How To Write a Job Application Email Subject Line

Updated 31 August 2023

Job applications are becoming increasingly digital and, because of this, job application etiquette is changing. Today, most candidates send their job applications via email rather than by post or in-person. The way you present your application to interviewers can make a huge impact on your chances of being invited to an interview. In this article, we give you tips on how to write a job application email subject line and the type of information you want to include to make your application stand out.

Related: Job Application Email: What It Is and How To Write One

How to write a job application email subject line

Although your main focus may be the application itself, you still need to give thought to how to write a job application email subject line. After all, your email subject line is the very first impression you make on your potential future employer, so you want it to count. Follow the steps below to write a job application email subject line that is effective:

1. Make it professional and succinct

You want to make sure your job application is professional from start to finish. This is a rule that extends to the subject line and opening remarks. For example, it's important to ensure your email address itself is suitable for a working environment. The subject line of your email application is a small space, and you want to include all the information you need to in a concise way.

2. Follow the instructions provided

Many job openings state some rules that your application needs to follow. They may also advise on what to include in your subject line. When this is the case, be sure to follow these instructions as it's likely employers may simply discard your application if you don't.

3. Proofread before sending

It's always worth proofreading your email, CV, subject line and cover letter before you sending it to a recruiter. Make sure your email is error free, as this may help you stand out from other candidates. Since it's difficult to spot your own mistakes, you can also ask a friend or family member to take a look before you send it.

The purpose of a job application subject line is to inform the employer of everything they need to know about the contents of your email quickly. It's likely that an employer receives dozens of emails a day, so to save time, let them know your email is a job application in the subject line.

Related: Application Letter: Definition, Tips and a Sample You Can Use To Craft One

What to include in your job application subject line

In some cases, the job listing may give you specific instructions on what to include in your subject line. If this information is not available in the job listing, here are some things you may want to include in your subject line:

  • your name

  • the title of the job you're applying for

  • if relevant, the person who has referred you for the role

Make sure you keep the subject line as short as possible. State your intention clearly in the first words. You don't want to give too many details as the goal is to get your email opened. You may have the opportunity to provide additional information further in the application process.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself in an Email

Why are job application subject lines important?

Although it might seem like a detail, the subject line of your emailed job application holds a lot of importance. If the subject line isn't precise enough, your email could end up in the spam folder or remain unopened by recruiters who were not able to recognise it as a job application. For this reason, make sure your subject line provides all the necessary information.

Examples of job application subject lines

The following are a few examples of how you want to format the subject line of a job application and what you may include:

  • General example 1: Application for executive assistant - Tyler Smith

  • General example 2: Job Posting #539: Business Analyst - Jane Bloggs

  • Example with referral**:** Referral from Heather Thompson: Jean Williams, candidate for accountant position

You may always list the title of the role you're applying for before you list your name. This is because you want to make it clear for which position you're applying in the beginning.

What to include in a job application email

If there's anything else you need to include in your job application email, this information may be given to you in the job listing. However, job applications might require the following elements, so make sure you have these ready and tailored to the role you're applying for:


Attaching your CV is one of the most important parts of applying for a job via email. Typically one page long, your CV may be a concise and interesting demonstration as to why you're suitable for the job role. It may outline your education and previous work history, and any relevant volunteering experiences, awards, accreditations or training.

Related: How to Complete a Job Application Form

Cover letter

Employers may request that you also write or attach a cover letter to complement your CV. You want to keep this cover letter short, with no more than a page long in length, including your contact details, salutation and sign-off. A cover letter is more personal than a CV and might explain why you're suitable for the role. Make sure you keep it in a professional tone throughout.

Related: How to Write a Cover Letter

Email manners to follow

Once you've established what the subject line of your email job application is going to be, ensure the rest of your email continues the great first impression you've made. Here are some pieces of email etiquette to remember:

Send it to a specific person wherever possible

Ideally, you want to send job applications to the email address of a specific recipient. Whether it's the designated recruiter or the head of the relevant department, sending your application to a particular person improves your chances of it being read quickly. It also allows you to address your email to that recipient, which is also good email manners.

Keep formatting simple and consistent

You may aim to keep your email formatting consistent and use fonts that are professional and easy to read. This means you may use the automatic font available when you write an email or size 12 fonts, such as Times New Roman or Calibri. You also want to use the automatic colour or black. Make sure you structure paragraphs that flow naturally and are pragmatically arranged from start to finish.

Related: How to Choose the Best Font Size for Cover Letters

Write in proper English

Your email is best written in proper English unless exceptions are made in the job opening. This includes, but is not limited to, using full sentences, omitting the use of any emojis, slang or acronyms, and ensuring that you greet your recipient in a formal way. Use 'Dear Sir/Madam' if you don't know their name.

Sign off formally at the end

Just as you would greet your recipient formally, you may also sign off formally at the end of your email. This usually includes a phrase such as 'Many thanks', 'Kind regards', or 'Best wishes', followed by your name. You may also wish to include an e-signature. If this is the case, ensure that it's not blurry or too large and that it sits naturally and neatly at the bottom.

Related: How to End an Email

Send any attachments using the correct file formats

If the job opening you're applying for specifies the attachment of a document, such as a cover letter or CV, make sure the file format you send it in is appropriate. In most instances, acceptable file formats would be either a .pdf or .doc. If there are elements of the document you're concerned may have display errors when opened elsewhere, save and send them as a PDF instead.

Related: How To Write an Attention-Grabbing Personal Statement

Ways to ensure hiring managers read your job application email

If you're applying for a well-paid role or a role within a prestigious company, you want to remember that the recruiter may find themselves inundated with email applications. When this is the case, make sure your email stands out, so the employer reads it. Here are some final tips to make sure the people your application needs to impress reads it:

  • Use a professional tone throughout.

  • Make sure your subject line contains your name and the job role.

  • Use an appropriate email address for the workplace.

  • Include on your email application all the information specified in the job listing.

  • Make sure you greet the employer by name, if you know it, and sign off with yours.


  • What Is a Professional Background on a Job Application?

  • Applying for jobs without lying on your CV

Explore more articles

  • What is a customer care executive? (with duties and skills)
  • 10 Options For Leadership Careers (Duties and Salary Info)
  • What does an auditor do? (Duty and average salary explained)
  • 8 jobs for innovators (with primary duties and salaries)
  • How to become a copywriter (including skills and duties)
  • A guide to 10 different jobs in media (with salary info)
  • A guide on how to become a construction project manager
  • How to become an intervention specialist (with requirements)
  • 7 sports psychology careers (with salaries and duties)
  • What does shadowing for a job involve? (Including benefits)
  • 20 good first jobs (plus types, salary and primary duties)
  • Pediatric nurse job profile complete guide