Be careful using Open-To-Work on your LinkedIn profile

  • Post published:19/01/2022
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Open to WorkIf you don’t’ want your boss or colleagues to know that you are job hunting, you must know how to use (or not use) the Open-to-Work on your LinkedIn profile.

If you’re looking for a job, or perhaps just open to hearing about job opportunities in the market while still being employed, you can let recruiters or all LinkedIn members know.

What is Open-To-Work on LinkedIn?

It was mid-year 2020 that LinkedIn introduced the feature called ‘Open To Work’ that activates a section on your LinkedIn profile.

The photo frame in the image will be shown if you choose option (a); it’s your choice.

(a) Everyone that looks at your profile – including your boss and colleagues

(b) Companies who have the LinkedIn product called Recruiter

The LinkedIn Recruiter is a premium service that allows businesses to view and search through every single profile on the network.

But note that LinkedIn gives you this “warning”: To protect your privacy, we take steps to prevent LinkedIn Recruiter users who work at your company and related companies from seeing your shared career interests, but we can’t guarantee complete privacy.

How to add Open-To-Work on LinkedIn profile

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View-Profile.
  3. Click the Open-to button.
  4. From the pulldown menu, click Finding-a-new-job.
  5. Provide the requested information in the pop up window that appears.
  6. Click Add-to-profile.

Open to WorkWhen you fill in your job preferences (point 5 above and image on the left), you will be asked if you want all LinkedIn members to see OpenToWork on your profile – including the OpenToWork frame around your photo – or only companies using the LinkedIn Recruiter application (with no photo frame).

Is Open-To-Work a sign of desperation?

Obviously, it’s easy for people with a secure job and income to say this.

If you have ever been between jobs (the nice way to say unemployed) you know about sleepless nights, the eroding self-confidence because of too many rejections, and the 24/7 job hunting frustrations.

Tom Sorensen, Headhunter

Some will tell you that the OpenToWork frame is a sign of panic and desperation. That it turns off recruiters and talent acquisition people and therefore you should not add the OpenToWork photo frame.

Even Forbes has weighed in on the subject: “In fact, employers or recruiters may actually be turned off by the open-to-work designation because of the well-known preference for “passive candidates” who are fully employed, have an optimized LinkedIn profile and don’t seem to be actively looking or potentially working at the competition.”

The verdict is still out there. You will hear different opinions depending on who you ask. We have no one correct answer to the question about sharing OpenToWork with all LinkedIn members.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.