Protect your data

We use cookies to provide our services, improve the user experience, for analysis and marketing purposes. By giving your consent, you also agree that your data may be transferred to the USA by the use of cookies. You can revoke your consent at any time.You can find further information in our privacy policy and cookie policy.

  1. Career Advice
  2. Finding a job
  3. How to productively use the LinkedIn open-to-work feature
How to productively use the LinkedIn open-to-work feature

How to productively use the LinkedIn open-to-work feature

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • How does the LinkedIn open-to-work feature work?
  • Turning on the open-to-work feature
  • How do you select open-to-work without your current employer knowing?
  • Tips for using LinkedIn in your job search
  • Key takeaways

LinkedIn’s open-to-work feature is a great tool to let employers know you are looking for work. In this blog, we will learn how the LinkedIn open-to-work feature functions and how to use it properly.

LinkedIn has become the leading networking platform for professionals in all types of industries. You can use the site to connect with others in your industry and beyond. It’s also a great tool to use when you are searching for a job. You can apply for jobs right on the site, connect with hiring managers, and showcase your professional resume. The LinkedIn open-to-work feature allows you to announce to recruiters that you are looking for work.

In this blog, we will take a closer look at how this feature works and how to use it productively. Here’s what we will be covering:

  • How does the LinkedIn open-to-work feature work?

  • Turning on the open-to-work feature

  • Tips for keeping current employers from viewing your open-to-work status

  • Tips for using LinkedIn in your job search

How does the LinkedIn open-to-work feature work?

More and more job seekers are turning to LinkedIn as a way to look for work and keep track of their careers. The site’s open-to-work feature can make your job search that much easier because it lets recruiters know that you are looking for work. 

When you have this feature turned on, you will show up more often in the searches recruiters conduct when they have job openings available. This means you are more likely to be contacted by a potential employer through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn will also add a green circle and the hashtag “#OpenToWork” around your profile picture when you have the feature turned on. This is just another way recruiters and employers can identify those who are in the job market currently.

Turning on the open-to-work feature

There are only a couple of steps needed to turn on the open-to-work feature on LinkedIn. First, visit your profile page by clicking the “Me” icon that is located at the top of the screen. Next, click “View Profile,” which will take you to your personal profile page.

Just below where you see your name and title, you should find an “Open to” button. When clicked on, you will see a few options. To turn on the open-to-work status, choose “Finding a new job.”

You can select the job titles you are most interested in and the locations you want to work. You can also indicate what type of position or condition you prefer, e.g. full-time, part-time, contract, remote, hybrid, etc.

Finally, you can select who you want to see this status. If you’re hoping to keep your current employer from seeing your open status, selecting ‘Recruiters only’ might be the best option. However, this feature only adds a minimal amount of privacy, so it is still possible for your current employer to learn about your status change.

How to turn off open-to-work on LinkedIn

Once you have either found a new position or chosen to end your job search, turning off your open-to-work status on LinkedIn is simple. Start by visiting your profile page and clicking on the pencil icon at the top right of the ‘Open to work’ box beneath your profile picture. At the very bottom of the options box that pulls, click the ‘delete from profile’ link to remove the status from your profile.

Top things to know about open-to-work feature

The open-to-work feature isn’t for everyone, but it is helpful in many situations. You can also pair other LinkedIn features with the open-to-work tool to enhance your job search that much more. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Recruiters. When they have job openings, recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to review the work history and experience of potential candidates. Sometimes, they even use the site to find suitable candidates who haven’t even applied for their roles. When you turn on the open-to-work feature, an ‘#open to work’ tag will be added to your profile picture, which lets recruiters know right from the start that you might be a viable candidate for them.

Current employer. One of the downsides of this tool is that it becomes visible on your public profile, which means your current employer may be able to see that you have it turned on. Naturally, if your employer learns you are looking for work, this can cause issues for you in your current role. There are some precautions you can take, however, which we will discuss in further detail later in this article.

Resume. The open-to-work feature is a great tool to use when you are searching for a job, but don’t let it be the only step you take on LinkedIn. You should also make sure your resume is updated as well as the work history section on your LinkedIn profile page. Spend time updating these items and craft a fresh About Section for your profile as well. The goal should be to draw attention to your LinkedIn profile with the open-to-work feature, and then sell yourself that much more with the other information you have listed.

How do you select open-to-work without your current employer knowing?

One of the downsides of using the open-to-work feature is that it can make it easier for your current employer to learn about your job search plans. Not only can this cause uncomfortable conversations at work, but it can harm your career and your ability to succeed in your current position.

Keep these things in mind when you are deciding whether the LinkedIn Open-To-Work feature is right for you.

  • You can update your privacy settings so that no one from your current network can see changes to your work status. Obviously, however, that can reduce your ability to find a new job through your current network.

  • Keeping the open-to-work feature private to recruiters only still allows them to see the roles you are interested in and the date you turned on the open-to-work tag. The downside here is that non-recruiters on LinkedIn won’t be able to see your status, which may limit the types of opportunities you are exposed to.

  • LinkedIn does try to make the job search process discreet, but there is never a guarantee that your current employer won’t see that you are looking for work.

  • If there are specific people who you don’t want to see your status, you can block and hide your posts on an individualized basis. This could help open you up to more opportunities but could cause a problem if you forget to block someone or if someone else shares your information with the person you have blocked.

If your employer does learn you are looking for work, you will need to take steps to protect your current position. Start by assuring your employer that you are still dedicated to your current position. You should also review your company handbook to ensure you are following all expected rules regarding online activity. 

Finally, consider discussing a future with your current employer. Many employers will attempt to keep a good employee on board instead of moving to a new company, which means you may be able to negotiate a title change and wage increase if you are willing to stay.

The most important thing to remember when you are job searching is that you should never lie to your current employer about your plans. If they question you about your job search plans, tell the truth. Lying can only lead to trust being broken, which is never a good thing between employers and employees.

Tips for using LinkedIn in your job search

Now, you’re all set to use LinkedIn as you normally would when you aren’t in the job search market. However, there are some things you can do to prepare for the next time you need to turn the feature on.

  • Update your resume. If you have found a new position, add that information to your profile when you start in the role to ensure your profile stays up to date. You should also update your resume.

  • Review your network. With a new job comes a new opportunity to expand your network. As you get started in your new role, don’t forget to expand your LinkedIn network to include the people you meet along the way.

  • Join groups. This is especially helpful if you have joined a new industry. Joining industry-specific groups can help you grow your knowledge and can line you up with other leaders in the industry.

  • Share industry news. Cementing yourself in your current industry by becoming more acquainted with the news and trends that are happening is always a good idea. Throughout your career, share and post about your industry on your LinkedIn feed so you can maintain a presence on the site.

We want to help you build a great job search strategy. Stop by our website to check out our services page today!

Key takeaways

  1. LinkedIn’s open-to-work feature lets recruiters know that you are looking for work and also tells them what type of work you are searching for.

  2. You can turn the open-to-work status on or off by making changes to your LinkedIn profile page.

  3. While there are some privacy settings in place, there is no guarantee that your current employer won’t learn you are searching for work when you use the open-to-work feature.

Share this article