Common Sense Reasons Why LinkedIn Users Should Be Scared of the New Open Candidate Feature

This post is intended for all job seekers that have active profiles on LinkedIn since they stand to lose the most, or gain the most with the new “Open Candidate” feature. I can introduce evidence to you that LinkedIn does not have a lock on error free web development and how mistakes with your content can and will likely happen. All users must take responsibility for their profile privacy settings, or risk being found out by a current employer while looking for another job. Sure firing you for that specific reason is illegal, but we all know there are many ways to skin a cat when we want to.

Over the past few weeks you may have heard about a new LinkedIn feature called “Open Candidate” where a signal is sent to certain recruiters that you are “open” to receiving open job offers to apply to. While turning this feature on might raise your profile within a recruiters search, I am not convinced that all the kinks have been worked out of LinkedIn’s site coding.

I have been managing a couple of LinkedIn groups for 3 years now and there have been all sorts of technical glitches which I have reported to LinkedIn support. Upon doing so I was told that they have been aware of the problems with the group notifications showing ‘errors in total number count’ and they are working on it. I have included images below of graphical interface of a mess that is my groups management console.

These errors have been there at least 2-3 years.

These errors have been there at least 2-3 years.

LinkedIn Groups Notifications Number Error

LinkedIn Groups Notifications Number Error

In this article from Design Week on September 26. 2016 by Sarah Dawood, she quotes LinkedIn as saying “this is the largest redesign this LinkedIn’s inception.” With this website overhaul going on I would treat lightly in adopting their fresh out of the box Open Candidate feature. I’ve already given this same advice to one of my very own résumé clients. It’s safer to not run the risk of letting your boss get wind of your job search and can you. Sure, they can’t fire you for looking for other work, but we all know there are ways to disguise that.

Another article I’ve recently read on TechGenYZ.com by Ankeeta Pareek shares some good tips on how to make your job searches more private. If you do decide to use the Open Candidate feature and something goes wrong, at least you will be limiting and fragmenting the online data to give you time to prepare a backup plan (i.e. attempting to delete digital trail that you were seeking other employment). Determine ahead of time if your current life and financial situation is worth risking by being an early adopter of this feature. At a time in history where even password manager sites like “Lastpass” get hacked, the DNC gets hacked, movie stars and celebrities have their images stolen, companies lose confidential data and are blackmailed, do you really think that it will matter to LinkedIn that they accidentally leaked your information? See all of their many disclaimers about the Open Candidate feature below.

This is the switch you will flip to signal certain recruiters that you're open to job offers.

This is the switch you will flip to signal certain recruiters that you’re open to job offers.

How It Works - Disclaimer

How It Works – Disclaimer

Share Career Interests With Recruiters - and more disclaimers.

Share Career Interests With Recruiters – and more disclaimers.

Open Candidate Disclaimer - whoops!

Open Candidate Disclaimer – whoops!

So the final question for you to ask yourself before you hit that switch is this; how badly do you want to be an early adopter and try out this new LinkedIn Open Candidate feature in the hopes of finding a new job? If you’re still employed it takes a bit more thought, patience, and common sense. IMHO it’s better to wait and see what happens with this feature as the website is redesigned rather than to turn on that “signal” and have it go haywire.

Be careful, and as always, best of luck in your job search.

*Have you started using the new LinkedIn Open Candidate feature to market your profile to recruiters? Are you concerned that your current employer or others will find out that you are actively entertaining job offers? Comment here or drop us a line via the contact form with any questions.