LinkedIn’s #OpentoWork feature is a great way to say, “Help! I’m desperate!”

LinkedIn’s #opentowork feature can make you look desperate.

Imagine you’re trying to sell your house. You’ve listed on all the popular real estate sites, but the only sign you could find to hang out front says, “Desperate to Sell!” in big, bold, green letters. It’s an attention grabber, for sure, but does it inspire confidence in buyers and compel them to make you an offer?

Similarly, using the #OpentoWork feature on LinkedIn may draw more attention to your job search, but it may also signal desperation to recruiters. Why did you leave your job? Are there other red flags in your work history? Would you take a lower salary and benefits package just to get some work?

All these things might be true, but give yourself a fighting chance by not highlighting your career worries in green.

What is #OpentoWork?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, LinkedIn introduced the #OpentoWork feature allowing users to add a green frame around their profile picture with the text “Open to Work” to indicate that they are currently seeking new job opportunities.

Do Not Use #OpentoWork.

While the #OpentoWork feature was probably implemented with the best intentions, the risk that it conveys the wrong message is too high to recommend it. Additionally, some users have reported receiving an increase in unwanted messages and spam after enabling the #OpentoWork feature.

Why Would Anyone Use #OpentoWork?

I can’t think of many, except that they’re ill-informed, especially since you can set your profile to be visible to recruiters using LinkedIn’s paid recruiter service without circling your face with green desperation.

Yes, using #OpentoWork can add visibility by immediately signaling to passersby that you’re, well, open to work. However, I would argue that there are many other ways to catch recruiters’ attention, and the risks of using the #OpentoWork overlay outweigh the benefits.

Other Ways to Catch Recruiters’ Attention on LinkedIn

Fortunately, there are other ways to catch recruiters’ attention on LinkedIn without using the #OpentoWork feature. Here are a few ideas:

★ Apply for jobs via LinkedIn and other job boards: By submitting your resume, you’re clearly telling recruiters you’re interested in the job. The first thing they’ll do after reviewing your resume is pop by your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you. No desperate green circle needed.

★ Optimize your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date, with a professional headshot, a compelling headline, and a well-written summary that showcases your skills and experience.

★ Use keywords: Incorporate keywords related to your industry and job function throughout your profile to make it easier for recruiters to find you.

★ Connect with recruiters: Connect with recruiters in your industry and engage with their content to stay on their radar.

★ Join LinkedIn groups: Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry and participate in discussions to increase your visibility.

How to Set Your Profile Up for Recruiters to Find You

If you want to make it clear to recruiters that you are open to new job opportunities without using the #OpentoWork feature, here’s how to set up your profile:

► Update your career interests: Under “Job preferences” on your LinkedIn dashboard, update your career interests to indicate that you are open to new job opportunities.

► Choose who can see you’re open: Click the “Open to” link under your headline. Then, click “Finding a New Job.” Answer the questions and then select “Recruiters only” under “Choose who sees you’re open.”

Give the Right Impression

Whether you’re selling a home or your skills, the last thing you want to do is set yourself up to lose a negotiation, which is exactly what the #OpentoWork feature does for you. Instead, follow my outlined suggestions to attract the right recruiters and leave a better impression.

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