Executive Job Search Email Mistakes: Careless Email Address and Subject Line

by Meg Guiseppi on February 15, 2016



Think about this.

You’re reaching out via email to a recruiter . . . or a hiring manager at a company you’re targeting . . . or someone in your network . . . or someone you don’t know at a target company, with whom you want to network.

The first things they’re going to notice in their email inbox are your email address and the subject line of your email message.

Either or both of these can land your email message in spam, or cause the recipient to immediately delete it.

Off-putting Email Address

You are a professional. You want to be seen as such. Your email address needs to be professional and, if at all possible, support your personal brand.

How do you think another professional person (possibly an executive recruiter or hiring decision maker) will respond when they receive an email from bigdaddytom@gmail.com or sexysue@yahoo.com?

Take a look at the email address you’re using for job search.

Make sure it isn’t silly-sounding or profane . . . or that the letters come together to convey an unintended meaning . . . or includes your date of birth, or even just your birth year.

Set up a designated job search email account, with a professional, brand-reinforcing email address – “your name” plus ideally some descriptive word about your work, or a credential, such as:


If your ideal email address is taken, try adding your zip code or the zip code of the area in which you’re job-hunting.

Never use an email address associated with your current employer. Your privacy can easily be compromised and, when you move on, you may not be able to retrieve those email messages.

Want to further seal the deal that the recipient will actually open and read your email? Pay attention to the subject line.

Inappropriate or Non-Existent Subject Line

Think of this as a headline or teaser, marketing your qualifications and value. You want to entice people to read your email message.

Capture attention with the subject line and help the reader know immediately what your message is about. Something useless like “Greetings” or “Hello” is dismissible, and nearly as bad as having nothing in the subject line.

Often in job search, your emails will be archived by recipients for future retrieval. Don’t let yours get lost in the sea of emails these people have on file. Make it easy for them to find yours in an instant.

They will likely search their archived emails using relevant keywords and phrases, so be sure to get those into your subject line.

A good subject line may read:

Chief Information Officer (CIO) – Finance Sector – Specializing in Security and Risk Management

More About Emailing and Executive Job Search

Personal Branding and the Email Signature Dilemma

When Job Search Email Goes Missing

When Job Search Email Goes Missing

10 Steps to Executive Job Search Success

Personal SEO in Executive Job Search: What’s in a Name?


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