4 Ways to Optimize Your Subject Line When Sending a Resume

How many emails do you get every day? If you’re like most people, your inbox is regularly flooded with email correspondence that you may discard, skim, or otherwise not pay attention to. Time is always an issue, so sending an email is a crapshoot simple because everyone gets too many emails to always respond to. How can you overcome this, particularly if you’re a job candidate? We have four tips that will help you optimize your email by performing one simple tweak—changing your subject line. 

Tips for Changing the Email Subject Line to Get Your Resume Noticed

It’s crazy how one little line at your email header can make or break the content you’re sending. Part of the issue is that we’re inundated with emails, so most people scan the subject line to sort through what they’re receiving quickly. But there’s more to it than that. Consider that emails are a primary tool for hackers, and most phishing scams start with one thing: An email. There are also probably dozens of legitimate solicitations in your email inbox that are simply spam. So, how can you cut through this clutter?

1. Include a Subject Line

Make sure you have a subject line. You would be surprised how many people simply forget to put anything in the little box. If you’ve been laboring over the message within the email, it’s easy to forget to finish the all-important subject line. If you miss the subject line, though, spam filters may send your email straight to the junk pile. Or, the recipient may delete the email because they think it’s junk and because they don’t recognize your name.

2. Keep it Professional

“What’s up?” may work with your friends, but it simply isn’t appropriate in professional correspondence, especially if you’re applying for a job. You may be tempted to put something funny or casual into the subject line, thinking that it will get a hiring manager’s attention. Unfortunately, it may get their attention, but for all the wrong reasons. You also should consider your email address, which travels along with the subject line as a first impression. Even if you have to set up a new email, don’t use one with slang or an old nickname or something else that could come across as inappropriate. Skip Yahoo or AOL domains which may automatically date you and make you come across as less-than technically savvy.

3. Keep It Short

Why? Because more people are using their cell phones today to check email. Cell screens tend to limit the characters you see on an email preview. Try using no more than 9 words and 60 characters (including spaces) to play it safe in our digital-first society. Consider that less is almost always more in a venue like an email subject line.

4. Follow Directions 

Finally, ask yourself if you are following the directions set in the job ad. Some ads ask candidates to email their resumes in a PDF file. Make sure you follow those instructions to the letter because it’s likely that the hiring manager is testing your ability to follow directions. Or, perhaps it’s a way for a busy hiring manager to funnel resumes to a specific department or person. Some other job descriptions that you’ll find on a job board will ask you to say something specific in the subject line. Still, others ask that you respond via email by answering certain questions. No matter the specific instructions, be sure that you are following them to increase the chances that your resume will actually be seen.

ADD STAFF Can Help You Find a Job

Why not practice your emailing skills with the team at ADD STAFF? We’ve been providing advice and support to job candidates since 1984. We’re here to help you find your dream job. Call on us today.