One LinkedIn Trick That Enables Recruiters To Find You

LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork feature can help you be found by recruiters.

People were skeptical when LinkedIn added the #OpenToWork feature a few years ago. Many job hunters worried that this tag surrounding their profile gave off an “I’m desperate” vibe. At that time, recruiters said it had no effect on them and that they ignored it.

Fast forward to now. Things have changed a great deal with many people quietly job hunting.  As a result, more people have been using this tag. But is there a better way to get recruiters’ attention without telling the universe you are job hunting?

Theresa Chow, Senior Recruiting Manager for Clark Nuber, shared her insight. “The #OpenToWork tag on a candidate’s photo doesn’t impact me. However, candidates seem unaware they can use that tag so only recruiters see it. Marking their profile as ‘Open to Work for recruiters’ makes it a searchable item for recruiters. I consider those candidates first as they are looking to leave versus those that are passive candidates. Usually, I start my search with the skillset and get hundreds of names. I can sort those so I see #OpenToWork candidates and contact them first. Only once I get through those individuals do I look at the passive candidates,” she says.

Another Senior HR recruiter said, “I like the tag because there is a higher chance that an individual might actually write us back! In today’s marketplace, we get ignored—a lot.”

Matthew Warzel, president of MJW Careers, noted that whether or not to use this feature is a personal decision involving your comfort level with publicly declaring that you are looking for a new job. Some job seekers may prefer to keep their job search private.

I also recommended you use the #OpenToWork tag but designate it so only recruiters can see it. Keep in mind this is only one passive way to job hunt. It’s not a one-and-done approach.

LinkedIn has reported that members who have added the “open to work” tag to their profiles are more likely to receive relevant job recommendations and more messages from recruiters. However, there is no guarantee that using this feature will lead to more interest. Numerous other search techniques, such as networking, should always be a part of any candidate’s strategy.

Ready to up your LinkedIn game?

Robin personally writes your LinkedIn profile so that you present an impressive personal brand and that employers find you.

How to set up #opentowork tag, so only recruiters see it

In the LinkedIn Recruiter help section they explain precisely how to use this feature to share with Recruiter privately they are job hunting. Only recruiters who aren’t affiliated with your current or related companies can view this tag.

To activate this feature, follow these steps on your Profile page.

Below your picture and headline, you’ll see the blue button “Open to.” Click on it and select “Finding a new job.”

Complete all the information requested. Note titles, locations, type of work—remote, in-person, hybrid.

Select Onsite location — identify where you live (select the city name if you are in a suburb).

In the Remote section, you can pick five locations to appear in searches. This makes locations a searchable item for recruiters so everyone should use it.

Select Immediately for the start date.

Select the Type of Work you desire—full-time, contract, etc.

On the bottom tab is a drop-down menu. Check the Recruiters only tab and they will be the only people who see the tag. (If you wish to make your search public, so anyone on LinkedIn can see this tag with its green label around your profile picture, click that option.)

Hit save.

This article was first published in Forbes

©2024 Robin Ryan

Picture of Robin Ryan

Robin Ryan

A career counselor that helps clients land jobs, I offer Resume Writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing, Interview Coaching, and Salary Negotiation services.

I’ve appeared on Oprah, Dr. Phil and over 3200 other TV and radio shows. A Wall Street Journal #1 bestselling author, I have written eight career books including: 60 Seconds & You’re Hired, Retirement Reinvention, Winning Resumes and Over 40 & You’re Hired. Currently I write a careers column for

Helping people advance their careers and land a new job is my mission.

Free 'LinkedIn Profiles' E-Guide

Sign up for Robin’s newsletter for timely job search tips and she’ll send you her free E-Guide for Creating an Impressive LinkedIn Profile.