Email Subject Lines for Job Applications and Resumes
Myth – Email is dead…
Email is not dead and nor will ever be. Our email address is our digital DNA – every process and transaction starts with an email address.
Although people use other digital platforms for communication in the workplace these days, email remains the most commonly used professional communication tool.
Today, most job searches are conducted through email, and employers receive thousands of emails daily.
So, how does your email stand out from their inbox?
For your emails to catch the hiring manager’s attention, they should have a clear, professional, and attention-grabbing subject line.
Using the right subject line could mean landing the interview or getting buried in the spam or promotions tab folder. It determines whether an email will be opened or not.
When you’re applying for a job, it’s crucial to use a subject line that will get your email opened.
Why Subject Line Is Important
The subject line is the first few words people see when scanning their inboxes. People are rarely willing to open all their emails because they contain viruses or irrelevant information.
Most people decide whether to open or delete an email based on the subject line and sender. If you leave the subject line blank, your email may be classified as spam or will be deleted.
Since recruiters and hiring managers may not know your name, the subject line is also your chance to introduce yourself. This is critical to making a great first impression so your resume is opened and read.
Tips for Writing an Effective Job Application Subject Line
It can be tricky to send emails to prospective employers or clients (if you’re a freelancer), as there’s no universal subject line that guarantees a 100% response.
Nevertheless, here are a few ideas on how to come up with good and effective subject lines:
1. Make sure to keep it professional
When applying for a job, use a professional email address. Avoid using email addresses that are informal, offensive, or sexual in nature. The same applies to your subject line.
Example of professional email address:
When you receive an email, you usually glance at the subject line and the first sentence. These are the first things you check in an email before opening it.
Your email subject line is your chance to grab the reader’s attention and entice them to open your email. Good subject lines are catchy and convincing – leaving the recipient curious and persuading them to read the email.
Moreover, consider your intention when writing your email. In order for your email to be read, you need to make sure that the subject line is compelling. Include keywords relevant to your purpose for writing.
Write your reason in your subject line, it’s critical to let the person know why you’re contacting them.
“Applying for Marketing Manager, NY, Job ID 11, Cris Parks – Referred by Jane Dennis”
“Job application – Sales Associate, Baltimore, Job ID 22 – Shane Reynolds”
2. Include the job title
You should include the job title in the subject line when applying for a job so the employer knows what position you’re interested in. That way, hiring managers can easily see at a glance which job you are applying for among multiple positions.
In case the hiring manager has an automated system that categorizes emails, mentioning the job title also helps. Having the correct subject line will allow your application to be filed in the right folder and be seen at the right time.
Also, you can specify your name, or that you were recommended by someone. You can write “referred by”.
You can use “Thank You” before the job title in follow-up correspondence (especially after an interview, send them a thank you message)
3. Follow the instructions
It may be indicated in the job description what to include in the subject line of your message. If so, follow the instructions carefully to optimize your email.
4. Keep it short and specific
You can make your subject lines more specific, and this will help the recipient to categorize and respond to your email faster. Be sure to use appropriate and clear email subject lines.
Keep them short. This is because long lines may be cut off, and you may lose important information. People usually check their email on mobile phones, which show subject lines of 25-30 characters only. However, it’ll be much easier to read if they are on a computer, and they’ll be able to see the whole subject if they open the email.
An email marketing and automation tool suggest limiting your subject line length to 41 characters for iPhone portrait views and 60 characters for Gmail.
You should limit your subject line to no more than 9 words and a maximum of 60 characters.
- If you want to view your subject lines to ensure they won’t get cut off and see the open rates, use email subject line test apps.
5. Proofread and edit your message
Make sure your subject line is proofread before sending your email. It is crucial to ensure that your subject line gives a great first impression – be sure that it is clear and error-free.
When you finished writing the email body, it does not mean that your email is ready for sending. It is highly recommended you run a spell check for grammar errors. A number of typos and grammar mistakes made in haste will negatively affect your application. Go over the text again, read it out loud and look for possible errors.
- When writing your email and subject lines, remember this rule – “Write once, read twice, check thrice and send once.”
6. Use your subject line wisely.
Subject lines can make or break an email, so don’t overlook its importance. It’s a great way to preview or give context to the rest of the email. It’s best to make it clear and concise enough to grab the reader’s attention.
Make sure that your subject line is complete with important details like your name and the position you are applying for. People also prioritize which email to read based on who sent them.
When writing your subject line, ask yourself what makes your recipient want to read your message and try to incorporate that into your subject line.
Email Subject Line Examples
Below are some samples of clear, concise, or straightforward subject lines:
- Real Estate Virtual Assistant Job ID # – [Your Name]
- Marketing Director Position
- Job Inquiry – Your Name
- Job Posting #37: Call Center Representative
- Managing Director Position – Your Name
- Application for English Teacher Position
- Executive Assitant Position -Referred by FirstName LastName
- Inquiry – Your Name
- Thank You – [Job Title] Interview
- Referral – Your Name
What Else to Include in Your Email
1. If the job description does not specify how to apply and you do not have a referral, you should include the following in your email subject line:
- The reason for your email (Example: Job Inquiry, Application, Thank You- Job Title Interview)
- Position title
- Position location (if provided)
- Position ID (if provided)
- Your name
- Recommended/Referral by
2. Email cover letters should not only include the subject line but also include other factors that are crucial when writing.
Keep the rest of your email polite and appropriate. To do this, you need to abide by the standards of professional correspondence and follow email etiquette:
- Make sure to use professional salutations. You should avoid casual, colloquial phrases like “Hey First Name,” and “Hi there.”
- Be respectful and spell the person’s name correctly. Often, people feel insulted when their names are misspelled. If you offend the reader in the salutation, they may not read any further.
- Use Exclamation points sparingly in writing your email and cover letter. Avoid using exclamation points, emoticons, or emojis in your email subject line and the rest of your email message.
- Keep your fonts, colors, and sizes classic. Remember the rule – Your emails should be easy for other people to read – they should be clear, concise especially for business correspondence. Choose a widely accepted standard font that is easy to read, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and font size of 10 or 12. It is safest to use classic black as a font color.
Example Job Application Email Message
Subject: Referred by Jane Higgins
Dear Ms. Thomas
I’m writing concerning the open-marketing specialist role at A1 Express Logistics. My ex-manager Jane Higgins recommended I contact you regarding this position immediately. During my 5-year career at NovoFloor Tile, Jane has witnessed my marketing expertise. It would be a pleasure to discuss how my skills may contribute to A1 Express Logistics and what you have in mind for this position.
Let me tell you a little bit about me: In my position as a sales specialist at NovoFloor Tile, I helped to develop a content strategy for the release of NovoFloor’s new line of resin tile product, which covered both the American and Eurasia regions. By implementing this task in the marketing funnel, the sales team generated 27% more opportunities.
Prior to NovoFloor Tile, I was a communications manager at Terramica, another tiles manufacturer. In this role, I introduced an innovative remodeling blog series that got picked up by mainstream magazines and helped secure Terramica’s role in the community as a renowned tiles specialist. Jane tells me that you’re seeking to achieve similar goals at A1 Express Logistics, and I’d love to share some of the best practices I learned while working on Terramica’s projects.
I think having both marketing and communications skills would make me an asset to A1 Express Logistics. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the position, and how I might be able to contribute, further. Thank you so much for your consideration.