When everyone suddenly started using "Impressed" as an opener

When everyone suddenly started using "Impressed" as an opener
Post Author: Aaron Decker | Photo by Liam Truong on Unsplash
Date published: October 22, 2019

Last year something weird happened. I started to notice every other cold recruiter email opener has the word "impressed" in it. Obviously at first I was flattered that strangers were impressed by my experience. But then everyone started using this exact word in the same way and it started to feel really bizarre and fake.

Plus, let's be honest my background is not that impressive. I never worked for a FANG company, and I don't have an ivy league degree, etc.

I'm not sure how this thing started but for about six months last year it was huge fad among recruiters for some reason or another. Then, like the fidget-spinner, it was gone! Nobody has used the word "impressed" in an opener when contacting me for a while now.

Okay, want to see the emails?

Yes, of course you do! I am really starting to enjoy cold emails. Especially since starting to build the course here at ITeach Recruiters and I am thinking about how to reach more people, I am having to write a lot of cold emails. Podcast hosts, blog owners, conference managers, with all of these people I am trying to get their attention and cold emails are super hard.

Okay, without further ado here are some samples of (redacted) cold emails I got with the word impressed in them.

you can click the image if you need to zoom in

impressed 1


impressed 2


impressed 3


impressed 4


impressed 5


impressed 6


impressed 7

Cold emails are hard

You can see how that probably worked well at first, but after I saw this opener six times within a month, it was an immediate turn-off, right?

It's the same format - first line is "blah blah, Impressed" and then they put in the JD or the pitch for the job. Recruiters know it is hard to stand out, but whatever blog or book these recruiters read caused a lot of people to do the exact same thing and not stand out.

By the way, some of these emails are otherwise great, it was just that opener that killed them.

I do understand how hard cold emails are. I have tried to start a couple of software businesses at this point, but for this course I really have started to do a fair amount of cold outreach and I never have had success doing it in bulk. The thing I found that really works almost every time is to painstakingly write a personal email and try to make a real connection, which of course is extremely time consuming.

FYI, the last blog I posted here had a couple of examples of recruiter emails that tried to take a more personal approach. I'll be doing more of these types of posts in the future.

EDIT 10/25/19: wow this got to the front page of Hacker News and got some interest. Thanks everyone for the good discussion. I posted it to Hacker news because I thought it would be interesting to developers. The sales pitch below is for tech recruiters.

Not all of these were from LinkedIn, but I have since been informed that the default message for LinkedIn Recruiter has the word "Impressed" in it. I think it goes without saying you should not use it!

And if any software engineers want to help me out and help improve the state of the software recruiting industry, please forward my blog onto your tech recruiters!


A quick note!

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Written By Aaron Decker

I'm a full stack developer specializing in Node.js and React. I have worked as a Tech Lead and hired teams, and as a Senior Software Engineer at multiple fortune 500 companies building large products. I also did a brief stint teaching programming courses as an Adjunct Instructor at a local community college.