How job seekers should send resumes to recruiters over email.
One of the most common job seeker frustrations is not getting a response when submitting a resume to recruiters.
But for recruiters to respond in a meaningful way, they first need to read your messages. With that in mind, what can you do to improve your email's chances of getting read?
I contacted recruiters following me on Twitter to ask: “Of all email you've ever had from job seekers, which had the best title?”
They came through in a big way, sharing dozens of memorable, occasionally funny, subject lines that got their attention and piqued their curiosity to the point where they had to keep reading.
Bookmark and share this list, but above all, start using it as a template for your own email messages to companies.
Free bonus: Download a PDF version of this article to use as a handy reference.
|Montreal Recruiter, @mindhr: I think the best subject title was “Demanding work!”.|
|Andrea Faye Clarkson, @AndreaFClarkson: My personal favorite is “Your Next Hire.” I've seen it a few times and I always respect the confidence that is exuded through that tagline.|
|Gavin Walford-Wright, @walfordwright: The best was simply: “I've done my research… You need me!”|
|Melissa Lynne, @melissa_mlynne: “John Doe – The Best New Addition to Your Team”|
|Ken Taylor, @citrixrecruiter: “Superstar looking for new challenges and opportunities.”|
|Nader Mowlaee, @headhuntingclub: I had a guy who said “I'm different” in the title|
|David Bradford, @DavidBradford: The title of an email I received one time read: “From the World's Greatest Salesperson” – That one I had to open and read.|
|Rubicon Consulting, @Rubiconrecruit: “You need me as a candidate!” by a C# programmer|
|praveen IT Recruiter, @praveenendla02: “I am looking for opportunities, keep me in mind.”|
|Francesca Arcuri, @p2pFrancesca: “Hello… is it me you're looking for?”|
|Malcolm Louth, @MalcolmLouth: “You've won the lottery: I'm available immediately.”|
|Chris Russell, @chrisrussell: It was something like “I should be your next Sales Executive”|
|Team TCG, @TeamTCG: “Reaching out to my network”|
|Team TCG, @TeamTCG: “HR exec looking for next role”|
|Team TCG, @TeamTCG: “Award-winning HR pro seeking opportunities”|
|Genesis HR Solutions, @MyGenesisHR: “How can I make a contribution at Genesis HR Solutions?”|
|Genesis HR Solutions, @MyGenesisHR: “I am highly motivated, hard working and really interested in your internship position.”|
|Sandra A Jackson, @SandraJTResumes: They all seem to just put, “Need help with my resume.” And I eagerly open it.|
|New To HR, @NewToHR: “12 Things You Didn't Know About Chris.”|
|New To HR, @NewToHR: “Don't Miss Out On This Opportunity To Hire Me. I Am Just A Phone Call Away”|
|New To HR, @NewToHR: “You were looking for that People person… Well, Here I Am Really Human!”|
|New To HR, @NewToHR: “Would hiring Peter help with your team and business goals? Available now.”|
|New To HR, @NewToHR: “9 Reasons why you should move forward with me as your new talent Manager. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-Lori”|
|Andréa Cornez, @AndreaCornez: “you have the job I'm looking for :-)”|
|Kathleen Teixeira, @KathleenToronto: The best email subject lines are clear and concise. “Resume – Coordinator, PR”. Anything that seems like spam will get filtered there. Something that doesn't sound like a resume or application I don't read.|
|Rory C. Trotter Jr., @RoryCTrotterJr: The best? “Hiring me will change your company because…” I had to click it. 🙂|
|Heidi Bannister, @ArthurEdwardRec: … mention being “recommended by [trusted name]” … have a role reference number … or include “champagne and cupcakes”. I'll know they've researched our web site!!|
|Lara Haskins 360HR, @LaraHaskins: Recruiting for interns, “Some people want to be rock stars, some people want to be superstars, but all I want is to work for XXX”|
|Gail Tolstoi-Miller, @GailTolstoiMill: when they do research on my website best ones are “I am addicted to Diet Pepsi too” or “I hate self-proclaimed experts too” they took time|
|Laura Merkle, @LauraMerkle: The best email title always explains the skills of the candidate. In other words a good example is “John Doe Project Manager”.|
|Patricia H Sinacole, @psinacole: It is not that cool but “[firstname] [lastname] – [opportunity of interest]”. Example – “Jane Doe – CEO”|
|Shay Clinch, @ChezShay13: Why you should employee me|
|Jeff Battinus, @jeffbattinus: “Interested in being a value add for [company]”.|
|Kirk Baumann, @kbaumann: “Make a Great Decision Before Your 2nd Cup of Coffee: Hire Me (Here's Why)” Still sticks with me!|
|Melva, @thecareercoach: Two of them/: Subject Line: (1) Hey Miss Lady (2) My Mom Said To Contact You|
|Amy McGeachy, @AMcGeachy: Goodness, I can't say there has been a ‘best' title. I can tell you the worst is ‘hire me'. I'm selfish, I want to know what's in it for me. ‘Hire me' does nothing to tell me if a candidate is a fit for the job. So, I guess the best one would tell me a bit about the person… title, certification, etc. that would entice me to open their resume.|
