LinkedIn's 'Open To Work' Banner Is 'Biggest Red Flag' When It Comes To Landing A Job, Says Former Google Recruiter

Zinger Key Points
  • Former Google recruiter believes posting a banner on your LinkedIn page is "the biggest red flag" of a job candidate.
  • “There is a truism in recruiting that the best people are not looking for jobs,” he says.

Microsoft Corp’s MSFT LinkedIn lets job seekers post “open to work” banners on their profiles to let employers know they are searching for jobs. But, activating it could be a mistake.

What To Know: Former Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL recruiter and current CEO of FairComp Nolan Church believes posting an “open to work” banner on your LinkedIn page is “the biggest red flag” as a job candidate, per CNBC.

"There is a truism in recruiting that the best people are not looking for jobs," Nolan said.

He’s not alone in his thinking. Former Amazon.com Inc AMZN recruiter Lindsay Mustain believes recruiting is all about power dynamics. Recruiters want to want you, not the other way around, she said.

Activating the “open to work” banner on LinkedIn shows that you are in need of something, which can be a turn-off and gives potential employers all of the power in conversations, Mustain explained.

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So what does that mean for the more than 33 million LinkedIn users who are currently using the “open to work” banner on their profiles? Well, LinkedIn tends to disagree with the hiring experts, but the data is unclear.

LinkedIn can’t see how many job offers come as a result of a candidate posting the banner on their profile, but message data appears to tell a different story.

Those who post the “open to work” banner on the business-focused social media platform are twice as likely to get messaged by a recruiter and are about 20% more likely to get a message from the broader LinkedIn community.

However, this may be due to a bump in visibility for smaller companies. Many small businesses don’t pay up for the recruiter tools on LinkedIn, so the banners can help them identify prospective candidates.

Ultimately, it’s going to depend on the company and the hiring manager’s preferences. Some may find it helpful, while others may see it as a red flag.

Career coach Phoebe Gavin told CNBC that what really matters in a LinkedIn profile is having a list of titles, achievements, keywords and featured links that can show how involved you are in your industry.

“If you have ‘open to work' up but your profile is a wasteland, it's not going to make a difference at all. Because even if a recruiter finds you, they're not going to learn anything useful,” Gavin said.

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This story is part of a series of features on the subject of success, Benzinga Inspire.

Photo: Jérémy from HelpIn/Flickr.

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