What Job Seekers Need to Know about LinkedIn’s Open Candidates Function
By now you’ve probably heard that if you’re actively job searching, you need to be on LinkedIn. And, even if you’re not actively job searching, you’re missing out on opportunities to network. Job networking on LinkedIn can help you grow your career. LinkedIn is a popular resource many employers, recruiters, and professionals have come to rely on daily. As it relates to the job seeker, employers and recruiters are using it to find the next big talent for their job openings. It’s critical that you’re on it with a profile optimized to help with the job search. One of LinkedIn’s latest features called Open Candidates is also helping to make things easier for job seekers to get in front of the right recruiters.
LinkedIn’s Open Candidates feature allows you to let recruiters know that you’re open to new employment opportunities without giving it away to your existing employer. There’s a fine line to balance if you’re currently employed and job searching. For many job seekers, you don’t want your current employer to find out you’re looking for new opportunities so you may turn off certain settings on LinkedIn to prevent information from showing up on the feed. Now, there’s even more you can do to conduct the job search securely. The new feature also helps employed professionals who are struggling to find the time to conduct job searching because by activating this feature you can now reach out to an audience of recruiters looking for your type of talent.
What is LinkedIn’s Open Candidates function?
The Open Candidates function on LinkedIn allows you to secretly let recruiters know you’re looking for new job opportunities because only recruiters that are not employed or affiliated with your current employer will see you have activated this function. Every effort is made to make this work for job seekers who don’t want to expose themselves, but like anything else it’s not 100% full-proof. In some instances, recruiters with access to Open Candidates may share information or there may be recruiters employed with your current employer who have not made the association with them on their profile, therefore resulting in access to your details. But all in all, don’t let that stop you from the benefits this feature has to offer. Any questions your employer may have may simply be address with “I’m not actively looking, but like to be kept informed on things. And it may be helpful to some of the colleagues I know who are job searching.”
Is this feature Free?
This is a free feature available to all with a LinkedIn profile. It was introduced in October 2016 and LinkedIn continues testing the new feature for members. Once the feature is turned on your career goals and career interests is shared with recruiters who have paid for the premium “LinkedIn Recruiter” add-on. Recruiters with this service can now find you based on your shared career interests.
How do I turn on the feature on LinkedIn?
Log on to your LinkedIn profile and click on ‘Jobs’ in the navigation bar at the top, on the Home page. Click on the ‘Preferences’ tab under the job search bar and you’ll be on the page to switch the feature from off to on, under “Let recruiters know you’re open.”
Once you’ve turned the feature on, it’ll prompt you to fill in your career preferences, including the kinds of job you’re looking for, type of job, information on how soon your available to start a new position, and you can write an introduction or include any other information you’d like recruiters to know.
This feature will be turned on for 180 days. After that period the feature is automatically turned off and you must go back in to turn it back on, if you choose. This ensures recruiters are provided with information on job candidates who are current.
As awesome as this new feature is for those looking for job opportunities, it is still critical to have a fully completed and optimized LinkedIn profile. Recruiters aren’t only looking at the information that’s sent along when you turn the feature on. They are also looking at your LinkedIn profile. For more tips, also read: “Tips to Writing a Summary for Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume” and “How to Make the ‘Skills & Expertise’ Section of Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You.”