Land the Job

Don’t use LinkedIn's ‘open to work’ sign, says former Google recruiter: It feels ‘like desperation’

Source: Envato Elements

As many as 117 job applications are submitted on LinkedIn every second, according to the site. To stand out from the pack and land your dream job, there are a number of steps experts recommend. Use your banner to show off professional accomplishments. Use featured links to give examples of your work. Update your profile regularly to ensure it reflects your many skills.

But when it comes to what not to do, "the biggest red flag on LinkedIn is the 'open to work' symbol," says former Google recruiter Nolan Church, now the CEO of talent marketplace Continuum.

It's a "hot take," he says, but here's why he stands by it.

It feels 'like desperation'

When it comes to job interviews, you want to give the company you're interviewing with the sense that you have other options and that they have to fight for you. "Recruiting is like dating," says Church. "You have to make the other side feel like you're exclusive."

What you're signaling to hiring managers with the "open to work" sign on LinkedIn is that you'll take any job, says Church, from whoever reaches out to you, because maybe nobody is. "It actually feels to a hiring manager like desperation," he says.

As a recruiter, "you want to feel like that person really wants to work at your company versus any company," says Church. And that sign makes it look like the opposite.

'When you look desperate, people don't want you'

Ultimately, recruiters believe "the best people are not looking for jobs," says Church. "You have to go and pull them out." Those people are always open to conversations with prospective employers, but they're happy where they are because their skills and talents have helped them build great opportunities for themselves.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't apply to jobs if you're looking for the next role, says Church. Just don't signal it so openly on LinkedIn.

"You have to create desire," he says. "For better or worse, it's just how humans are wired — when you look desperate, people don't want you."

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