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When writing formal letters in English where there is no named recipient (for example, a job application sent to a Human Resources department, or a letter sent to an organization in general as opposed to an individual), the letter often starts:

To whom it may concern:

When composing formal letters or emails in Spanish, what is the equivalent phrase used when the particular individual who will be receiving the letter is unknown?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The literal translation is:

A quien corresponda

But it's more used in open letters (to journals for example). There are other formulas, for example:

  • In a job application:

    Al jefe/a (encargado/a) del departamento de Recursos Humanos

    or even:

    A la atención del departamento de Recursos Humanos

  • In a letter to wholesalers/ stores/... :

    A la atención del departamento comercial.

  • More general:

    Apreciado/a Señor/a (lit. Dear Sir or Madam)

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One more acceptable form is:

A quien pueda interesar

I've seen this form used on documents issued by government agencies (ie. certificates of some kind)

BTW, Google translates it as A quien pueda interesar

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In most cases "a quien pueda interesar" is just a poor literal translation from an English text. Not really used in Spanish (at least in Spain and Argentina) – Toulousain Jul 12 at 9:47

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