Writing a good subject line for your thank you email is incredibly important, and many job seekers are completely unaware of this! Instead, they send incredibly generic subject lines and hope that their message goes through.
This guide will teach you how to write a fantastic thank you email subject line, so you can be sure that your email gets opened.
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The Importance of a Strong Thank You Email Subject Line
We know what you’re thinking: The contents of your thank you email matter more than the subject line, right? Not necessarily.
The reason why you need a strong subject line for your thank you email is to ensure that the hiring manager or interviewer actually reads it. Interviewers see a lot of people when filling a role, and they likely get tons of emails each day related to potential hires.
If your subject line is weak, there’s a good chance it won’t even get opened. That’s why it’s so important to have a good subject line for your thank you email to attract attention, stand out, and ensure interviewers read your message.
Tips & Options for Writing One
You have minimal copy space to create an impact with your thank you email subject line. This brief statement must pack a punch and provide a compelling glimpse of what the rest of your email is all about.
Here are a handful of techniques and approaches you can use to create an engaging subject line for your thank you email that encourages the reader to click.
1. Say Thank You
The easiest way to catch some attention is to show appreciation, which is why sending a thank you email after an interview is such a good idea in the first place. While not always the case, a good thank you message can improve your chances of making it to the next step.
Some hiring managers specifically look out for those emails, so having the words “thank you” or another variation of the appreciation phrase in the subject line could be quite helpful.
Of course, it’s wise to have more than two words. However, the beauty of this approach is that you can always combine it with others to create a unique subject line for your thank you email. Try combining a statement of appreciation with some of the other strategies in this guide.
2. Include the Date You Interviewed
The biggest challenge when writing a subject line for a thank you email is jogging the interviewer’s memory. Remember, they likely interviewed multiple people who are sending a similar message to yours. One way to add specificity to the subject line is to include a date.
Doing so will make them think back to that time, and they may even remember your name before opening the email. Consider adding the specific day. For example, you could say, “Thank you for meeting with me on October 10th.”
Alternatively, you can simplify it to the day of the week, such as Monday or Tuesday. If you’re prompt with sending your email, there’s also the option of saying “Yesterday” or “Earlier today.” Either way, this small detail makes a big difference in ensuring that the email recipient remembers who you are.
3. Ask Them a Question
Here’s a unique tactic that takes advantage of the interviewer’s curiosity. You see methods like this in marketing all the time, and it’s particularly powerful when used in email marketing campaigns. Why not use this as inspiration?
The idea is that asking a question in your subject line compels the recipient to respond. They know right off the bat that you’re requesting additional correspondence. It’s not a generic thank-you email. That little query will encourage them to open the email and reply.
Another perk of this approach is that you can use it to start building a rapport. Simple one-off messages can feel detached and impersonal. Again, it comes back to the sheer number of these emails interviewers and hiring managers typically receive.
Using your thank you email subject line to inquire about something creates a level of engagement that other strategies don’t provide. It deepens the connection and can help you stand out.
What questions should you ask? Simple questions are best. You can ask for feedback, inquire about the next steps, or ask if they need any more information from you. Don’t go overboard and ask something that requires a lengthy response.
Short and sweet is always better here.
4. Bring Up Something from the Interview
What better way to jog the recipient’s memory than bring up a specific detail? Hopefully, your interview was successful and led deeper connections and more unique discussions than other candidates. If it did, you likely have many things to bring up.
Once again, please keep it simple and concise. You don’t want to bring up intricate details. Maybe summarize a topic or bring up a specific moment in the interview where you made strong connections. Perhaps the interviewer mentioned that they studied the same college major you did or thought a particular part of your resume was interesting.
You can even summarize a captivating story you told. Whatever the case, bring it up briefly (you only have so much space when writing a subject line). Mention just enough of that moment to help them remember.
The goal is to get the recipient to think, “Oh yeah, I know who sent this!”
5. Mention the Name of the Interviewer
Here’s a classic technique that never seems to fail. Address the interviewer by name in your thank you email subject line. It adds a personal touch that is hard to ignore.
Think of when you got emails with your name in the subject line. Whether it’s a piece of marketing material or an intimidating email from a former boss, it likely caught your eye immediately. The same concept applies here.
By addressing the interviewer by name, you’re creating an instantly recognizable subject line. Their name stands out from the other text, making their eyes go right to it.
Make sure to use the name they refer to themselves as when communicating with you. They might have reached out to you by email prior to the interview. Please take a quick look at their signature. They could have used their first name or a simplified nickname that they prefer to go by at the office.
For example, someone with the name Christopher might go by Chris. Use the name they sign off as in their emails rather than trying the overly formal approach.
