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'Politely' Get Our Attention

Approximately 130 to 160 e-mails per day per person here . . . . . . some are advertisements/Groupons; some are from professional associations or organizations we have 'subscribed' to.  Many (hopefully, most) are from people we have reached out to on behalf of our clients - for retained searches.  There is another group that also e-mails us . . . . . job seekers/potential candidates that want our attention.

Subject Line

Not everyone uses a preview pane when then view e-mails.  I personally don't . . . . . takes too much space.  The subject line tells me the story . . . . . usually . . . . . especially if the name of the sender is not one that I recognize. The subject line can be used as a tool to get our attention.  Examples of subject lines that DO NOT work are:

  • Resume
  • Introduction
  • Let's Connect

My least favorite - a recent trend - an e-mail subject line that starts with 're:' - to make me think that you are responding to my e-mail outreach.  (This does not work.)

Pre-Call and/or Follow-Up

We recognize you want our attention. There are positive and polite ways to get it. Many times you were referred to us by someone we know.  TELL US through a pre- or post-call. Use the referral name prominently in your message or live conversation (we do answer our phones when we are in the office). Or TELL US - using the subject line to do so.  An e-mail subject line that starts with 'Referred by ___________' will get read right away assuming we recognize the referral source. An e-mail subject line that starts with 'Resume' falls to the bottom of the pile.

We do want to know who you are

While the work that we do is specific to what are clients need (we are a retained-only firm), we are open to getting resumes. One never knows . . . . . you could be the next Vice President we are seeking.  You may know the next Vice President we are seeking.  You have to get our attention, however, before we can determine that to be the case.