How To Use LinkedIn's #OpenToWork Feature

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January 31, 2023
Edited by
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min read

3 key takeaways

  • What is #OpenToWork on LinkedIn
  • How to turn on #OpenToWork
  • How to optimize your LinkedIn profile with the free Teal LinkedIn Review Tool

Ready to announce that you're open to new opportunities?

As you search for your next role, the LinkedIn #OpenToWork feature will help recruiters, your network, and hiring managers all know—with a glance—that you're looking for a new role. 

What is LinkedIn's #OpenToWork feature?

LinkedIn's "#OpenToWork" banner is a tool that allows users to signal to recruiters and hiring managers that they're actively looking for new job opportunities.

With it, users can add an #OpenToWork badge to their profile and indicate their desired job type, job function, industry, and location—all of which can be viewed by recruiters and hiring managers searching for potential candidates.

#OpenToWork also allows recruiters to send job seekers a message to communicate opportunities without the need to connect first.

Highlighting your "open-to-work" status with an #OpenToWork banner is optional and can be done by anyone with a LinkedIn account—including those currently employed but looking for a new role and those who are unemployed and actively seeking new employment opportunities.

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

Being able to choose who can see your #OpenToWork status on LinkedIn allows you to control exactly who knows that you're actively looking for new career opportunities.

This level of discretion helps keep your job search private—ensuring your current employer and colleagues won't find out you're looking for a new job unless you decide to share that information with them.

You can choose to share your open-to-work status exclusively with recruiters or with your LinkedIn connections and the rest of the platform. This gives you the flexibility to reach out to a larger audience 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 lets you be more discreet and strategic with your search and gives you the peace of mind of 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 to find and connect with suitable job candidates. They use search criteria like job title, location, industry, keywords, skills, and overall profile optimization to do this.

When a job seeker adds the "Open to Work" goal on LinkedIn, their desired job type, function, industry, and preferred location will be visible. They can also opt for the #OpenToWork badge. This makes it easier for a LinkedIn recruiter to find potential candidates who are actively job hunting.

Pro Tip: Before you announce that you're open to new opportunities, ensure your social profile is optimized. The free Teal Chrome Extension comes with a LinkedIn Review tool to help you ensure you have the right details before you hit the ground running.

Optimize an open-to-work LinkedIn Profile
Teal's LinkedIn Profile Review Tool

How to turn on #OpenToWork

Step 1: First, navigate to your profile. If you're currently on your home feed, click the “Me” button below the small profile picture in the upper right corner of the screen—then press “View Profile.” 

LinkedIn View Profile button for #OpenToWork
Click "Me" and "View Profile" to use LinkedIn #OpenToWork

Step 2: Then, under your profile photo and headline, you should see an “Add Goal” button. Click that! 

Open to employment goal on LinkedIn
Click "Add goal" to showcase you're open to work

Step 3: Finally, follow the prompts on the 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 preferences
Select your #OpenToWork preferences

You can 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.).

Choosing who can see your #OpenToWork status on LinkedIn

Now, you will have two options at the bottom of your screen, which 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 green LinkedIn “Open To Work” banner on your profile photo, and the information will be public. 

Choose and showcase to recruiters or all LinkedIn members

For those who select “All LinkedIn members,” LinkedIn will automatically prompt you to announce you're open to work on LinkedIn.

‍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. Click the pencil icon in the blue "Open to work" box
Edit LinkedIn Open to work
Edit your Open to work settings to delete #OpenToWork
  1. Select "Delete from profile" in the bottom left corner
Delete #OpenToWork from your profile
Delete #OpenToWork from your profile
  1. Confirm that you would like to delete that you're open to work from your profile
Delete LinkedIn job preferences
Delete your LinkedIn job preferences

Once you've turned off the Open to Work feature, your #OpenToWork badge will no longer be visible on your LinkedIn profile. By doing this, recruiters and hiring managers will no longer be able to see that you are open to new employment opportunities.

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 you're available and seeking new employment.

It can often be helpful to contextualize why you're making a career move and showcase that on your profile, for example, if you're looking to:

  • Pivot careers
  • Return to work after a career break or gap in employment
  • Find a new challenge
  • Move and find a new role
  • Recover from a layoff

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

Title you're 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 drive X in Y way”).

Connect with recruiters

Connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn is important because they're often the bridge to job opportunities. Recruiters help match job seekers with potential employers and sometimes use their platform to provide insights and advice on the job search process.

By connecting with them, job seekers can expand their network, get access to more job postings, and have a greater chance of being referred to potential employers. But it's not enough to "connect." Remember, relationships are a two-way street. Meaningfully commenting on posts and overall engagement are part of the process.

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.

#OpenToWork can help you get noticed by hiring professionals actively searching for potential candidates.

Check out these sample messages for how to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn.

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 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:

  • Professional profile photo and banner image
  • Headline
  • Summary/"About" section
  • Experience section
  • Education
  • Skills and Endorsements section
  • Using relevant keywords and LinkedIn SEO
  • Customize your profile URL

The most effective way to optimize your LinkedIn profile

The LinkedIn “Open to Work” feature has significant benefits, and adding it to your profile only takes a few minutes. In addition to this feature, make sure you do whatever you stand out in recruiter search results by optimizing your profile.

By using Teal's LinkedIn Profile Review Tool, you can take the guesswork out of optimizing your profile and ensure your content showcases your skills, experience, and achievements in the best possible way.

With Teal's LinkedIn Summary Generator, you can transform your LinkedIn summary until a compelling narrative that'll attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

To check your LinkedIn profile, download Teal’s Free Chrome extension, including an automated LinkedIn Profile 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can using the #OpenToWork feature on LinkedIn affect the confidentiality of my job search?

The #OpenToWork feature allows you to control who sees that you're open to new opportunities. You can choose to share this with all LinkedIn members or only with recruiters, helping to maintain confidentiality if you're currently employed but looking for new opportunities. However, if you opt to share with all LinkedIn members, your current employer may potentially see your #OpenToWork status.

How do I customize the #OpenToWork feature to attract the right job opportunities on LinkedIn?

To attract the right opportunities, be specific when setting up the #OpenToWork feature. You can add job titles, locations, and types of work you're interested in. This helps LinkedIn's algorithm to match you with relevant job postings and recommend you to recruiters looking for candidates that fit your specified criteria.

Will turning on the #OpenToWork feature increase the visibility of my LinkedIn profile?

Yes, turning on the #OpenToWork feature can increase your profile's visibility. It signals to recruiters and your network that you're actively seeking new opportunities, which can lead to more profile views and connections. Additionally, your profile may appear in search results more frequently for recruiters using LinkedIn to find candidates with your skills and experience.

Becca Dershowitz

Becca is a former special education teacher turned content marketer. With a unique blend of experience from the classroom to SaaS, she leverages a variety of insights and perspectives to support marketing teams.

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