open to new opportunitiesAre you looking for a job? Then here’s the number one thing that doesn’t belong in your LinkedIn profile, and that’s “open to new opportunities,” or “seeking new opportunities.”

LinkedIn is the globally recognized site that employers and recruiters use to source candidates; it’s also the best foundation for building a network of connections willing to help one another. So – does it help or hinder job seekers to write some variation of “open to new opportunities,” in their LinkedIn profile headline?

No recruiter or hiring manager uses “open to new opportunities” as keywords to find candidates; “seeking new opportunities,” or variations on that theme says nothing at all about what you do, or why employers would find you valuable. Not only that, but many argue that it makes you look desperate. There’s no shame in being unemployed – it’s a condition most of us experience at least once throughout our careers – but it’s also not a compelling reason for someone to hire you.

But people do it anyway. When you are looking for work, you want to do everything possible to make your job search go faster. Stating that you are currently open to new opportunities fulfills that need for you, even if it does nothing to help you get found by employers. But standard advice says to let everyone know that you are actively looking for employment because – hey, you never know who might be able to help. And I’m all for that, but do that by networking, not advertising that you are seeking new opportunities in writing for all to see. Read this article from Forbes.

So what should your LinkedIn profile consist of? Fill the 120-character headline with mostly talent and skill-related keywords. Use as much of the 2000 character allowance to write a compelling summary. Upload relevant media. Make intelligent comments on other people’s posts. Use the banner as the valuable real estate it is to promote your employee brand.

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