#OPENTOWORK on Linkedin for Execs: YES or NO?

#OPENTOWORK on Linkedin for Execs: YES or NO?

If you don’t feel like reading the whole article and summary of our poll with the commentary: the short answer is NO. But it’s not a NO and that’s it. It’s a NO that has two * to it which we’ll describe at the end of this post, so feel free to skip ahead.

We created a poll on LinkedIn asking: “An experienced manager / executive uses the “green frame” on the profile picture. What do you think?”. And the answers they could choose from were:

  • Great!
  • It might help
  • I don’t know
  • It’s not professional!

Overall, more than 270 LinkedIn’ers participated with the following results:

  • 15% → Great!
  • 23% → It might help
  • 28% → I don’t know
  • 34% → It’s not professional!

In other words: one-third says: (probably) yes; another third: I don’t know; and the rest says: definite no! It’s a controversial topic that stirs up a lot of emotions and heated discussions. But there’s more!

Data for Non-Poles vs. Poles

Historically, as Career Angels was originally founded in Poland, we were able to divide the group into two segments: Poles and non-Poles – and those results are much more interesting!

Non-Poles Poles Great! 9% 17% It might help 36% 20% I don't know 22% 29% It's not professional! 33% 34%

Poles are much more vocal to support the #OPENTOWORK frame, whereas non-Poles are much more cautious and say “maybe”, BUT they are vocal about saying “It’s not professional!” for experienced managers and executives.

So, what’s our verdict? As career advisers, we recommend our executive clients to err on the side of caution. You have only one career. One reputation. And sometimes only one chance to get a job – or at least get an invitation to a recruitment process. And, let’s be honest, the VAST majority of mature candidates on the market do not have the luxury of turning down job offers, “If they don’t accept my green frame, I don’t want to work for them.” And then again… who are “they”? It’s people who research the market for candidates, HR professionals or hiring managers who verify somebody’s profile – and everybody has their own opinion. Their bias doesn’t represent the job market’s or their company’s bias.

Or, quoting an Executive Search Consultant from a couple of months ago, “You know how it is. Candidates who are employed or who are not actively looking are better candidates”. It’s not about lying by misrepresenting that you are not employed anymore or feeling embarrassed about it, but there’s also no need to advertise it.

The 1st * is about alternatives to the green frame:

  • reach out to your network in a personalized, elegant manner (yes, it’s a lot of work, but who said that looking for a job isn’t time-consuming!)
  • update the settings in your profile to signal recruiters, and only recruiters, that you are interested in opportunities
  • research job ads that you’d normally apply to and add the relevant skills that you have to your profile; bonus: ask your contacts to endorse them
  • join initiatives like Challenge Accepted
  • optimize your LinkedIn profile so that others (and LinkedIn algorithm) can find you
  • make sure your profile has the right keywords for both the human reader and the algorithm
  • start being visible within your target group by sharing valuable content. Right now, not even 1% of LinkedIn users contribute – which means that there’s a high chance that if you decide to publish something, LinkedIn will pick up your material to encourage your activity further! Important: publish for your target group (potential direct reports) and not for your peers or industry!

There’s no recruiter in this world who gets up in the morning, sits down at their desk with a hot cup of coffee and say, “Let’s recruit only candidates with a green frame”. If anything, they might skip your profile as they might assume you are desperate. And desperate candidates are usually trouble or at least more work.

The 2nd *: it MIGHT work…

if your LinkedIn network consists of people who you personally know and then it’s an easy channel of communication as you are letting only them know what’s going on. On the other hand, if your settings are set to “public” – everybody will see it – sooner or later.

But again, if you are a senior candidate, better to err on the side of caution unless you do have the luxury of missing out on recruitment processes. Then you can do whatever you want!

If you are an experienced manager or executive who might need help with their LinkedIn profile, you can request two things for free by clicking here:

  1. LinkedIn Report
  2. Career Consultation of 20-30 min

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