We all want to make the best impression with our resumes and during our job interviews. We seek to impress, want all our wit and presence of mind on the tip of our tongue, and all in all, want to floor our potential employer into a state of zero doubt. What about making that great first impression before even meeting our potential employers? No, not the resume that you email before you attend your interview, but the subject line of that very email! Nothing grabs attention better than a crisp, amusing one-liner that makes your potential employer sit up and ensures your email and CV does not go ignored or read over clumsily.
So here are some ideas for great subject lines, that will make you want to apply for a job, just so you can use them!
1. Make a great decision before your second cup of coffee: Hire me, here’s why!
If this email indeed catches the employer before their second cup of coffee, then you’ll get plus points for having clairvoyant powers. This subject line ends with a promise to back it up with solid reasons, so make sure to do that.
2. Subject line: How much does a polar bear weigh?
Answer with a line in the email: Enough to break the ice!
This is an easy subject line to get away with. It’s funny, not obnoxious or arrogant, and does not promise too much. It does not say anything about you as an applicant, except to grab attention, and so might put off some employers. So, use it cautiously and follow it up with a truly impressive email and resume.
3. Confidential: I used to work for your competitor.
If your potential employer has a sense of humor, then this line is great to use. It of course does not mean you will leak trade secrets and mentioning your commitment to integrity in the email or resume will help highlight the fact that your subject line was a joke.
4. Rare talent requires exceptional representation.
With this line, not only are you informing the potential employer that you are gifted, but also stressing that you consider the company to be beyond par and thus worthy of exceptional employees. One swift splash of wit conveys your importance and your regard for the company, making this a win-win line.
5. Why you’ll work for me some day
A rather idealistic line, this one is a huge promise of quality and needs to be concretely backed up by your resume. If you have a lot of experience or diverse fields of expertise, or even qualifications and certifications in fields other than your own giving you an edge over others, then this line is a great option.
6. I don’t think outside the box, because for me there is no box.
Being creative and innovative is a huge sell these days. Most people in the job market have the necessary qualifications, but what sets you apart is your ability to think and offer something different from the run-of-the-mill textbook ideas. When you use this line, you’re making a big claim, so use it only if you know that your imagination sets you worlds apart from the rest.
7. Don’t waste your money on other candidates!
Being funny always runs the risk of offending some people, so again this line should be used with some caution and a clear elucidation of why you are better than most candidates in the field.
8. Do you remember me? I’ll tell you why you should.
This line can be used if you have met the potential employer at an earlier occasion. You can also use this as a subject line for a follow up email to make sure you stand out of the crowd of candidates that was interviewed.
9. I’ve refurbished my resume, I’d be grateful if you took a look.
This is an unconventional subject line, humble and straight to the point, but not dry. It does not sound over-the-top, attention-grabbing in nature, but it is also hard to ignore.
10. I’m not very good at what I do, actually. I’m absolutely great!
Getting someone’s attention for stating something that no one would want to admit, only to follow it up with a complete contradiction to prove your point. This is a sure-shot way to get your email opened and give your potential employer a chance to have a little chuckle in the process.
11. Everyone wants to be superhuman. I want to be your super-employee.
All of us have dream job or a dream role. Some of us even have a dream company. Why not communicate how much the job means to you, right in the subject line itself? If your career goal has been to end up in and climb the ladder in the company you are applying to, then start with this line, and follow up with reasons why you want to be a part of the company.
All said and done, wit and humor should be used with discretion in the professional context. You want to add some color to your profile and make a good impression, you do not want to offend. So, assess your potential employer, the general work culture at the company and then tailor your subject line accordingly.
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