Does using LinkedIn #OpenToWork increase your chances of getting a job?

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Veronika Belova
by Veronika Belova

2 Min. Read

Should you use LinkedIn #OpentoWork? The feature isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.

If you’re on LinkedIn, you want to connect professionally with others, and in many cases, search for a job or connect with recruiters. But you also don’t want to appear desperately unemployed – even if you are.

Of course, it seems obvious that many recruiters look to hire people who are unemployed but using the LinkedIn Open to Work feature can help or hurt you, depending on exactly how you use it. This article will dig into the LinkedIn Open to Work feature, explaining what Open to Work on LinkedIn means, how to add and turn off Open to Work on LinkedIn – and most importantly, how to use it to your advantage and increase your chances of getting a job.

What Open to Work on LinkedIn means

The status feature Open to Work has two different options that allow you to share your employment status: with either recruiters only or all LinkedIn members. You can make it visible by visiting the ‘Add New Profile’ section next to your profile shot and clicking ‘Looking for a new job’ in the Intro section at the top. You can also select parameters, like start date or job location.

When you make Open to Work visible to all members, there’s a green photo frame around your profile pic that shares that you’re indeed, “open to work.” It appears as a green circle around your picture saying #OpentoWork. If you’re still working at a company, know that your current company can see this green frame, which can essentially out you as looking for a new job. This could make things pretty awkward for you at your current job, so for those currently employed, having the LinkedIn Open to Work frame visible to all members is definitely not a good idea.

The other option means that your availability and openness to employment are only visible to recruiters that are using LinkedIn Recruiter – those that are actively searching for future employees. Selecting this option won’t create a frame around your profile photo.

If you’re wondering how to turn off Open to Work on LinkedIn, you click the Open to Work icon in your profile and select edit. Change your preference, opting to either hide the #OpentoWork frame and share only with recruiters or delete Open to Work entirely from your profile.

Why should you turn Open to Work on?

According to LinkedIn data, having Open To Work on your profile doubles your chances of getting a message from a recruiter. It can also help you gain visibility, connect with the right people, get relevant job listings and notifications, and it shows you are eager and excited to work.

If you’re unemployed and looking for work, sharing #OpentoWork with your LinkedIn network is honest, showing all your connections you are ready and willing for employment. This can increase the likelihood of getting a job.

colleagues discussing about the #opentowork tag

Why shouldn’t you turn Open to Work on?

Turning on #OpentoWork to everyone

There are downsides to using Open to Work on LinkedIn. If you’re sharing the #OpentoWork status with everyone, sharing with the world that you are open to work means that everyone, including current or former employers, can see the information. It can come off as desperate or needy.

Anyone with recruiter bias or gap employment bias may find the #OpentoWork photo frame a turn-off and may opt to not hire you, preferring to speak with more passive candidates.‍

You may also attract less ethical recruiters or even be the subject of spam or phishing.

Turning on Open to Work to recruiters only

Since this option only shows your openness for employment to recruiters using LinkedIn Recruiter, it means only those searching for employees will see that you’re open to work. But, if you’re really in the market for a job, it could limit your options by just sharing your (un)employment status with recruiters only.

Bottom line: how to use LinkedIn OpenToWork to your advantage

Turn on LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature for recruiters only

We think that turning on LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature to recruiters only is the best way to glean benefits. Although it may keep you from an opportunity or two, it really focuses on letting the people that matter see you’re open to employment, filtering out any spam, fishing, or external noise that can come from having the #OpentoWork frame so visibly displayed around your profile photo.

Going beyond OpenToWork

Our 3 top tips for job hunting on LinkedIn:

  • Track which recruiters you have connected and engaged with
  • Use a chrome extension to send personalized message templates to recruiters
  • Bring something fresh to the table when the conversation starts

Track which recruiters you have connected and engaged with

Surfe is a chrome extension that allows you to add LinkedIn contacts to your CRM or a Google Sheet. It’s an easy way of tracking which recruiters you’ve connected and engaged with. Each time you reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn, simply hit the ‘Add as Contact’ button and we will automatically add all of their information (including their name, company, position, and contact details) to your Google Sheet for you. It’s an easy way of going back and checking your progress, tracking how many recruiters you’v reached out to, and following up after a few days.

Use a chrome extension to send personalized message templates to recruiters

Surfe also provides you with the means to reach out to recruiters quickly through personalized message templates. Message templates allow you to insert a predetermined message into a LinkedIn message or InMail in one-click. You can use variables like #firstname and #companyname to personalize your messages. It means you can send more messages in the short time you have. Why not try a message like this:

“Hi #firstname, I’ve just applied for the Account Manager position at #companyname and wanted to connect. I’m veyr interested in the work #companyname is doing and look forward to hopefully discussing the position with you soon. Best regards, [your name].”

Bring something fresh to the table when the conversation starts

Recruiters are often looking for fresh ideas and boundary pushing mindsets. When they talk about targets, you talk about Surfe. Surfe focuses on streamlining the entire sales funnel, from prospecting and outreach to deal closure and nurturing. It’s a tool that directly impacts KPIs by increasing productivity and efficiency. Highlighting such a tool in an interview shows your deep knowledge of the sales space and exhibits a solution focused mindset.


Try Surfe for free now

Whether it’s tracking your new LinkedIn connections, engagement with recruiters, sending personalized message templates, or impact KPIs once you get the job, Surfe’s got you covered.


How does using the #OpenToWork feature affect visibility towards one’s current employer, and are there options to limit this exposure?

LinkedIn offers settings to limit who can see your #OpenToWork status, potentially reducing visibility to your current employer. However, complete privacy cannot be guaranteed.

Are there specific strategies or tips for optimizing one’s LinkedIn profile in conjunction with the #OpenToWork feature to maximize job opportunities?

Enhance your profile with detailed work experiences, skills, and a clear headline. Use relevant keywords and engage with your network to increase visibility alongside the #OpenToWork feature.

How might using the #OpenToWork feature impact a professional’s reputation within their industry or network?

Using #OpenToWork can signal openness to opportunities, showing proactivity. However, perceptions vary, and some may view it as desperation. It’s important to consider your industry’s norms and network’s attitudes.