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Should I use the #opentowork banner on LinkedIn?

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Question: “Somer, in terms of personal brand what do folks or you think of the #opentowork banner feature on the profile pic on LinkedIn?” – HRBP Leader & VP Engineering


Great question.

This keeps coming up.

I was wondering about this too but don't have enough data yet… I’m going to pose this to my network.

There is an unspoken bias that hiring managers and recruiters prefer passive candidates.

In these unprecedented times, is this still the case?

We have a choice: to click or not to click. To read a profile or pass it by.

Great things happen when we spark conversation. Is an "advertisement" on one's picture putting us in a situation where there is more assumption and less dialogue?

I asked my LinkedIn network to vote on the poll: If you were/are hiring, does a candidate with the OpenToWork banner on their profile help their chances, hurt their chances, or make no difference at all?

PS: I've heard people refer to the banner as OpenToNetwork; the typeface is small and all caps. In closer inspection it says OpenToWork.

Results of the poll:

Banner is viewed positively: 29%

Banner is viewed negatively: 24%

No difference in consideration: 47%

There were 34 votes.

My thoughts:

I applaud LinkedIn for this feature, helping facilitate appropriate connections. During these unprecedented times I’ve seen such kindness from people. Everyone, including myself, has a hidden fan club they’ve likely now discovered.

The answer won’t be so cut and dry, and likely depends on the audience. Job seekers spend countless hours perfecting their presence to enter the top of the hiring funnel. Numerous articles have been written (and companies built) on perfecting LinkedIn, from the tagline to the profile body, along with writing one’s resume. Candidates are hoping to have that first conversation to simply be considered.

My feeling is that one’s “fan club” would view the banner with warmth, honesty, and transparency. They’ll have the job seeker top of mind. I also feel that hiring managers and recruiters who have an urgent need will find the banner useful, in targeting those who want to hear their message. 

For everyone else, I feel the opinions will vary. There is a reason job seekers have asked me this question; the answer isn’t clear.  Curious what advice to give. Ultimately it’s a personal decision. 

Time (and data) will tell. 


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