|David Oliver, @ldavidoliver: Probably one of the best subject titles I have received was, “Your Next Great Sales Hire – I'll Show You Why”. Really got my attention.|
|Cody McClelland, @TechRecruiterIT: I'm a sucker for good subject lines. “How much does a polar bear weigh?” And then in the email they quipped “enough to break the ice”|
|Jeffrey W Shapiro, @JeffreyWShapiro: “Confidentially: I work for your direct competitor”|
|Jeffrey W Shapiro, @JeffreyWShapiro: “I only need 3 minutes of your time”|
|Jeffrey W Shapiro, @JeffreyWShapiro: “What my resume doesn't tell you”|
|Claudia Lucio, @RecruitingGeek: “I'm Your Next Superstar; here's why.” Subject lines like this might pique the curiosity of a recruiter.|
|Stephan von Malortie, @vonmalortie: I could say what would raise my interest: “Put me in a team rather than an interview”.|
|HR Chick™, @HRCultureClub: “Passionate, Leadership, Superwoman Extraordinaire”. Caught my attention 🙂|
|Shannon Pritchett, @SourcingShannon: “Hi, it's me, your LinkedIn friend”|
|Steven G. Davis, @Recruit4u: “Will do anything for my boss”|
|Steven G. Davis, @Recruit4u: “I was valedictorian of my class” – a couple all-time bests!!|
|Sean Koppelman, @talentmagnet: “Rare Talent Requires Exceptional Representation”. It was eye-catching, distinguished the job seeker + played to my ego. All of which made me curious to open the attached resume.|
|Francois Guay, @GuayFrancois: “Results Guaranteed”, followed by a cover letter for a specific opportunity & a targeted resume with examples of success.|
|Monica Bua, @monica_bua: I will give you my immediate no's which are: “seeking employment”, “looking for opportunities”, etc. It's best to call out a connection immediately like “Fellow Anderson Alumnus” or “Sandy Gould suggested we connect”. Finally the other strategy that works well is to have someone in common introduce and recommend a candidate. That recommendation will merit a quicker response.|
|Erica Dionn Wright, @Ewright1285: “Head Sales of Poultry” “Evil Genius” “Cat Herder / Maxwell's Demon” “Professional Dreamer” “Arkitecht” “Juggler” “Escape Artist” “Heretic” “Code Janitor” “Mad Scientist” “Company Psychic”. Just to name a few.|
|Charlie Judy, SPHR, @HRFishbowl: “Why You'll Work for Me Someday”. For real. General Counsel role.|
|Matt Buckland, @ElSatanico: From a digital marketer: “See Why This Growth Hacker Could Be The One For You, In Just 30 Seconds”|
|Chad Laskey, @ChadLaskey: A fancy title doesn't grab me – with the email a recruiter gets and has to manage, less is more – “Seeking _____ jobs in _____ ” is GREAT, and a direct letter, a decent resume, and your availability to connect is the best way to get the attention of a GOOD recruiter. If you're trying to be witty or clever, or to write something outlandish to get the email opened, it might not always translate well|
|Ibro Palic, @ibro_palic: “For Ibro; referred by [firstname] [lastname]” It's the first one I opened that day, the guy didn't make it but I gave him a shot.|
|Gail Houston, @ghouston: This is one of my favs, tells me who they are, what they want and why open: “John Doe Product Manager from Amazon, Bay Area applying for #####”|
|Wesley Madziva, @WeszMadz: “Unemployed Graduate seeking Employment”|
|CFM Recruitment, @CFMRecruitment: ‘I don't think outside the box, because for me there is no box' 😀 Profile of a Marketing Executive for a role we advertised.|
|Paul Freed, @paultalks: Cute doesn't work. I want to see a one-line resume: name + title + past companies. http://ow.ly/KLbxp|
Free bonus: Download a PDF version of this article to use as a handy reference.
Bonus: what not to do
|Martin Dangerfield, @MDangerfield: “I know where you live” …from a recruiter person who as it turned out did know where I lived along with a bunch of other information.|
|mary simmons, @marysimmonshr: “I need a job please hire me!” I try to caution job seekers not to act desperate but this one missed the memo|
Bonus 2: when recruiters email you
|Daniela Borquez, @Dani_Borquez: I recruit a lot on LinkedIn and what I've found out is that not mentioning the company in the title has a high response [from candidates] for executive level positions. Titles such us “Executive Director, Digital” or “Media Sales Manager” make people curious. For younger crowds, I've experimented with something like “It's time to boost your career!” without much success as simply “sales account executive”|
Bonus 3: what if you don't have the recruiter's email address?
Timur Daudpota wrote The Most Complete Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email, and it includes some tricks that I use and others I'll definitely try. Very handy.
Question of the article
Which email subject line has worked best for you? Share it with us here in the comments for the benefit of other job seekers.
Bonus watch: How To Get Attention With Your Email Job Application
Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.