How to Write a Thank You Email Subject Line (Examples Included)

By Jeff Gillis

Many job seekers understand the power of a well-crafted thank you email after an interview. However, a surprising number overlook one important detail: the thank you email subject line.

Email subject lines are a critical part of the equation. They let the recipient know what to expect if they open your email. If not done properly, they can actually cause a hiring manager to overlook your email, and that could spell disaster.

How bad could it be? Well, pretty bad. About one-in-five hiring managers will remove a candidate from contention just because they didn’t send a thank you note. So, if the hiring manager doesn’t open yours because of a bad subject line, they might assume you didn’t send a thank you email at all. And that could cost you the job.

Luckily, nailing your subject line isn’t as hard as it may seem. Here’s everything you need to know about crafting the best email subject lines possible.

What Is a Thank You Email?

Alright, before we dig into subject lines, let’s pause for a sec and talk about what a thank you email even is. Now, we’ve taken a deep dive into thank you emails before – both how to write a thank you email after your interview and how to write a thank you email after a phone interview – but let’s go over the basics, just to be safe.

A thank you email is more or less what it sounds like; it’s a quick message where you express your appreciation to the hiring manager for meeting with you. In many cases, the email is also a chance to reassert your interest, highlight more information about you, and discuss next steps.

Still, the core purpose of a thank you email is to, well, say “thanks.” It’s all about gratitude for what the hiring manager is doing for you. That’s really the main point.

What Is an Email Subject Line?

Okay, now let’s move onto the next tidbit; what an email subject line is.

Generally, the subject line is that first line of text a person sees when they are looking at their email inbox. In many ways, it’s like a title or heading. It’s a brief statement that highlights what the rest of the email is all about.

So, a thank you email after an interview subject line is a quick statement that lets the hiring manager know something important. It tells them that your message is you expressing your gratitude for the meeting (and the opportunity to potentially land the job).

But the best email subject lines don’t just say what your message is about; they also draw the eye and capture the hiring manager’s attention.

Many professionals get dozens and dozens of emails every single day. If your subject line doesn’t stand out, there’s a good chance your thank you will get overlooked. That’s why your email subject lines are so incredibly important.

Overall, 80 percent of hiring managers believe that receiving a thank you email is either very or somewhat helpful to the hiring process. But, oddly enough, only 43 percent of candidates actually send a thank you email after interviewing.

That means the hiring manager isn’t necessarily looking for your email; they already know you might not send one. By getting your thank you email – including the email subject line – right, you are separating yourself from the pack in a huge way. Plus, with a great subject line, you’re increasing your chances of getting your email noticed, ensuring the hiring manager doesn’t think you simply didn’t send one.

But how do you make sure yours are on point? Don’t worry. We’re getting to that.

Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make When Writing Thank You Email Subject Lines

Before we dig into how to write a thank you email subject line, let’s look at some common mistakes many candidates make when crafting these little statements.

First, while it may seem like you could get away with just saying “thank you” as a subject line, that’s actually a bad move. It doesn’t clarify who you are or why you’re reaching out. It’s just too generic, so odds are high that your email won’t get noticed.

Second, making your thank you email subject line too long is a problem. Most email inboxes truncate (a fancy word for cutoff) the subject line if it’s too long.

JEFF'S TIP: So, how long is too long. Well, if you use more than 33 to 43 characters, some of it probably won’t display if the hiring manager is using a mobile device to review their messages. However, if viewed on a computer, it isn’t cut off as fast. While that means you may have some leeway, it’s wise to keep your subject line short and sweet. After all, you never know what device the hiring manager will use, so make sure the point of your message is clear in the first few words.

Finally, assuming that you have to use “thank you” specifically can actually be a problem. While using that exact phrase doesn’t hurt you, it’s not the only option. If you can’t get your subject line short enough while using “thank you,” don’t be afraid to explore alternative approaches. As long as the sentiment is right, you should be fine.

How to Write a Thank You Email Subject Line

In many cases, the best email subject lines follow a pretty simple formula. While you can tweak certain aspects – such as including one point while bypassing another – this method gives you a chance to include the kinds of details you want displayed.

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to write thank you email subject lines.

1. Express Appreciation

First, it’s smart to show that your message is all about expressing gratitude. Usually, the easiest way to do that is to showcase your appreciation in the first few words of your subject line.

Options like “thank you” and “thanks” are the most obvious ones. However, you can use other approaches, which we’ll dig into in the examples.

