The best subject lines for job applications are clear, direct, and professional-sounding.
You don’t want to be too informal or vague, and you should always indicate the job you’ve applied for. However, beyond that, keep the subject line simple with as few characters as possible.
Long, overly complicated email subject lines aren’t necessary on applications since the only goal of your email subject line is to get the reader to open your email and read your resume or other attachments.
Coming up, I’ll show you exactly what to put in your job application subject line to get your email opened and get more interviews in your job search, with examples.
All of the following are good examples of subject lines for sending a resume or submitting any type of email job application:
These subject line examples will stand out in the reader’s inbox and get opened quickly, which is the goal.
You can choose any of the formats in the examples above, so pick whichever feels most comfortable to you or fits your industry and situation, and you’ll have a good subject line when submitting your resume.
You can also include a job ID if that’s provided. For example:
The email subject lines above are great for a general job application to positions that you found online.
However, if you were referred to a company by a colleague or have some other backstory or relationship with the firm or hiring manager, then you can be more specific in your subject.
Use that connection to stand out and set yourself apart to hiring managers.
For example, imagine your friend named James told you, “I know the hiring manager in the finance department at ABC Company. I think he’s still looking for candidates. I can forward you his email address if you’d like.”
When you go to apply to that position, you’d write directly to the email address of the hiring manager and use one of the following subject lines for your application:
That’s going to get the hiring manager’s attention immediately if they know James, and will set you apart from other job seekers who can’t demonstrate this type of personal connection in their email subject.
As a side note, the more you can get referred to companies and jobs in general, the more interviews you’ll get from hiring managers. A hiring manager always trusts you a bit more if a person in their network vouches for you.
Getting referred doesn’t guarantee you’ll get an interview, but it’s a great way to gain an advantage.
If your job application subject line is too vague, you run the risk of your email being overlooked or mistaken for spam.
For example, subject lines like “Resume submission” or “Resume attached” are likely to get mixed in with all of the other applicants and either delayed or forgotten.
So you need to write an email subject line that is a bit unique but not too long or complicated. That’s the best way to write a job application subject line.
This is a mistake I see in email subject lines in general. Don’t capitalize every word. It looks “spammy” to the reader.
Capitalize the first word, and possibly the official job title if you’re using it in your email, but then leave the rest of the words lower-case (unless they’re pronouns that need to be capitalized, like a company name).
If you’re sending out a lot of job applications via email and cutting and pasting info between emails, just be careful to always use the correct job title for that company.
Hiring managers are not going to be happy if you email them and including a job title from another company when applying for a job at their firm.
Before sending your job application email out, review the company’s website (on the page where you found the job posting or HR info) and check if they’ve left specific instructions for the subject line they want you to use.
Occasionally, an employer will tell you exactly what subject to include with your application, and the company is not going to be thrilled if you overlooked those instructions.
Companies care a lot about your ability to follow directions and be detail-oriented when applying to jobs, so if they ask you to use one specific subject line, make sure you use it.
Failing to do so could cost you job interviews, even if the rest of your email and resume are great.
That’s one more thing you need to look out for when choosing a subject for your job applications. If you follow the tips above, you’ll have a great email subject that gets your job applications opened and read, so you can get more interviews.
The best subjects for a job application are short, concise, but include the job title, job ID, or other specific info so that the employer immediately knows why you’re emailing.
And if you were referred to a hiring manager or company by someone they know, then indicate that fact in your email subject so that they respond to your job inquiry faster.
Otherwise, use the email subject line examples from earlier in the article to create your email subject, and you’ll boost the odds of your job application getting seen and opened quickly, so you can get more interviews and find a job faster.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
Get our free PDF with the top 30 interview questions and answers. Join 10,000+ job seekers in our email newsletter and we'll send you the 30 must-know questions, plus our best insider tips for turning interviews into job offers.