Most job searches are confidential. Unless you’re retiring or relocating, it’s unlikely that you’d want your current employer to know that you are thinking about leaving. A few months ago, LinkedIn tapped into this concept by introducing Open Candidates.

This a new setting that you can turn on and off in your profile to confidentially signal to recruiters that you are open to new opportunities. This feature is useful for you as a job seeker, and for recruiters. Often recruiters will reach out to potential candidates based on their LinkedIn profiles to build a pipeline of candidates. This new feature will now let them know that you are open to them contacting you about potential opportunities, which may increase the likelihood of them doing that.

Unlike putting “Seeking New Opportunities” in your headline, this feature does not broadcast anything on your public profile. It does add an icon to your profile, but that icon is only visible when viewed by those with a LinkedIn Recruiter account. In addition, LinkedIn promises that the icon will not be visible to those who work at your present company. Is it foolproof? Probably not, but the odds of your boss finding out are low. The Open Candidates feature is very new, so time will tell how effective it is. In the meantime, it’s free and confidential so there is nothing to lose.

To test it out, go to the LinkedIn homepage, then click on Jobs, and then click on Preferences. You can enter specific preferences about what type of job you are looking for and in what location.
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