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How To Use LinkedIn's #OpenToWork Feature

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Oct 25, 2022
Nov 1, 2022

How To Use LinkedIn's #OpenToWork Feature

Kaitlin Marks

The LinkedIn “Open to Work” feature will help recruiters, your network, and hiring managers all know with a quick glance that you’re looking for a new role. 

Ready to announce to the world that you’re open to new opportunities? As you search for your next role and start your job search, the LinkedIn “Open to Work” feature will help recruiters, your network, and hiring managers all know with a quick glance that you’re looking for a new role. 

LinkedIn really is one of the best platforms for job searchers — over 35.5 million people have been hired after connecting with someone on LinkedIn. There are lots of features (including the #OpenToWork status) to jumpstart your job search… and they’ll be easier to leverage than you might think. 

How To Add “Open To Work” On LinkedIn

First, navigate to your profile — if you’re currently on your home feed, it’ll be the little “Me” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, then press “View Profile.” 

LinkedIn Open to Work view profile

Once you’re on your profile, under your profile picture, cover, and headline, you should see an “Open To” button. Click that! 

LinkedIn Open To Work add to profile

Then, follow the prompts on screen to set your preferences. Make sure to select “Finding a new job” and not any of the “hiring” options — hiring managers can use a similar version of this feature to announce they’re hiring, but your goal here is to show that you’re hirable instead. 

LinkedIn Open To Work job preferences

You’ll be able to edit your preferences, including up to five job titles, your preferred work location(s), your start date, and the types of roles (full-time, part-time, internships, contractor roles, temp roles, etc). Use the little pencil button highlighted below to edit your preferences! 

Decide Who Can See Your “Open To Work” Status on LinkedIn

Now, you’re going to have two main options at the bottom of your screen, and this is important. Do you want everyone on LinkedIn (including recruiters, your network, and people at your current company) to be able to see you’re open to work? Or would you rather have only recruiters be able to see it? 

If you haven’t mentioned your search to anyone at your current company, exercise caution here. No one wants to feel burned by finding out about a huge change through social media! 

But if you’ve given your notice, it can be powerful for everyone in your network to know you’re pursuing new opportunities. You never know who’s hiring (or who has a connection to your dream company or role). 

To edit your settings here, click the button at the bottom of the screen and toggle whichever option you prefer. If you choose “Recruiters only,” everything will be behind the scenes — and if you choose “All LinkedIn members”, you’ll get that shiny new green LinkedIn “Open To Work” banner on your profile photo and the information will be public. 

LinkedIn Open To Work visibility options

For those who select “All LinkedIn members,” LinkedIn will automatically prompt you to post and let your network know about your new job search. This can kick off your job search on a solid note. 

Pros and Cons of the LinkedIn “Open To Work” Feature

People tend to have… well, strong opinions about the LinkedIn open to work feature. But honestly, the bottom line is that the right role for you is out there, and whether you choose to have a banner on your profile or not won’t stand in the way of you landing it. Read over the pros and cons below, of course, but make a decision that feels right for YOU. 

Remember, your job search is yours. An optimized LinkedIn profile (Teal’s LinkedIn Review Tool makes this beyond simple with tailored recommendations right in your browser) and consistent networking will make a big difference. The "Open to Work" feature is there to help you, but totally optional. 

Teal’s Free LinkedIn Review Chrome Extension
Teal’s Free LinkedIn Review Chrome Extension

Pro: Many People On LinkedIn Support Each Other When They Spot The #OpenToWork Banner

Pre-pandemic, social media, the hiring world, and LinkedIn might’ve had more of a “shark-infested waters” feel. But so much has happened in the last few years. Now more than ever, people have struggled with unemployment and layoffs due to funding issues, the pandemic, and strict return to office orders, to name a few reasons. 

This has prompted a major shift in attitudes on LinkedIn. People want to support each other. Many LinkedIn members see the "Open to Work" banner or posts and take a second to see if they know someone who’s hiring — they’re willing to make an introduction, recommend companies and teams, and even help you out themselves, as long as you ask.

Of course, there are those who still see job searches as solely competitive, but you’ll find it surprising how much of your network may want to support you in your new endeavor. It’s worth a shot, right? 

Con: Your Current Employer Could Find Out You’re Pursuing New Roles

Even if you toggle your LinkedIn "Open to Work" privacy to “Recruiters Only,” there are workarounds internal recruiters have. Although with this setting LinkedIn hides your banner from anyone who works for your current company, recruiting is a close knit industry, and some companies keep close tabs on their employees in other ways. 

For example, someone at your company may regularly ask a friend who doesn’t work at the company to run a search and see if anyone is looking for work, and you’d show up in those results. 

Pro: It’s Just Another Layer of Your Profile

Having the “Open To Work” feature on your profile won’t be the one thing that lands you a job. An optimized profile, the experience and skills to back up your title and expectations, a tailored resume, your interview skills… so much goes into a successful job search. 

That said, it’s not worth stressing for hours over whether to turn on this feature. Our recommendation is to give it a chance and see how it goes, but only after you’ve fully optimized your profile — that way, if recruiters or members of your network land on your page thanks to the banner, they see all sorts of helpful information to seal the deal. 

Con: Some People Hold Old Biases About This Feature

In almost every aspect of job searches, there are those who hold strong negative opinions. Some hiring managers hate seeing color on resumes while others love it. Creative font choices wow some recruiters while others cringe at anything other than Times New Roman. 

Some recruiters believe job searchers with the “Open To Work” banner enabled are passively searching, or not really putting in the effort to search for a new role. But you know whether or not this is true (and ultimately, whether that ideology is one you’d align with anyways). 

It’s up to you and what feels right for you. Personally, I turned on the “Everyone” side of this feature recently and haven’t gotten any negative feedback. 

It’s really exciting starting to search for a new role, and LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help you on your journey. The LinkedIn “Open to Work” feature has a lot of benefits, and adding it to your profile only takes a few minutes. As long as you’ve optimized your profile (especially by running it through Teal’s LinkedIn Review tool), you’ll be all set to start networking and applying to hopefully land your dream role soon. 

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Teal LinkedIn Profile Analysis

Kaitlin Marks

Kaitlin Marks is a freelance writer and content strategist. She's passionate about empowering women to feel their best. When she’s not working on her laptop, you can find her snuggling her little rescue puppy, Peanut, or reading a good book at the beach.

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