Hiring Manager’s Inboxes Are Full: How to Write a Subject Line That Gets Your Resume Read

A well-constructed resume will probably get you a call back from an employer. However, if you fail to include a subject line, there is a possibility that nobody will read it. The subject line will determine the fate of your resume. The subject line determines if someone will read your email or delete it thinking it might be a virus. Busy people rarely open all of their emails, so it must include a relevant subject line for consideration. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Would you read it? Fear not, here are some suggestions for writing a subject line.

How to Improve Your Email Subject Lines When Sending A Resume


Always Include a Subject Line

Although it may sound obvious to include a subject line, it often gets forgotten. Send an email with an empty subject line, and your resume will likely end up as spam. It will never make it to the intended recipient. Even if your message with no subject line gets through a spam filter, the sender might archive or delete the message because they do not know the sender’s name.

Be Succinct

The vast majority of people now check their email with their phones. There is a restricted number of characters available with a phone before the user sees a cutoff message. As a guide, consider using no more than nine words and 60 characters. Keep it brief and get right to the point.

Always Maintain a Professional Tone

With a resume, your subject line must be professional. Never use slang or overly familiar language with a stranger or an acquaintance, for that matter. Is your email address professional? The inside joke or old nickname of an email address may be funny to you, but perhaps not an employer. Consider getting a new professional email address for business.

Follow Instructions

Pay attention to any notes or instructions in the job description regarding how to submit your resume. It is popular for employers to have a format that requires you to include specific information in your subject line. Including the requested subject line will ensure your resume gets past filters and finds its way to the person who can hire you.

Include Pertinent Details

Always include the relevant details. If there is a job title or a job code, be sure to include it in the subject line. Perhaps a friend or associate referred you for the job, mention their name in the subject line. If possible, include your name with the job title or job code.


Always proofread your cover letter and your resume. It never hurts to have family and friends to look it over as well. Proofreading your subject line is equally vital to your success. Remember, it is your first impression and if not correct, it might be your last.

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