Exactly which one you choose may depend on the amount of detail you want to provide after that. After all, you only have so many characters to work with, so you want to make sure each one counts.

2. Mention the When

Sometimes, the easiest way to connect a subject line back to your interview is to mention the “when” in the email subject. This could be the date you interviewed. However, you could also use something like “today” or “yesterday,” if you’d rather.

3. Say the Position

Some hiring managers are trying to fill multiple positions at the same time. If that’s the case, mentioning the job you’re trying to land can take your follow up email subject line from good to great. It gives the hiring manager more insight about your message right away, and that can make a difference.

4. Include the Interviewer’s Name

Many people are used to keying in on their own name. It’s familiar, so it can draw the eye.

If you have space, add the hiring manager’s name to your email. Just make sure you use whatever format you were given during the interview. If you were told to call them Mr., Ms., Mrs., or Dr. followed by their last name, then do that in your subject. If you have permission to use their first name, do that instead.

5. Add Your Name

Yes, you can name drop your own name in the subject line. Generally, this approach means cutting another piece of information out. However, it can be a way to stand out, so it is worth considering.

Thank You Email Subject Line Examples

Alright, now for the good stuff: the thank you email subject line examples. Each of these uses a slightly different approach, ensuring that enough information is shared without going overboard with the character count.

With these, you can craft the best email subject lines for your after-interview follow-up. Just choose the approach that feels right based on your interview experience, and tweak it to fit your needs.

1. Thank you for the job interview today

This approach is simple but effective. It makes it clear that your message is a thank you email focused on a job interview that occurred that day. Plus, it’s a pretty short email subject, so it may not be truncated by most email systems.

2. Enjoyed interviewing for the Admin Asst today, Mr. Doe

Here’s an option if you don’t want to lead off with “thank you” or “thanks” but want to make sure the tone is right. Plus, it covers nearly every base, including the position title and the interviewer’s name.

3. Thanks for meeting with me about the IT position on Tuesday

This subject line is really a variation off of the first option. It’s a little longer, so there’s a chance the end portion will get cut off by some email clients. However, since it starts off strong, the hiring manager should know what the message is about, even if it is truncated.

4. John, thanks for discussing Project Mgr job with me yesterday

With this approach, you lead off with the hiring manager’s name. It can be an effective way to catch the hiring manager’s eye, making it worth considering.

Plus, it covers a lot of information in surprisingly few characters. You’ll leave little doubt regarding what your message is about, which is a bonus.

5. Thanks for the job interview today from Jane

Here’s an email subject line option that gives you space for your name. Again, the beginning of the statement makes it clear that it’s a thank you email. But you get to tack on your name at the end, essentially letting you reintroduce yourself right away.

If your interview went well, this technique could make the hiring manager more excited about opening the message. They’ll know it’s a top candidate reaching out immediately, and that may encourage them to open it faster.

6. Great to meet you yesterday, Mrs. Doe!

This subject line is short and sweet. It may be a little more ambiguous than some of the other options. However, if your interview was with a small department or business, it can still do the trick.

7. Thank you for the opportunity to interview for IT position

Here’s another approach where if it gets cut off a little, you shouldn’t run into trouble. The main sentiment is expressed upfront, so it’s only supplemental details that might get truncated.

8. Grateful for your time yesterday, Jane – From John

This option makes sure that the main point is clear, even if the subject gets cutoff. But if the email client provides a bit more room, you get to show your appreciation, mention the date, add their name, and squeeze your name it, too, all in a single, simple line.

Additionally, this email subject features a non-traditional way of showing you’re saying thanks. “Grateful” isn’t going to be a common starting word, so it may help your message stand out a tad.

9. Really enjoyed our conversation today!

With this subject line, you come across as gracious and enthusiastic. Plus, it does mention the day the interview occurred, giving it another key point of reference. Essentially, it’s a concise and effective option.

10. Great speaking with you about the HR position on Jan 16

This option uses the date of the interview instead of the day of the week, “today,” or “yesterday.” It also expresses excitement and appreciation while touching on the job title. However, it is a little longer than some alternatives, so it will get cut off by some email systems.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, your thank you email subject line makes a difference. The best email subject lines increase the odds of the hiring manager noticing and opening your message, and that’s important. Use the tips above to create a standout subject line, and you should be in excellent shape.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Jeff Gillis

Co-founder and CTO of Jeff is a featured contributor delivering advice on job search, job interviews and career advancement, having published more than 50 pieces of unique content on the site, with his work being featured in top publications such as INC, ZDnet, MSN and more. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.