The right subject line when sending off your resume

Email Subject Line for Resume Submission
Because it is one of the first things hiring managers see when previewing their inboxes, the email subject line must be clear, concise and error free. It is your opportunity to introduce yourself and the reason for your email. Therefore, the subject line should be formal and professional in tone.

First and foremost, check to see if there are instructions in the job posting for what to include in the subject line. If so, follow those instructions. If not, craft your subject line using a standard format that includes your name, the job title, and the reason for your email. These three things satisfy the who, what and why that a hiring manager wants to know before deciding to read further or discard. This format also makes the email highly searchable among the many emails that the hiring manager receives each day.

Example: Interview Request, Sales Manager #524, Jane Smith

Also, be brief. Most mobile devices display only the first 30-40 characters of the subject line. So, you will want to put the most important information first in case the hiring manager is reading email on a mobile device, instead of a computer. In the example above, “Interview Request” is the reason for the email. It is included first so that it is the first thing the hiring manager sees when scanning through emails.

Notice, also, that the above example is not informal in any way. It is professional. It is concise and to the point. It contains searchable keywords that can be filtered and archived for easy access later. There is no unnecessary language to distract or confuse the hiring manager.

If someone at the company or who knows the hiring manager has referred you for the job, be sure to mention that in the subject line.

Example: Referred by John Doe: Jane Smith for Sales Manager #524

The referral is an opportunity to get the hiring manager’s attention by mentioning someone they know and presumably trust to make sound recommendations. Make sure to include the referral at the beginning of the subject line so that it is the first thing the hiring manager sees.

And because you want to distinguish yourself from other qualified candidates, you may want to include in the subject line any reference to your qualifications, such as a certification or degree designation.

Example: Interview Request, Sales Manager #524, Jane Smith, MBA

Including a qualification in the subject line is especially important if it is relevant to the position and/or it is a requirement specified in the job posting.

Finally, be sure to proofread your subject line. It should be error free. Check the spelling of each word. Make sure the job title, including its numeric identifier, is exactly as posted in the job description. Eliminate complex punctuation like question marks and ampersands. A simple comma or dash is better when punctuating the subject line. The subject line is your first impression. Be sure it is also not your last impression.

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