I had an eye opening conversation with a SR VP hiring client who shared with me that she actually frowns upon the green “Open to Work” banner that LI offers to job applicants.

She said that it makes appliances seem desperate. She continued that just because LI introduced this as a tool to help those hunting for a new opportunity, the banner can make an applicant appear too needy. No one wants to appear desperate or needy. Employers seek confident applicants.

Perception is everything.

To be candid, I too am not fond of the “OTW” moniker in conducting my own searches. It’s a tacky looking label. It’s like a very plain retail store sign that reads “open for business.”   The “OTW” obviously lets employers know that you are job searching.  

But what if you in fact appear to be desperate? Or just bland.

Think about it: would you be so quick to offer a job to someone who is appears to be desperate? Probably not. You would probably wonder why that person is desperate and conclude that they are not top talent otherwise they would have a job.

Not to say that any of this is true in reality for a particular job searcher. But what if it is a first impression that could be created whether or not you like it?

Be candid with yourself. Are you contacted often by employers or recruiters? Are you seamlessly going on job interviews? If so, then by all means keep on doing what you are doing!

I advise my job applicants to refrain from the banner.


The “OTW” label looks tacky. And without any “call to action” or reason to contact an applicant – a LI profile appears lifeless. A big SO WHAT?

Employers look for descriptive reasons to contact job applicants. Without a proper 2-4 word description after your name on LI the average employer scans for the next applicant.

Do we all have the attention span of a flee?

Yes, sometimes it appears so.

ABOUT Bernie

Bernie Reifkind is the CEO/Managing Principal of Premier Search, Inc., founding Premier Search more than 20 years ago. Mr. Reifkind is nationally known as an expert in recruitment industry. As a strategist and career consultant to CEO’s, mid management and to brand new college graduates, Mr. Reifkind is often quoted in blogs and podcasts about his expertise