I know that one should always address a cover letter to an actual person, even if the contact’s name isn’t mentioned in the job posting. But how can one go about obtaining a name if the posting also states “no calls,” or if the posting doesn’t even list the publication’s name?
Molly, New York, NY
Try and exhaust all of your options to find out the hiring editor’s name without picking up the phone. Ask your magazine friends and the folks on the Ed2010 message boards to see if they know the name of the person hiring. Turn to the magazine masthead (if the magazine’s title is given in the post) to see if you can determine the appropriate editor—for instance, if the job is for an entertainment assistant, get the entertainment editor’s name. If it’s an official posting, meaning the ad came right from that magazine instead of it being a true “whisper,” and they don’t give any contact info, and they say no phone calls, then addressing your letter to “hiring editor” should suffice. If they don’t want to be known, then that’s THEIR problem, not yours.