Having a “Open to Work” banner on your LinkedIn profile has become an increasingly common way for professionals to signal that they are looking for new job opportunities. However, this feature also raises questions around visibility and privacy – who can see that you have your “Open to Work” status turned on? Is it visible to everyone or only to recruiters and hiring managers?
Who can see your Open to Work status?
The visibility of the Open to Work banner depends on your LinkedIn account settings. There are three main levels of visibility:
- Visible to all LinkedIn members
- Visible only to recruiters
- Visible only to LinkedIn recruiters
By default, the Open to Work setting is visible to all LinkedIn members when you turn it on. However, you can control the visibility and limit it only to recruiters or only to recruiters who have LinkedIn Recruiter seats.
Visible to all LinkedIn members
If you choose to make the Open to Work banner visible to all LinkedIn members, it will be publicly viewable by anyone who visits your profile. When people view your profile, the banner highlighting your openness to new opportunities will appear right below your name and headline.
This level of visibility casts a wide net and allows any LinkedIn connection, contact, or profile visitor to see that you are open to be contacted about new job possibilities. However, it also means that your current employer, coworkers, and contacts outside of your job search can view the banner as well.
Visible only to recruiters
The “visible to recruiters” setting narrows down the visibility of your Open to Work status only to people who have LinkedIn Recruiter licenses associated with their accounts. These are typically corporate recruiters, staffing professionals, and headhunters actively sourcing candidates on LinkedIn.
When your Open to Work banner is limited to recruiters, it will not be shown to general LinkedIn members who view your profile. Only recruiters will see the banner displayed on your profile. This allows you to selectively signal your interest to talent acquisition pros and hiring decision-makers without openly broadcasting it to your whole network.
Visible only to LinkedIn recruiters
The most restrictive visibility setting is “visible only to LinkedIn recruiters.” This displays your Open to Work banner specifically and exclusively to recruiters who are using LinkedIn’s Recruiter platform.
LinkedIn Recruiter is LinkedIn’s proprietary talent sourcing and engagement tool that integrates advanced searching, messaging, and profile management capabilities. If you limit Open to Work visibility to LinkedIn recruiters, third party agencies and independent recruiters will not be able to see your job searching status and intent.
Setting Open to Work to be visible only to LinkedIn Recruiters gives you the most control over who can see that you are open to new opportunities. It surfaces your profile and interest only to recruiters actively leveraging LinkedIn Recruiter to source candidates.
How recruiters see the Open to Work banner
When your Open to Work setting is visible to recruiters, here is how it appears to them:
- The banner highlights at the top of your profile saying “Open to work” and tags your name as a clickable link.
- On the LinkedIn Recruiter platform, profiles with Open to Work enabled are marked with a green dot icon.
- Open to Work profiles populate at the top of recruiters’ search results.
- Recruiters can filter searches specifically to only profiles with Open to Work showing.
In summary, having Open to Work turned on gives clear signals and profile visibility to recruiters looking for candidates. They can easily identify and surface the Open to Work members that match their search criteria.
How to view and control your Open to Work settings
You can view and manage the visibility of your Open to Work status through your LinkedIn account settings:
- Go to your LinkedIn profile and click the “More” icon in the top right corner.
- Select “Settings & Privacy” from the dropdown menu.
- In the left sidebar menu, click “Settings.”
- Scroll down and click “Career interests” under the “Discovery” section.
- Here you can view and edit the visibility of your Open to Work status.
You can select your desired level of visibility for the Open to Work banner and turn it on or off at any time. LinkedIn gives you granular control through these settings to either broadcast your job searching status publicly or selectively surface it only to recruiters.
Pros and cons of Open to Work visibility settings
Here is a summary of some key pros and cons for each level of Open to Work visibility:
|All LinkedIn members
|LinkedIn Recruiters only
In general, if you want the broadest visibility, display your Open to Work status to all LinkedIn members. But if you want to be more discreet and selective, limit visibility only to recruiters using LinkedIn Recruiter for the most private setting.
Tips for using Open to Work effectively
Here are some tips to use LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature effectively as part of your job search:
- Customize your LinkedIn headline to complement your Open to Work banner. Highlight your experience, skills, and what roles you are interested in.
- Expand your connections and follow relevant companies to increase visibility to more recruiters and opportunities.
- Engage regularly with content and the LinkedIn community to stay on recruiters’ radars. Comment on posts, share articles, and join groups.
- Utilize LinkedIn’s skills assessments to showcase your expertise and have the badges displayed on your profile.
- Research employers you’re interested in and connect with their talent acquisition specialists and team members.
- Leverage advanced LinkedIn Recruiter search filters like location, experience level and Open to Work to find ideal roles.
- Turn on job alerts and save searches to be notified of new opportunities that match your background and interests.
- Stay active in messaging and responding to inquiries once you have Open to Work enabled.
Having your Open to Work status enabled on LinkedIn allows you to put your profile and job search intentions in front of the right people. With options to control visibility, you can choose whether to broadcast openly or surface your availability selectively for discretion.
Pair Open to Work with a strong, updated profile and proactive search and outreach efforts to maximize your job search effectiveness on LinkedIn. The increased discoverability and visibility can connect you to new contacts, insights, and opportunities.
But always use common sense and good judgement when engaging with unfamiliar recruiters and exercise caution before sharing personal information. With smart utilization, LinkedIn’s Open to Work feature can expand your career connections and possibilities.