Career Corner: Looking for a New Job? Should You Get Loud About Your Availability

Job Search

If you have been out of work lately, perhaps you have been seeing others using hashtags like #OpentoWork and wondering if that is a strategy worth trying to get more interviews.

It is a strange paradigm shift, where being unemployed used to nearly make you a pariah to recruiters, but now in the culture of the pandemic candidates are openly sharing their job status.

However, all that ultimately matters is, does it help? Or are you inadvertently hurting your chances? Te-Ping Chen of the Wall Street Journal offered some thoughts on the merits of this strategy.

According to LinkedIn, people who use the #OpentoWork hashtag on their platform have received 40% more messages from recruiters on the site. What’s more, LinkedIn also reports a 20% increase in messages from other members of the site for those who have used the hashtag.

And yet, experts are divided on whether they recommend you attempt this for yourself or not. Job-search coach Angela Watts said based on her experiences both pre and post-pandemic, employers still view unemployment with a stigma. And some research does support that perspective.

For instance, Indeed shared that in 2021 77% of hiring managers said that they assumed an unemployed candidate would require more training to be ready for the job. And 70% said they feared someone who is currently unemployed would be a less productive worker for them.

If you are looking for a clear-cut answer on whether or not you should use the hashtag, unfortunately, there are compelling arguments for both sides. Some LinkedIn users report an immediate response from advertising their unemployment status, while others say the majority of the responses were for jobs unrelated to what they do.

Ultimately it is a personal judgment call if you decide to test out the strategy. Though if you have been struggling to get interviews at all, you may figure you can hardly do worse for trying something new.

If you are still deliberating how much you should be broadcasting your availability to work, check out the full Wall Street Journal article here.


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