Let’s face it. We typically receive dozens of messages a day, not including personal emails. According to a HubSpot report, 33% of recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line. You can work hard to make your message informative and clear. But are your subject lines grabbing a future employer’s attention? Do they effectively open the door to have your future employer want to read your full story and career journey? If not, then you could be doing yourself a disservice. It’s pretty easy to write an effective subject line.
Here are a few guidelines to follow.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Use no more than five to seven words or 50 characters.
- Know your audience and be clear about your purpose.
- Clear subject lines have higher open rates. No room for typos.
- Proofread for grammar and spelling before you hit send. Avoid typing in all caps.
- Include a call to action.
- Change the subject to reflect the new message when forwarding emails. For candidates, it’s all about telling your story.
For those of us currently employed, it’s always good to set an example of email efficiency.
Here are some email do’s and don’ts to guide you.
- Don’t substitute email for face-to-face meetings. If you have to relay important information or bad news, it’s typically best to communicate in person. If a meeting isn’t possible, keep to the facts.
- Never assume an email is private and never forward jokes, spam or ads. Emails can be shared or accessed in ways you did not intend. Make smart decisions when sending and forwarding messages.
- Include the appropriate signature at the end of each email. Verizon and most companies have brand-compliant signatures. They make your emails look more professional and they confirm who you are if you didn’t already include an introduction.
- Use auto-response when out of the office. If you are planning to be out of office for a day or longer, be sure to leave an auto-response with the day you will return along with the contact information of a colleague who is your back up while you’re out.
- Be timely with your email responses. Try to respond to emails by the next business day. If your inbox is inundated with messages, try to block out some time each day to organize your inbox and prioritize responses. Double check email addresses and attachments. You would never want to send business items to the wrong person. Double check everything down from the recipient list to the email signature and attachment list.