There’s an old adage that one shouldn’t put all of their eggs in one basket, and this is particularly true of conducting a job search. I advise my clients that to get the best results from any job hunt, they must utilize every method at their disposal. One of the many free and effective tools available is LinkedIn®. This element of social media has made searching and applying for jobs easier by launching new features such as Open Candidates to help job seekers like you without alerting your current employer.
Sending A Signal
The newest addition to the career tools offered by LinkedIn is called Open Candidates. This free program allows you to send a signal to recruiters on LinkedIn that you are searching for a job but “hides” the signal from your current employer. To make things even better, Open Candidates lets you modify your signal to identify roles and companies in which you are most interested. The potential for harnessing the attention of recruiters is limitless as there are literally hundreds of thousands of recruiters who search LinkedIn for professional talent such as yours.
Using Open Candidates
To reap the benefits of the Open Candidates feature, you must have a LinkedIn profile. After you have created and updated your profile, the new tool is simple to use. Log in and go to your home page. You will see a “Jobs” tab at the top of the page. Click on “Jobs” and then look for the “Preferences” tab in the toolbar. When you click on “Preferences,” a window will appear. Once in this window, you can turn “On” the Open Candidates feature by sliding the button to the “On” position. You will then answer a few short questions to match yourself with positions and recruiters that meet your requirements. If you need visual help, the official LinkedIn Blog has created an easy-to-follow quick tutorial for using Open Candidates.
Open Candidates Operation
After you turn “On” Open Candidates, your information will be shared, allowing recruiters to see that you are open to new career opportunities. One of the great qualities of this feature is that it hides your signal from recruiters at your company and partner companies. This means you can expand your job search with little risk of your current employer finding out. While this program reduces the risk your employer won’t see your signal, it does have limitations so be sure to read “The Flip Side” below.
Learning On LinkedIn
Another terrific tool you’ll find on LinkedIn to assist with your job search is LinkedIn Learning. This free, digital platform allows you to strengthen your existing skill set or acquire new skills through tutorials to help you land the job you have been dreaming of. There is a multitude of courses to choose from including “How to Rock Social Media,” “Introduction to Content Marketing,” and “Getting Started with Video Production and Editing.” You can even learn how to lure recruiters. With each “course” you take, you expand your skills and make yourself more interesting to recruiters searching for professional talent.
A Full Tool Box
In addition to Open Candidates and LinkedIn Learning, the social media magnet has other tools to use during your career search. With more than six million jobs posted on LinkedIn, searching for the right company can become tedious. LinkedIn added Career Pages so you can learn about the culture of each company you are considering. To add to your tool box, check out “Meet the Team.” This LinkedIn application allows you to see potential future colleagues at companies you are interested in. Yet another benefit of LinkedIn is that you can see which of your connections are currently employed by companies where you want to apply. This could help you to get your foot in the door with a hiring manager, and give you an extra boost when it comes to your resume making the cut.
Where Can I Use Open Candidates?
This new feature is earmarked for global utilization in the near future, but is currently only available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The best part is it’s usable on desktop and mobile devices for your convenience.
Benefitting From Open Candidates
To get the most out of the Open Candidates feature, it behooves you to review and update your LinkedIn profile. I can’t emphasize enough that making a great first impression is critical. Since recruiters will often turn to your profile to learn more about your background, make sure they are going to like what they see. In addition, be prepared to answer questions about which positions and geographic locations you are interested in, as well as when you could potentially begin a new job. Finally, consider the size of company you wish to work for. By thinking about these things ahead of time, you’ll be more prepared when a recruiter is ready to talk.
The Flip Side
A recent blog by Irina Shamaeva, “A Close Look at ‘Open to New Opportunities’”, points out two major issues with the Open Candidates program you should be aware of. First, the signal that you are interested in new opportunities is sent only to LinkedIn Recruiter product subscribers. Because the subscription is expensive, many smaller companies and recruiting agencies can’t afford it, which means they won’t get your bat-signal of availability. Be sure to reach out to them in some other manner, whether by phone, email, or snail mail.
The other flaw is that this program does have the potential to signal the wrong eyes. While Open Candidates keeps your signal from being seen by recruiters at your company or its affiliates, divisions of your employer registered as a separate business and third-party recruiters can still see that you are job hunting. In addition, if your employer has friends at other companies with subscriptions to the service, they could ask them to search for people they think may be looking to jump ship. I recommend you avoid turning the Open Candidates feature on if you are concerned about your employer finding out you are looking at new options.
The Right Tools For The Right Job
As a seasoned career guru, I encourage you to use as many tools as possible during your job search. LinkedIn is one of the terrific social media tools you should be utilizing if you aren’t already doing so. Not only can it help you to network and expand your horizons, but it offers several features to aid you in narrowing your search so you can key in on companies you are most interested in. While there is a potential risk that your current employer could find out you are eyeing other opportunities, the potential gain far outweighs the risk. Now it’s time to freshen up your profile, turn on your signal, and be prepared for recruiters to contact you. Remember, using a breadth of the right tools will help you land the right job.
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You can also find me at Great Resumes Fast, where I help busy job seekers create interviewing-winning resumes, shorten their job searches, and increase their earning potential.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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