September 5, 2020
You’ve seen it– that green crescent overlay that reads #OPENTOWORK on LinkedIn profile pictures. Is it a good idea? Should you turn it on?
There are pros and cons to this photo frame, let me explain…
First, let’s first take a step back. LinkedIn has a setting that allows you to communicate your interest in new job opportunities, it’s called, “Open to Work” and by activating it, you let recruiters know you?re open to opportunities. You also appear in recruiter searches matching your career interests.
LinkedIn attempts to keep this setting private by not displaying it to recruiters working at your current company but they can?t guarantee complete privacy. The reason they can’t guarantee your privacy is that many companies outsource their recruiting efforts. Recruiters hired by a company will not be associated with that company on LinkedIn. Regardless, I wouldn’t worry too much. The chance of a rogue recruiter throwing you under the bus by announcing your interest in new job opportunities to your current company is unlikely.
Just as LinkedIn tries to protect your privacy, they also give you the chance to announce your job seeker status to the world!
You can share that you are #OPENTOWORK with all LinkedIn members.
When you share with all LinkedIn members, a green photo frame appears over your LinkedIn profile photo with the hashtag #OPENTOWORK. This green crescent is visible to EVERYONE who can see your LinkedIn profile picture.
Now that you have some background on the setting and what it means… what do you do? Should you turn it on? Should you only show it to recruiters? What’s the right decision? The answer isn’t clear cut, there are pros and cons to showing your job seeker status to all LinkedIn members.
1. CON: Not everyone wants their job seeker status to infiltrate their brand image so completely. There’s nothing wrong with looking for a job but is that the message you want to lead with?
2. PRO: By putting your jobseeker status front and center, people see it and can potentially help!
3. CON: By putting your jobseeker status front and center, certain people can inundate you with scams and spam. There are vultures on LinkedIn and the #opentowork photo frame is akin to tying a piece of meat around your neck.
3. PRO: By choosing to display the #opentowork photo frame, all recruiters will see you are interested in new opportunities. When you choose to only allow recruiters to see you are open to new opportunities, you are limiting yourself because not every recruiter subscribes to LinkedIn’s Recruiter product. Many recruiters use the free version of LinkedIn and like renegades, they utilize Google Xray search to find candidates. These recruiters won’t see that you are open and looking.
4. CON: As long as your profile is optimized and aligns you perfectly to your next desired role, a recruiter searching LinkedIn will find you and reach out whether you are employed or not. A photo frame shouldn’t make a difference as long as you look like a match to the job they are filling.
The answer ultimately depends on you and how comfortable you are with letting everyone in your network and the world at large know you are open to new job opportunities. Some people will do it and have great results, while some people will NOT do it and still have great results. Showing you are open is not a guarantee of future employment. With that said, the clearer you are in your intentions, the greater likelihood you have of achieving your goals.
If you like the idea of using your LinkedIn profile photo to signal more than just a friendly face, here are instructions to design your own custom LinkedIn profile photo frame.
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