#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 the summary of the poll with our 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 our followers could choose from were:

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

Overall, more than 270 LinkedIn users 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 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!

Poles are much more vocal in supporting 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 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, saying “If they don’t accept my green frame, I don’t want to work for them.” And then again… who are “they”? It’s HR professionals, the people who research the market for candidates, 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 biases.

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 either.

The 1st * is about the 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 to recruiters, and only recruiters, that you are interested in new opportunities
  • research job ads that you’d normally apply to and add relevant skills that you have; bonus: ask your contacts to endorse them
  • join initiatives like Challenge Accepted
  • optimize your LinkedIn profile so that others (and the LinkedIn algorithm) can find you
  • make sure your profile has the right keywords for both the human reader and the algorithm
  • increase your visibility 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 the 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 says, “Let’s recruit only the candidates with a green frame.” If anything, they might skip your profile as they might assume you are desperate. And desperate candidates usually mean 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 a free LinkedIn Report with feedback on all your sections systematically, as well as a 20-to-30-minute Career Consultation, also free of charge!