How To Use LinkedIn's #OpenToWork Feature

Ready to announce to the world that you're open to new opportunities? As you search for your next role and embark on your job hunt, the LinkedIn #OpenToWork feature will help recruiters, your network, and hiring managers all know with a quick glance that you're looking for a new role. 

What is LinkedIn's open to work feature?

LinkedIn's Open to Work feature is a useful tool that allows users to signal to recruiters and hiring managers that they are actively looking for new job opportunities. The feature allows users to add an #OpenToWork badge on their LinkedIn profile, which can be seen by recruiters and hiring managers who search for potential candidates.

Additionally, users can also indicate their desired job type, job function, industry, and location, making it easier for recruiters to find them. The feature also allows recruiters to send the person a message with a job opportunity without the need of connecting first, which is a great way to reach out to passive candidates.

The Open to Work feature is totally optional and can be used by anyone with a LinkedIn account, including those who are currently employed, but looking for a new role, or those who are unemployed and actively seeking new employment opportunities.

Who can see if I'm open to work on LinkedIn?

I'm sure you've seen the green #OpenToWork photo frame on a connection's profile photo on your LinkedIn feed. That person chose for you to be able to see that they are seeking new job opportunities.

Being able to choose who can see your Open to Work status on LinkedIn is a great feature that allows you to control who knows that you are actively looking for new career opportunities. It allows you to keep your job search private and ensures that your current employer and colleagues won't find out that you're looking for a new job, unless you decide to share that information with them.

You can choose to only share your Open to Work status with your LinkedIn connections or make it visible to everyone on LinkedIn. This gives you the flexibility to reach out to a larger audience of recruiters and hiring managers, or to only share your status with people you already know and trust. And you always have the option to change your privacy settings, if you change your mind.

This feature allows you to be more discreet and strategic with your search and gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have control over who knows that you're searching for work on LinkedIn.

How to let recruiters know I'm open to work on LinkedIn

Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as a tool to find and connect with potential candidates for job openings. They use various search criteria such as job title, location, industry, keywords, skills, and overall profile optimization to find suitable job candidates.

When a user turns on the Open to Work feature on LinkedIn, the #OpenToWork badge will be visible on their profile, and their desired job type, job function, industry, and preferred location will also be visible on their profile. This makes it easier for LinkedIn recruiter searches to find potential candidates who are actively job hunting.

Additionally, recruiters also use LinkedIn's advanced search filters to find candidates that are open to new employment opportunities. They can filter their search results by people who have recently changed their job title, location, or industry, or by people who have recently joined LinkedIn.

Recruiters can also find candidates who are open to new job opportunities by browsing through LinkedIn groups related to their industry or job function. They can also see who's open to work in the jobs they are recruiting for, directly on the job posting, if the job poster enables that setting.

How to turn on #OpenToWork

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 icon highlighted above to edit your preferences! 

Choosing who can see your #OpenToWork 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 entire 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? 

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 hunting on a solid note. 

‍Watch this video for a step by step guide on adding LinkedIn's #OpenToWork feature to your LinkedIn profile.

How to turn off #OpenToWork

To turn off the Open to Work feature on LinkedIn, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn homepage and click on the "Me" icon in the top right corner
  2. Click on "View Profile"
  3. Find and click the pencil icon next to the "Open to work" section
  1. Select "Delete from profile" in the bottom left corner
  1. Confirm that you would like to delete the "Open to Work" feature from your profile

Once you have turned off the Open to Work feature, your #OpenToWork badge will no longer be visible on your LinkedIn profile, and recruiters and hiring managers will no longer be able to see that you are open to new employment opportunities. This gives you the privacy you need to keep your job search confidential.

How can I best use LinkedIn's #OpenToWork feature?

LinkedIn's #OpenToWork feature is a powerful tool for job seekers looking to expand their network and increase their visibility to recruiters and hiring managers. Here are some ways you can best use the #OpenToWork feature:

Highlight your current job status

If you're actively seeking new opportunities, use the #OpenToWork feature to indicate that you're open to hearing about new career opportunities. This helps recruiters and hiring managers understand that you're available and actively looking for new opportunities.

Whether you're looking to pivot fields, return to work after a career break or gap in employment, find a new challenge, move to a new location and find a new role there, or even recover from a layoff situation, it can often be helpful to contextualize why you're making a career move and showcase that on your profile. 

You can include your desired position title in your LinkedIn headline. Here's a sample headline formula to get you started:

Title you are targeting | Relevant Skill 1 | Relevant Skill 2 | Relevant Skill 3 | Mini-pitch that illustrates your value and accomplishments (“I help X do Y” or “I drove X in Y way”).

Connect with recruiters

It is important to connect with recruiters on LinkedIn because recruiters are often the gatekeepers to job opportunities. They can help match job seekers with potential employers and provide insights and advice on the job search process. By connecting with recruiters, job seekers can expand their network, get access to exclusive job postings, and have a greater chance of being referred to potential employers.

Additionally, building a relationship with recruiters can help you stay up-to-date on the latest industry news, trends, and job market insights, and provide you with a valuable resource for career advice. Connecting with recruiters can also provide job seekers with a source of support and encouragement during the job search process, making it easier for them to stay motivated and optimistic about finding the right role.

#OpenToWork can help you get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers who are actively searching for potential candidates. Connect with recruiters in your industry and send them personalized messages explaining why you're open to new opportunities.

Check out these sample messages for how to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn, or upgrade to Teal+ to copy/paste them right from your Job Tracker.

Use communication templates within Teal's Job Tracker to respond to recruiters.
Use communication templates within Teal's Job Tracker to respond to recruiters.

Join and participate in relevant LinkedIn groups

Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry, skills, and interests to expand your network and increase your visibility to potential employers.

Make sure to engage with your network and participate in discussions. By doing so, you'll stay top-of-mind with your network and increase your chances of being approached with new career opportunities.

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.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile

Before activating the #OpenToWork feature, make sure your profile is up-to-date and complete. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is an important step in establishing your personal brand, expanding your professional networking efforts, and making yourself more visible to potential employers and recruiters. To help you optimize your LinkedIn profile, make sure each of the following sections are strong:

By following these tips, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile and make it a valuable asset in your job search and career development.

The most effective way to optimize your LinkedIn profile

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. In addition to this feature, make sure you do whatever you can to stand out in recruiter search results by optimizing your profile.

By using Teal's LinkedIn Review Tool, you can take the guesswork out of optimizing your profile and ensure that your profile showcases your skills, experience, and achievements in the best possible way. With the tool's personalized recommendations, you can make the necessary changes to improve your profile and attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

To check your LinkedIn profile, download Teal’s Free Chrome Extension which includes an automated LinkedIn Review. Once you install the extension, just go to your profile page and click on the Teal logo. You’ll see a list of recommendations on how best to optimize your profile and can make updates as needed.

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

Remember, job searching can be a long and challenging process, but with the right tools and strategies, you can make the most of your time and effort. By utilizing LinkedIn's #OpenToWork feature, you can make your job search more efficient and effective, and increase your chances of finding the right opportunity for you.

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Becca Dershowitz

Becca Dershowitz

Becca is a former Special Education Teacher and Teal's Content Marketing Coordinator.

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