Writing an email that will get noticed.
Preparing and executing a good email can make the difference between being noticed and being ignored. Writing an email that will get noticed requires nothing more than a little thought and planning. A key part of your email is the subject line. Think of your email’s subject as your opening line. It’s your opportunity to make a grand first impression – to state what your strengths, titles, job targets and/or motivations are. More often than not, however, it’s an underestimated and, sadly, misused space.
As an executive recruiter the vast majority of emails I receive are from job seekers. I receive dozens of them each week and don’t always have time to open each one, but the ones I choose to read are often selected based on what is in the subject line because the subject line gives me a clue to what I’ll be reading about once I open it, and if it looks interesting then my curiosity is piqued.
What looks interesting to a recruiter or employer?
I like to see the titles, jobs and/or industries that the person is targeting. It immediately tells me that this person knows what they are good at and are confident enough to name it – ergo; they must be worth reading about.
I know what you must be thinking – “Diane, if I put my titles or target jobs in the subject line and you’re not looking for someone like me right now, I’ll be ignored. However, if I put an obscure description like – Seeking a new opportunity – you will be forced to read my email and find out about me.”
This is a reasonable assumption to make and, by the look of my inbox, many people feel this way. (sigh) The problem with that strategy is: You don’t come across as interesting as others do and, you are more likely to get lost in a sea of repetitious and/or ambiguous subject lines while the people with well-defined emails are getting theirs read. Not only that, but, your email subject line is one of the many opportunities for your profile to be found in the future and you have virtually made yourself invisible.
The importance of being upfront.
Sometimes I hear about a position opening and remember having seen an email from someone with the right experience, so I go sifting through my email to locate that individual. If they have clearly written out their experience in the email, theirs will come up in a search. It they have entitled it clearly in the subject line then I can easily find them at a glance.
More often than not, my inbox looks like this:
Subject: Seeking new opportunities
Subject: Looking for employment
Subject: Open to new opportunities
Subject: Job seeker
Subject: Resume attached
Subject: Excellent candidate seeking new opportunity
In a perfect world the subject lines in my email inbox will look like this:
Be bold, be brave, get noticed!
If you want your email to be read, make it look interesting. Make the reader want to read it.
Employers and recruiters are not only looking for profiles that they currently need. They keep their eyes out for potential needs for the future. This is why it’s important to format your email so you can be found at a later date.
Employers and recruiters aren’t looking for job seekers, they are looking for professional profiles – that is what you want to highlight in your subject line.
Master a good email presentation and you will be ahead of the pack!