My Love/Hate Relationship with Being “Open”

I’m going to admit it.  I have a love/hate relationship with the word “open.”  I know hate is a strong word and I’ve been told that the opposite of love is actually indifference, but depending upon the day and the situation, my feelings for the word “open” are much stronger than indifference.  I sometimes actually despise the word.  I know, you’re judging me, but allow me to explain. 

I frequently receive the response “I’m open,” when I interview students and ask about the locations they want to live in if they’re offered an opportunity for the career direction they want to go in after graduation.  I understand why students offer this response.  Stating “I’m open” tells the recruiter that you’re “open” to new experiences, opportunities, that your possibilities are limitless. Perhaps being “open” will give you an edge over candidates who want a specific position or location.

What Your Recruiter Hears

You say “I’m open” to a human resource professional and inside we initially do a bit of a happy dance because in our minds, you’re open to secondary cities, open to living in Wichita or Cincinnati, open to accepting any position just to get your foot in the door.  But remember I said a bit of a happy dance, because I’ve learned that my idea of “open” and a candidate’s idea of “open” aren’t always the same.  This is why the response “I’m open” typically requires me to do more research and to ask more questions. 

“Open” Isn’t an Available Position

Recently I received a resume from a candidate interested in a position with Hyatt.  I gave the candidate a call to see what specifically they were interested in doing at our hotels.  When I asked the question, the candidate’s response was “I’m open.”  Well, that’s great, but open isn’t an available position.  It is likely that a recruiter has several available positions; with so many options, when it comes to hiring and placing a candidate in a position, they need more information.

A recruiter needs to know your specific interests, your long-term goals, what motivates you and gives you energy.  As a recruiter, I want to consider you for a role that will allow you be happy and satisfied with your work.  I want to be confident that the experiences you desire align with what our company can actually provide.  In order to achieve those goals, I need to know more than that you’re “open.”

“Open” to All Locations

In my prior blogs, I’ve encouraged students to consider other locations.  I’ve encouraged them to look beyond their home towns and places that are familiar, to consider areas that are new to them and the allure of secondary cities.  But in regards to location, I’ve learned that “open” isn’t always the right answer.  I offered three students positions who said they were “open” last semester and all three declined their offers for opportunities that kept them in their home towns.  This led to me to wonder if they were really truly “open.”

Therefore I encourage you to consider if you’re “open” to all locations.  I understand you don’t want to limit yourself, but be honest, are there locations that you would be less “open” to relocating to for work?  Although you’re “open,” are your loved ones (parents included) “open” to the idea too? 

I believe many students offer the response “I’m open” to indicate that they’re flexible.  Flexibility is attractive, but consider that there is a difference between being flexible and being “open.”  I’d love to know if you share my feelings regarding the word “open.” Who knows, you might help me see the response “I’m open” in a different light. 


Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers.  Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country.  A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee.  During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.  To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at

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One Response to “My Love/Hate Relationship with Being “Open””

  1. avatar Catherine says:

    Dear Ronisha,
    I enjoy your blog and your insights!


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