In the competitive world of job hunting, your online presence can play a pivotal role in landing your dream job. LinkedIn, as the professional networking platform of choice for many, offers a feature called “Open to Work” that allows jobseekers to signal their availability to potential employers. However, is this feature really the beacon of opportunity it appears to be? A former Google recruiter, Nolan Church, has expressed reservations about it, deeming it a potential “red flag” for hiring managers. In this article, we’ll delve into Church’s insights and explore how you can discreetly convey your job availability on LinkedIn without appearing desperate.

A Closer Look at Church’s Perspective

Nolan Church, a former Google recruiter, shared his perspective on LinkedIn’s “Open to Work” tag in an interview with CNBC. According to Church, this feature may not be as advantageous for jobseekers as it initially seems. Here’s why:

Exclusive Access vs. Desperation

Church emphasizes that hiring managers often prefer to believe that they have exclusive access to a highly sought-after candidate. When they see the “Open to Work” tag on a LinkedIn profile, it can inadvertently create an impression of desperation. Jobseekers want to be perceived as valuable assets, not individuals desperately seeking any available job.

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The Appeal of Passive Candidates

Church asserts that the most desirable job candidates are typically not actively searching for new employment. Recruiters often target these passive candidates and persuade them to consider leaving their current roles. By openly signaling an active job search, you might miss out on the opportunity to be considered as a valuable, passive candidate.

Brianna Rooney’s Take on the Matter

Brianna Rooney, the founder and CEO of TalentPerch, a recruitment firm, echoes Church’s sentiments. She believes that openly conveying an active job search to hiring managers can be seen as a sign of desperation. In her view, jobseekers should strive to avoid appearing overly eager to secure a job.

Rooney suggests an alternative approach:

Discreetly Signaling Availability

Rather than using the “Open to Work” tag, Rooney recommends that jobseekers opt for a more discreet approach to convey their availability to potential employers. By doing so, you can avoid broadcasting your intentions publicly on your LinkedIn profile while still indicating that you are open to new opportunities.

How to Discreetly Signal Job Availability on LinkedIn

So, how can you let potential employers know you’re open to job opportunities without resorting to the “Open to Work” tag? Here are some effective strategies:

1. Optimize Your Headline

Your LinkedIn headline is one of the first things people see when they visit your profile. Use this space to mention your expertise, industry, and availability. For example, “Experienced Marketing Professional Open to New Opportunities.”

2. Customize Your About Section

In your About section, you can provide more details about your professional journey and aspirations. Mention that you’re exploring new career avenues without explicitly saying you’re actively job hunting.

3. Share Relevant Content

Share articles and updates related to your industry. This can subtly indicate your engagement with your field and your potential availability for new opportunities.

4. Connect and Network

Actively connect with professionals in your industry and engage in meaningful conversations. This can help you build relationships and increase your chances of being noticed by potential employers.

5. Use the “Career Interests” Feature

LinkedIn offers a “Career Interests” section where you can signal your job preferences discreetly. This information is only visible to recruiters and won’t be displayed on your public profile.


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