I am writing a cover letter (which I must upload only as a PDF) to a University in Austria. I do not know the name of the person who will be reading the letter.

  1. How do I address the letter to an instituion, rather than a specific person
  2. What format should the address have?
  3. Do I add a senders address?

Letters in the UK are usually written with the format given below. Is there some standard for Austrian letters?

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Business letters in Austria should follow the ÖNORM A 1080 standard. You will find examples if you search the web on that term.

Letters to unknown persons start with the greeting

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

But it's okay to use an English greeting if the letter is written in English.

The postal addresses have to follow the standard of the country the address is in. Don't mangle the postal address the university gave you, neither your own postal address.

Here's the upper part of your letter in German. You can use this format in all German speaking countries. I suppose that Austrians are tolerant enough to appreciate a nice letter even if it doesn't fully comply to their ÖNORM A 1080


recipient left // sender right

ABC GmbH // Jane Brown (no Ms; everybody knows that Jane is not a man)


name and address of sender filling the first line, recipient underneath left

place AND date right-adjusted: London / New York, [den] 5. Dezember 2018

two or more blank lines

subject left-adjusted; bold or underlined

two or more blank lines

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, (don't forget the comma)

Start the following sentence with a small letter. If ever possible, do NOT start any sentence with ich or at least pare such sentences down to a minimum.

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