Use Your Email Subject Line As Resume and Door Opener

If you’ve been in the market for a new career for any length of time, you’ve probably discovered that getting your resume in front of industry leading recruiters and hiring managers is a job unto itself.  You also know that engaging with the individuals in these critical roles is the fastest, most reliable method for landing that job of your dreams.  

Unfortunately, the kind of quality personnel that often fill these roles tend to be incredibly busy and inundated daily with hundreds of emails from people looking for individual attention, just like you.  With all of this extra static surrounding your job search, just how does a serious candidate cut through the noise and get their names in the mix for the biggest, most lucrative and fulfilling positions?

Spruce up That Subject Line

For starters, when sending an email to someone who may receive dozens, if not hundreds of communications a day, the trick is to make your message intriguing enough to earn that double-click and open.  The email subject line is your number one tool for building intrigue and interest, whether with a recruiter or direct company hiring representative.  While it may be tempted to open with “You’ve Won One-Million Dollars” type of gimmicky subjects, candidates should still strive for professionalism and convey quality information regarding the desired position.

This doesn’t mean your email subject needs to be dry and boring.  The right equation for an email subject line for a job seeker will have information regarding the job desired (if a posting is available) as well as a few short word or acronyms explaining your experience.  Email subject lines typically give you about 60 characters worth of room.  If this doesn’t seem like a lot of space, don’t worry, we’ve cooked up a few examples.

Sample Subject Lines:

More Email Tricks and Hacks

You can use more than just your subject line to drum up initial interest for an open position.  While the space available in most email programs or via smartphone mail is around 60 characters, when opened your space in this field will typically expand to around 148.  This includes spaces and punctuation, so be sure to choose your wording wisely.

Here’s an example of an expanded subject line using one of the examples from above:

  • Senior Accountant Position – 10 Years Exp: Worked at Big Four With background in AML, KYC and Compliance

In addition to your subject line, don’t forget that many people will use the “preview pane” for quick views of email when using desktop applications.  There is generally only room for an opening paragraph in this small window.  Your first few sentences should attract attention without being ostentatious or otherwise putting off the reader.  Quickly give a summary of your reason for writing, desired position and relevant background, all in 2-3 lines.  You can expand on these point in detail later on in the email, once you’ve hooked the reader into opening up your communication.

The Wrap Up

While a basic email with a “Job Inquiry” headline will serve many candidates just fine, it’s thinking outside of the box that will help set your name and resume apart from the crowd in today’s competitive job market.  Convey as much information as you can clearly, and your recipient will appreciate your efforts.  Maybe even enough to land you that initial phone screening or call back interview.

Martin Yate CPC, is the NY Times bestselling author of Knock em Dead The Ultimate Job Search Guide, and Secrets & Strategies For Success. As Dun & Bradstreet says, “He’s really just about the best in the business.”

This article was updated from the original on July 23, 2017