The Subject field is your entry to your next job opportunity. If your email is not opened, you will not be able to go any further. Recent sources indicate that almost 70 percent of email users report emails as spam based on the content of the subject line alone. The Subject field is a crucial component to getting your email and résumé read. The following is a list of points to stick to when composing subject lines to assist any sender in maximizing the success rate of getting their emails opened. Keep in mind that some emails will have more mistakes than they do words!
1. Keep the length between three and nine words.
2. Never leave a subject line blank. This cannot be emphasized enough.
3. Avoid overused buzz words (see the matrix later in this chapter for a list of the most common ones).
4. Do not use question marks or exclamation marks unless they are necessary, as readers may take them as red flags for spam.
5. Avoid spam triggers.
6. Refrain from using emoticons altogether.
7. Use a recipient’s company logo to add to a subject field.
8. Do not abbreviate a word unless the shortened one is very well known and accepted in formal contexts.
9. Always use a positive tone. Good tone generates trust. Even a short phrase used in a Subject field can convey a negative tone. An example is, “Haven’t heard from you.”
10. Do not use imperatives. One would be, “Call me now!”
11. Do not use a Subject line to write a salutation such as “My valued recruiter” or a similar phrase.
Subject fields are a key, if not the most critical, part ofemail. Almost anything negative in the content can result in the message being discarded. Similarly, but not always, even the most wildly enthusiastic content can serve to have the correspondence opened. Nonetheless, the more conservative approaches are usually the best ways to begin. There are suggestions within this book for less conventional methods when the basic core methods are not successful. Utilize these properly, and you will get more opened emails, interviews, and job offers!
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