from comment: The traditional salutation in this case is
Dear Sir or Madam:

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I'll just add that, if you know the actual job title of the person, you can also use that. For example,

"Dear Human Resources Specialist:"

For what it's worth, About.com has a survey that suggests that if you don't know at all, "Dear Hiring Manager:" appears to be the most preferred.

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The answer to this question may depend on the conventions in the recipient country; specifically, American, British & Cypriot conventions may vary. I'm writing from a British perspective.

I can't recall ever coming across correspondence addressed Dear [job title] as proposed by @chaosamoeba. That is not to say that it is not standard practice in some regions, and the link in chaosamoeba's answer does suggest that format.

On the other hand, Dear Sir or Madam (as suggested by @AndrewLazarus) is quite common in the UK, but one that I was taught to avoid.

I was taught that:

  1. if you are writing a letter addressed to a company, even if marked for the attention a particular department or position (e.g. Attn: Hiring Manager); that is to say that the letter is not addressed to an individual person by name, then the format should be:

    Dear Sirs
    Re: [subject] (e.g. Vacancy for ...)
    [body of letter]
    Yours faithfully [or Yours truly as a more old-fashioned closing].
    [signature]
    [your name] (typed or written clearly, e.g. in capital letters)

  2. if you are writing a letter addressed to a named person, then the correct format is:

    Dear [title] [surname] (e.g. Ms Jones) (unless you know them by first name)
    Re: [subject]
    [body of letter]
    Yours sincerely
    [signature]
    [your name] (typed or written clearly, e.g. in capital letters)

So my advice to the questioner would actually be to check the conventions used in the country you are writing to.

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    I would think it would be better not to use "Dear Sirs" if there is a possibility that a woman will be reading this email. Some women may be offended by that salutation. Did whoever taught you to use "Dear Sirs" rather than "Dear Sir or Madam" give a justification for this decision? – Peter Shor Jun 6 '13 at 12:32
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    @PeterShor I wasn't discussing 'benefit': I was discussing (what I believe to be) standard British practice. If the letter is addressed to (i.e. in the actual address at the top of the letter - not in the salutation) a company or department, then that is clearly an "it" - not a male or female person. Hence, "Dear Sirs" (plural), which is clearly not addressing an individual person, and so the gender of the actual reader becomes irrelevant. I was not addressing US practice - and indeed I advised the questioner to check local conventions. – TrevorD Jun 6 '13 at 12:47
  • @PeterShor (2) - You changed your comment while I was replying, hence my reference to 'benefit' no longer applies! As regards 'justification', it was a looong(!) time ago - well before feminism was an issue - but I think my first comment actually addresses you question. – TrevorD Jun 6 '13 at 12:56

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