Generally speaking, your resume is the first impression you’ll make on a potential employer — except when submitting your application via email. In this case, your email subject line is the first thing the hiring manager will see next to your name in their inbox.
Email subject lines hold a ton of weight because they help the recipient determine whether they should open the message. It’s not uncommon for emails from unknown senders to be spam — and sometimes even contain viruses — so most people are careful about which ones they open.
Therefore, it is important to include a subject line — you also need to make it clear your email should be opened. Here are a few tips to craft an appropriate email subject line.
Keep It Short
There’s a good chance your email will be viewed on a mobile device, so you don’t want to write a subject line so long, it gets cut off. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your subject line to around seven words, according to data from Marketo. This is enough to make your point without getting too wordy.
Emails often tend to feel more relaxed, but this one shouldn’t deviate from a formal tone. Using familiar language — i.e., “Hey!” — won’t cut it in this situation. Focus on the fact that you’re emailing someone you’ve never met who holds the key to a job you really want.
Many job applications include very specific instructions on emailing your application — including how to word the subject line. This is done to gauge your ability to follow instructions and make it easier for the recipient to keep track of incoming applications. Failing to adhere to the guidelines will likely cause your email to be deleted upon receipt, making sure you follow every instruction.
Include Key Information
If the job application doesn’t list the information that should be in the subject line, take it upon yourself to include important details. For example, you might write your name, the job title, and the job requisition number. This will make it clear what your message is about, ensuring it will be opened.
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