Don't let your email get lost — or worse ignored — when submitting your resume.
Your email address and email subject line are the first two things a recruiter or hiring manager sees when you send them your resume. Since hiring managers can receive hundreds of emails a day, you want — and need — your subject line to catch their eye and pique their interest. Otherwise, the email with your attached resume might get lost, or worse ignored, in the email shuffle.
Read on to learn how to write the best email subject line to get your email noticed every time.
5 tips for writing the best subject line when submitting a resume
Keep it brief and concise
Your email subject line should be brief and to-the-point. If you write too much text, then it can get cut off in the subject line, especially on smaller devices like smartphones. In fact, eMailmonday reports that up to 77 percent of emails are opened on mobile phones.
As a result, it is suggested that subject lines be less than 50 characters. The first few words should identify that you're applying for a job and catch the reader's attention.
Include referral info
If you were referred for a position, include the referral name in the subject line. Many organizations offer an employee referral program given that there is already credibility built into a referral. By including a referral name, you can get your foot in the door before anyone even looks at your resume. An example of a job referral subject line is:
“Referral From Jane Doe: Joe Smith, Resume for Junior Marketing Position”
Refer to instructions
If you have a job description to refer to, be sure to read it carefully and follow the submission instructions. If it says to include the position name, position location, position ID, and your name, then include only that. If you were referred to the job, it's OK to include the referral name as well. For example:
“Senior Marketing Manager, Houston, Job ID 21, Jane Doe”
“Referred by John Smith: Senior Marketing Manager, Houston, Job ID 21, Jane Doe”
Keep your email subject line professional; don't use informal words such as “hey” and “howdy.” Also, avoid using shorthand or abbreviations if they aren't part of the job title or submission instructions.
Avoid this: “Howdy Hiring Manager, Joe Smith Applying for Accountant, Houston”
And do this: “Job Application, Joe Smith Applying for Accountant Position, Houston”
Similar to any job marketing collateral, proofread your subject lines to ensure there are no typos or punctuation errors. You don't want your email to be overlooked or left unopened due to an avoidable typo in your subject line.
How to write the perfect subject line for submitting your resume
Include the pertinent details
If instructions on how to apply are not outlined in the job post and you don't have a referral, then the best email subject lines will include:
The reason for your email
Position location (if provided)
Position ID (if provided)
“Applying for Marketing Manager, Houston, Job ID 25, John Smith”
“Job application — Marketing Manager, Houston, Job ID 15 — John Smith”
If you're not applying for a specific job, and instead, you're inquiring about job possibilities, include:
Reason for your email
Brief qualifier (if beneficial and not too long)
Referral (if relevant)
“Job inquiry — John Smith, 10+ years of experience in IT”
“Inquiry — Jane Doe, PR Specialist Open to New Opportunities”
“HR Operations Manager Looking for Next Position”
“Job Inquiry — Referred by Jane Doe — Joe Smith, HR Specialist”
If you have certifications or qualifications that add value to your job application or are required for the job, include them in the subject line. Here are a few examples of how to do that.
“Job application — Marketing Manager, Job ID 25 — John Smith, Google Creative Certification”
“Job application — IT Analyst — John Smith, Microsoft Certified”
“Applying for Accountant Director — Jane Doe, CPA”
Use a professional email address
Think of your email address as your email subject line's partner. Many recruiters and hiring managers frown upon unprofessional email addresses and don't open emails from job applicants that use them — even if they have a good subject line. For example, don't use addresses like FunAllTheTime@email.com or ReadyForFriday@email.com.
Your email address should be professional, and ideally, identify who you are. Use your first name and last name, if it's available. If it's not, then use some combination of your name and profession or your name and a numerical value. For example:
Your email subject line is a crucial part of your job-marketing strategy. Work with the tips above to craft email subject lines that help you get you one step closer to landing the job. You also want to ensure that you have a well-crafted resume that highlights why you're the right candidate for the job. Good luck!
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