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The perfect subject line when job seeking

Each day almost 269 billion emails are sent around the world and when it comes to looking for a new job email is often the first point of contact between a job seeker and a hiring manager.

An email communicates who you are and what you want but it can also be a marketing tool to promote your qualifications, experience and to help you stand out in a crowded inbox. Therefore, your choice of subject line can make a real difference in getting noticed. So how do you motivate a reader to open your email and read more?

Here are some suggestions to write the perfect subject line to support your job search:

Be clear 

A hiring manager will generally only spend six seconds when they review a CV, therefore they are likely to spend even less time scanning a job seeker’s email. The subject line should communicate exactly who you are and what you are applying for without the hiring manager needing to open the email.

Don’t use a vague subject line like “CV for role” or “application for consideration” instead specify which role you are applying for.

Example subject line: Jessica Walter, Marketing Manager Application or Jessica Walter Marketing Manager Interview Follow Up

Consider the character and word limit

Generally an inbox only reveals about 60 characters of an email’s subject line, while on mobile it only shows half of that with 25 to 30 characters. With such a limited space, get right to the point and eliminate any unnecessary words.

Example subject line: Executive Assistant Application 

Place important words at the front

66% of emails are now read from a mobile device and since you don’t know how much of the subject line hiring managers will read, it is important to put the most important information at the beginning of the subject line otherwise, important details may get cut off.

Example subject line: Human Resources Manager, FMCG experienced

Use keywords for search and filtering such as position and name

Hiring managers typically have filters and folders set up to manage their emails which is why it is important to include keywords like “job application” or a reference number that will make the email easy to search at a later date.

You don’t want the hiring manager to spend time opening the email and trying to decode what it is

Example subject line: Job Application Jessica Walter Marketing Manager or Data Scientist, No. 123456 — John Smith Application

List your titles to promote your qualifications

The subject line is your chance to differentiate yourself and catch the hiring managers attention so use this space to include any acronyms for titles you may have that are suitable to the role. For example, you might add MBA, CPA, or Ph.D. after your name, depending on the relevance to the position.

Example subject line: Accountant, CPA, Mark Jones

Do not use all capitals

Using all caps may get someone’s attention, but in the wrong way. It’s the digital equivalent of shouting and you want to make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to read. Consider using dashes or colons to separate points, avoid caps and special characters like exclamation points.

Example subject line: CV for Reception Roles - available immediately 

Use the name of your referrer 

Finally, if you have been referred by a friend, make sure to put this in the subject line to grab the attention of the hiring manager.

Example subject line: Referred by Mark Jones – Engineer Role

The perfect subject line can make a difference to your job application getting the right attention.

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