Specializing the question
Who to address on the cover letter?,
let’s assume that you apply for a tenure-track position in the US in computer science, that the job announcement has no particular individual listed, and that Google/Bing/Yahoo led you to, say, “recruiting committee” (as opposed to “search team”). Then, which opening would be proper:

To Whom It May Concern


Dear Recruiting Committee


Dear Representative of the Recruiting Committee


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen


How about the punctuation after the opening? No punctuation, a comma, or a colon? I.e.:

〈Whatever opening〉

〈Whatever opening〉,

〈Whatever opening〉:

All are o.k. according to the broad English grammar, but, in academia things might be more special.

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