Should I Use The Linkedin Green Banner To Show I’m “Open To Work”?

A jobseeker logging into linkedin to use the linkedin green banner to help with their job search

Searching for a new job can be difficult. If you are seeking a new job, it might seem impossible to stand out from the crowd. You might be struggling with how to easily let recruiters and hiring managers know that you are “open to work”, without spamming people with your CV.

The LinkedIn green banner showcases that you are actively looking for work. It was launched in June 2020 to help people find work during the mass disruption of the workforce during Covid-19. Aiming to be the job-seeking and recruitment tool of choice, the use of the LinkedIn green banner has been at the source of debate since its launch.

What is the LinkedIn green banner?

The LinkedIn green banner is a feature on the professional social media channel which shows that you are “open to work”. LinkedIn has reported that using this option increases a user’s chance of receiving messages from recruiters by 40%. The banner appears as a green flag in the corner of your LinkedIn profile picture, and says #Opentowork. It’s a permanent feature on your profile until you choose to remove it, so when you’re reacting or commenting on posts it lets people know you are looking for a new opportunity.

When selecting the feature, you can choose between the options of making the banner visible to recruiters only or all LinkedIn users. Turning it on for the general public means everyone will be able to see your #opentowork green LinkedIn banner on your profile picture, including colleagues. Therefore, we do not recommend turning it on for everyone to see if you are currently employed, unless you are going through redundancy measures.

LinkedIn Talent Solutions, including LinkedIn Recruiter and Recruiter Lite are predominantly used by agency recruiters and talent / HR professionals in need of doing complex searches on a regular basis to identify talent. You are able to choose to only make the banner visible to those who use one of these solutions. Therefore, this is a discreet option to use if you are currently employed but are seeking a new role. It will help highlight your profile when these hiring professionals do searches for people with your skillset.

According to LinkedIn, this option won’t be visible to recruiters at your current company. However, some organisations may find ways around this such as asking recruiters from other companies to do a search of their employees.

The LinkedIn green banner debate

As with many features on LinkedIn and other social channels, there is a debate about how useful it is. Lots of people question whether the feature is “a sign of desperation” or a “red flag to recruiters and hiring managers”. Others say the feature “revolutionises” the job market for recruiters and candidates. The truth can be found somewhere in the middle and below are the pros and cons of the feature.

What are the advantages of using the LinkedIn green banner when job searching?

Firstly, LinkedIn is a great professional tool for job searching. By optimising your LinkedIn, you can showcase your skills, your latest projects and qualifications, in addition to networking and raising your profile amongst your peers. The site has a lot to offer people searching for work.

Specifically, if you choose to use the green banner on LinkedIn to highlight that you’re “open to work”, you will be able to:

Have recruiters find you easily

By using the feature, you will be visible to recruiters searching for candidates with your matching experience and skillset. Recruiters are likely to prioritise speaking to you (an active candidate) over someone who isn’t showing they are open to work (a passive candidate). Therefore, you will likely catch their eye sooner as someone who is open to discussing great opportunities.

Invite connections to keep you in mind for job opportunities

Your network should contain former colleagues and industry peers. They may not be aware that you are searching for work, so if you use the LinkedIn green banner “open to work” feature and set it so everyone in your network can see, you might have some luck that way. It’s likely they will be very happy to introduce you to work opportunities.

Suggests you could be able to start work sooner

If you use the banner, particularly the public version, hiring managers and recruiters may assume that you are unemployed. The positive to this is they will assume you will be able to start work sooner and will not have the risk of a counteroffer from a current company. This could work in your favour.

What are the disadvantages of a green LinkedIn banner?

The other side of the debate poses some disadvantages of using a LinkedIn “open to work” banner:

Suggests that you are unemployed

If you have your banner set to public, people may assume that you’re unemployed. Some hiring managers can be suspicious of why job seekers are unemployed, especially if they have numerous career gaps. Whilst you may have a perfectly adequate reason why you are not currently employed; it might raise questions.

Makes hiring managers think they can low ball you

Whilst articles that have said people using a LinkedIn green banner is “desperate” can be dismissed as clickbait, it may make some unscrupulous hiring managers or recruiters believe that you might take any job you’re offered at any salary. However, this is a reminder to stick to your guns and do what is best for you. Always be open to negotiating a higher salary if you think they may be undercutting you.

Spells trouble if you are currently employed

LinkedIn have said they do all they can to make sure the recruiters and internal talent/ HR team at your company cannot see that you are looking for work if you chose the more discreet “recruiters only” option. However, there are ways of getting around this if your organisation is determined to do so. On the other hand, if you do choose the public option, your coworkers and managers will see that you are looking for work elsewhere. This could affect relationships and cause problems during the interim period of your job search whilst you are still at the company. Plus, you might decide to stay at your current workplace after seeing what’s out there.

You’ll probably receive tonnes of spam

Many individuals find that they are constantly spammed on LinkedIn anyway. It’s not unusual to receive lots of connection requests and messages, from recruiters and salespeople, especially if you are in position of seniority. However, using this feature can be an extra obvious beacon that brings even more spam, with some reports that recruiters and hiring managers message people using the LinkedIn green banner feature with entirely unsuitable job opportunities because they know they are “open to work”.

 

Essentially, it is up to you to choose the right option for your job search. The LinkedIn green banner can be a useful tool, especially if you are out of work and are struggling to find work on your own. If it doesn’t work for you, you may want to try a different option such as approaching specialist recruiters directly.

 

If you are an IT professional looking for your next opportunity, take a look through our permanent and contract opportunities here, or send in your CV and we will contact you if we have a suitable opportunity for you.

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