Writing a compelling subject line for your job application email may increase its chances of getting read by the hiring manager. It's important to craft your subject line carefully, as it's your first opportunity to capture the attention of potential employers. If you're currently applying for jobs, try to craft a subject line that can help you make a good impression. In this article, we discuss what a subject line is, explain why it's important, discover how to write one for a job application and explore a few email subject line examples.
Why is a subject line for a job application email important?
The subject line of a job application email is important because it's the first thing hiring managers notice when they receive your email. This line of text can help hiring managers decide whether to read your email. Your email's subject line is typically the first impression you make on employers. This is why it's best to ensure it's well-written, professional and free of grammatical and spelling errors. The subject line is typically your first opportunity to introduce yourself to employers and to convince them to read your entire email or review your resume.
Related: Guide To Writing a Business Email
How to write a subject line for a job application email
Here are the steps to consider when creating a subject line for a job application email:
1. Craft a professional email address
A professional email address shows hiring managers you're serious about the role and company. When creating an email address, include your first and last name or your first initial and last name. This can facilitate your identification by the receiver of your email during the job application process. An example could be email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Check the instructions
Check if the job advertisement has provided clear directions on how to apply. If there are directions regarding the subject line, make sure you follow those. For instance, employers may ask you to provide your name, your job ID number and the position you're applying for. If there are no specific directions, consider using a standard subject line. Here's a good example:
Job application—Job title, Job reference number (if applicable)—Your Name
If you send your CV without applying for a specific job, you can list your job title, indicate that you're sending a CV and include your first and last name. For example, Subject: Sales representative CV, Jack Chan.
3. Indicate your email's purpose
Your subject line can include the job title and mention that you're sending an application. These details help the hiring manager easily identify who you are and your email's intention. This can help increase the chances of the recipient sorting your email into the correct folder, making it easier for the hiring manager to locate and review it.
4. Include relevant keywords
If your recipient uses an automatic filter in their inbox, consider including keywords relevant to the position. Keywords are words or phrases related to the role or application that quickly capture the hiring manager's attention. Listing these relevant keywords allows the inbox's search filter to easily locate your email. Examples of potential keywords could be, application or job candidate.
5. Write your name
Include your name to make it easier for employers to identify you and locate your email in their inboxes. Otherwise, they would need to open your message and search for your name. Hiring managers might not have a lot of time opening and reviewing emails, so introducing yourself in your email's subject line can increase your chances for your email to be opened.
6. Mention referrals
Referrals can effectively establish trust between you and your email's recipient. By using your subject line to indicate the name of someone you know who already works at the company, you can capture the attention of the hiring manager. Many employers typically trust the opinions of current employees, which is why a referral can increase your chances of standing out from other candidates. If somebody referred you for this job, consider mentioning their name in the subject line.
7. Personalise it
Some details may capture the attention of the hiring manager when related to the job application. For example, if you have notable qualifications that the position requires, you can indicate them. You can feature your most prominent skill or professional credential that makes you a good fit for the opening. If you have a degree that the position requires, such as a bachelor's degree or a master's degree, you can indicate the acronyms after your name.
8. Be succinct
A specific subject line can make it easier for your recipient to categorise your email and respond quickly. Try to keep it short, as your recipient might read your email on their mobile phones. Smartphones only display about 30 characters of the email subject lines, so consider using the first words to write the essentials. Be direct to ensure the recipient immediately knows why you're writing.
9. Include certifications
If you have certifications that are required for the job or add value to your job application, consider including them in your email's subject line. Here are some email subject line examples:
- Applying for Accounting Manager—Janet Chan, CPA
- Job application—IT Consultant—Richard Lee, BaJu Company Certified
- Job application—Marketing Director, Job ID 30—Richard Yap, Xiaxue Technologies Creative Certification
Email subject line examples
Here are a few examples of subject lines to help you craft your own when sending your application to hiring managers:
When sending your job application
Review these examples when crafting an email with your job application attached:
- Job application—sales manager—Xiao Long, MBA
- Sales manager: Seeking a new opportunity
- Job advertisement #742: sales representative—Alice Kho
- Application for civil engineer—Jackie Chiu
- Job application: financial analyst, job ID #33487—David Chan
When you send your job application with referrals
Use these subject line examples when sending your job application and mentioning referrals from current employees:
- Referred by Victor Chan: Xia Ling, job applicant for sales manager position
- Referral from Mike Tan: Victor Young, candidate for accountant position
When sending a follow-up email after an interview
After interviewing, review these examples to help you craft a subject line and email to thank the employer for their time:
- Following up on the sales manager interview—Rachel Chiu
- Meeting request—sales manager position—Gerald Yan
- Thank you—teaching assistant interview—Victor Chan
- Meeting follow up—the subject or agenda of the meeting
- Following up on the administrative assistant position—Anita Chen
Thank-you email subject line for after a job interview
Here are examples of email subject lines to use when thanking the interviewer for meeting with you:
- Let me know if you need additional information: Jackie Cheng
- I was thinking about your insights on social media marketing
- Melinda Sung: Thank you for the interview—any feedback for me?
- Thanks for chatting with me about social media marketing: Vic Chow
- Thank you for the computer programmer interview: Park Chan
- Great meeting you on 11th February, and thank you: Melissa Xiao
- Many thanks from Lee Dok
Sample emails with the subject line
Here are examples of job application emails with the subject lines included:
Example 1: Sales Representative Job
Subject line: Sales Representative Job #2245 - 7 years Experience
Dear Mr. Moon,
I read with enthusiasm your job advertisement for a sales representative position. I'm confident that my seven years of experience as a sales representative in the retail industry with a successful track record of achieving and surpassing sales objectives makes me a good fit for this position.
Detailed on my attached CV you will find that over the last three years I generated more than $1 million in sales and achieved about 50% sales growth. My experience in new territory development, new and key account acquisition and the planning and implementation of client loyalty strategies can contribute to the success of your company.
My CV demonstrates that I'm well qualified to facilitate the entire sales cycle management process from customer consultations and needs evaluation through negotiations, demonstrations and final sales closings.
I believe that I'll be a valuable asset to your company if given this opportunity and I look forward to getting a positive response soon.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Example 2: Legal Secretary
Subject Line: Legal Secretary Job #S457 - 4 Years at Top Law Firm
Dear Mr Chang,
I'm responding with enthusiasm to your job description for a legal secretary position. I believe my extensive skills and experience in the legal field are a good match for the job.
The attached CV demonstrates my strong ability to interact with clients from the point of referral, efficiently process or draft legal correspondence and documents, assist with complex case preparations and coordinate multiple caseloads.
I'm a hard-working and motivated professional with strong legal practice knowledge and skills and a reputation for efficiently and accurately meeting tight deadlines in a challenging environment.
It would be my pleasure if you give me the opportunity to learn more about the job and find out how I can contribute to the success of your law firm.
Thank you very much for your consideration and time.