That personal touch makes a difference.
6. Hint at Something You Didn’t Mention During the Interview
With this strategy, you’re appealing to the interviewer’s natural curiosity.
It’s not uncommon to walk out of an interview wishing you said something you didn’t. It happens all the time. You’re already nervous, and there’s only so much time to say what you want.
If there are some details you didn’t get the opportunity to bring up, use them to your advantage when writing the subject line for your thank you email. Alluding to this new information can pique their interest, encouraging them to click your email and read your thank-you message.
This approach can benefit you, too. Sometimes, referencing details you didn’t provide during your interview is the final push hiring managers need to make a decision. Provide a quick tease of that in your email subject line, and they’ll likely read it.
7. Include the Position
It’s not uncommon for hiring managers to fill several roles simultaneously. As you can imagine, mixing people up in those scenarios is easy. Mentioning the position you interviewed for will help provide some clarity and avoid confusion.
The small detail is much-appreciated because it helps interviewers stay more organized in their correspondence.
Another benefit of this approach is that it tells the recipient that the email is important. Any communication about an open position is usually critical during the hiring cycle. Things change quickly, so hiring managers will pay attention to messages concerning the role.
A brief mention in your subject line is a great way to ensure that your thank you email is seen.
8. Add Your Name
If you don’t include the interviewer’s name in your thank you email subject line, consider mentioning your own. You may have to sacrifice adding other details for the sake of space, but this technique is a straightforward way to refresh the hiring manager’s memory. It’s a simple approach, but it’s one that often works well.
Make sure to add other tidbits to your subject line. You can combine your name with a message of appreciation, a summary of your conversation, or the position title. Simply writing your name doesn’t provide much information.
Pairing this method with others has a better impact.
9. Compliment Them
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to provide a nice compliment. It might seem like you’re appealing to ago, but it’s a small, personal touch that’s always appreciated. Everyone likes to get their work recognized, and interviewers are no different.
An excellent method is to provide a short compliment in the subject line before using your thank you email to expand further. If you do that, most recipients can’t help but open the message.
This technique can help you build a great relationship with someone you might be working with in the future. It shows that you have good interpersonal skills and are observant enough to recognize something worth complimenting.
Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Thank You Subject Line
You would think something as short and unassuming as a subject line for a thank you email would be hard to mess up. However, there are a few ways to leave a less-than-stellar impression.
Avoid these common mistakes when writing yours.
Too Much Brevity
Simple two-word subject lines are not enough to capture attention. Many people assume that the subject of an email doesn’t matter much, but you must remember that it’s supposed to provide a glimpse of what the rest of your email says.
With how many similar emails hiring managers receive daily, you can’t assume that yours is the one they’ll open. These messages get left by the digital wayside all the time.
A simple “thank you” subject line doesn’t provide any information. It doesn’t say who you are, what the interview was like, or what the rest of your message entails. Do this, and your email will likely end up ignored or in the trash!
Lengthy Subject Lines
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are thank you email subject lines that are too long. While long subject lines might stand out, they’re not always readable.
Most email inboxes will cut the subject line off if it doesn’t fit within the size of the window. If the recipient can’t read it, all your hard work won’t matter too much!.
Try to keep your subject line under ten words or around 60 characters. Anything more, and you run the risk of the dreaded truncation.
Not Providing a Subject Line At All
Finally, don’t be that person who doesn’t write a subject line.
This mistake comes off as unprofessional. Every email you send should have a subject. Failing to add one might leave the hiring manager a bit puzzled. They won’t know who it’s from, what it’s for, or any other pressing details. As a result, it’ll likely end up in the trash.
Examples & Templates
Ready to see some examples? An attention-grabbing subject line for a thank you email can make all the difference. Use these examples as inspiration to craft a great subject line of your own.
- Thank you for meeting with me for the manager role
- I appreciate your time meeting with me, Jessica
- Enjoyed learning about the administrative assistant opening, Chris
- Thanks for your time discussing the team lead position
- It was great speaking with you today, Carrie
- Thanks for interviewing me yesterday
- I enjoyed talking about content marketing today
- Thank you for the interview, Sarah – Do you have any feedback?
- Thanks for our October 6th meeting – From John Smith
- It’s wonderful meeting someone with a passion for this industry
- It was great meeting you! Do you need any more details?
- Thank you for your industry insight, Connor
- I’m grateful for your time today Mr. Smith
- I appreciate our meeting – Any updates on next steps?
- Here’s something I didn’t get to mention in our interview
Now that you know how to write a great subject line for your thank you emails, it’s time to start drafting your own. Sit down, use our examples as inspiration, and come up with a few that you like.
When the responses start to flood in you’ll be glad you did!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.