Artwork by: Lizabeth Zaft
Without a proper subject line, your job application email will likely be labeled as spam. Here’s how you can write an effective subject line.
One of the biggest differences between important emails and spam messages is the subject line. After all, an email with a subject line that says, “Congratulations! You’ve Won $1 Billion!” is just too good to be true, and it’s likely to end up in spam messages.
This rule also holds true for job application emails. A well-written subject line is likely to catch the readers’ attention and pique their interest in your resume. So, how do you write an effective subject line for a job application email?
In this blog post, we’ll focus on:
The importance of email subject lines for job applications
How to write a subject line for a job application email
Some examples of email subject lines for job applications
According to a 2022 survey by Convince and Convert, close to 70 percent of email recipients reported emails as spam simply on the basis of the email’s subject line.
When reviewing any email, the subject line is the first thing to grab the reader’s attention. If the subject line looks suspicious, the reader is likely to disregard or delete the email without even opening it, and hiring managers are no exception to this rule.
The subject line also allows you to introduce yourself and make a lasting impression on the hiring manager. A well-written subject line that’s free from grammatical errors may convince the hiring manager to review your email and consider your application.
When writing a subject line for a job application email, consider the following tips:
Before sending a job application email, take a look at your email address and make sure it’s professional. A professional email address should contain your first and last name. If your email address does not contain your name, it might look suspicious, and the hiring manager may not read it.
When reviewing a job application email, the hiring manager would want to know who’s applying. So, it’s best to disclose your name in the subject line of the email. Since hiring managers are pressed for time, introducing yourself in the subject line may increase the likelihood of your email being opened and read.
If a job posting states that certain keywords must be mentioned in the subject line, make sure to include them. Otherwise, consider adding your name and the position you’re applying for in the subject line. This way, hiring managers will immediately know the purpose of the email.
Within the subject line, it’s important to mention why you’re sending the email. Consider adding the term “job application” in the subject line. If hiring managers can see that your email pertains to a particular job, they’re likely to open and read it.
Some job postings have specific instructions on what should be included in the job application email and subject line. Make sure to thoroughly review and follow those instructions when writing your email.
Whenever you’re sending an email, keep in mind that the reader might not be reviewing your email on a desktop computer or laptop. Some recruiters review emails on tablets or mobile devices. For this reason, it’s important to keep your email subject line short and concise.
When you’re writing a subject line for a job application email, there’s no need to capitalize the first letter of every word. Use sentence case so that only the first letter of the first word of the subject line is capitalized, along with any proper names.
Now that you have a basic idea of how to write a compelling subject line for a job application email, let’s take a look at a few examples:
Example #1: Generic subject lines for job applications
Job application: [job title], [job ID, if any] - [your full name] Job application for [job title] - [your full name] Seeking a new opportunity in [job title] - [your full name] Job application: [job title] with over [X] years of experience - [your full name]
Example #2: When you know the hiring manager personally
Hi [first name] - please find my resume attached for [job title] Hi [first name], here’s my resume for [job title] as requested
Example #3: When someone has agreed to provide a referral
Job application for [job title], referred by [referral’s full name] Referred by [referral’s full name], [your full name], for the [job title] position
Apart from a proper subject line for a job application email, you need a well-written resume to truly stand out. If you need help with your job application, try out our resume builder!
1. Before sending a job application email, think about what the subject line should be. Your objective is to make the subject line effective without triggering a spam warning.
2. Some job postings include instructions on what the subject line for a job application email should be. If that’s the case, follow those instructions carefully.
3. In the absence of any instructions to the contrary, consider adding your name and the job for which you’re applying in the subject line of the job application email.
Asad's writing expertise lies in the fields of HR and marketing—putting him in the unique position of understanding the job-search process: both from the side of the applicant, and the side of the hiring managers. With this valuable blend of perspectives, he’s able to help his clients position themselves as top candidates for their desired roles.