There’s been a lot of buzz in the past week or so about LinkedIn’s “apply” button. Mashable reported LinkedIn will launch a button to allow users to easily apply for jobs using their LinkedIn profiles as an effective “resume” later this month. Dan Schawbel called for this being one more nail in the resume’s coffin and asserted job boards are on their way out as a result. There’s lots of push back from the recruiting community on the topic and, many of us believe the resume is not going out of style, but I think there is a more important question to consider for job seekers.
Does “one button” applying help or hurt your chances for a job? Easy isn’t always the best approach for job seekers. I would anticipate a one-button solution (eliminating those pesky “hoops” job seekers usually need to jump through) will result in many more candidates applying for jobs. Just a guess here, but I am also guessing it would appeal to more UNqualified candidates. I’m not sure if that’s useful for employers or job seekers, but it’s sure to feed into an applicant tracking system to help make it easy for employers to scan and screen applicants.
The question of what it all means for job seekers still sticks out like a sore thumb. One of the most important things to do when applying for a job online is to target your materials to match the employer’s needs. How you apply for a job can be the difference between getting a job or not. It’s crucial that your application materials make a case for you. This may be tricky for people applying for various types of jobs. It is much easier to tweak a resume and application than it is to worry about what LinkedIn profile is up. (Although, of course, the LinkedIn profile is always a factor, when it is the clear leading indicator when you apply, it can make applying more complicated for career changers or those career change expert Marci Alboher calls “slashers.” She defines “slashers” as people who have multiple career interests and expertise and “can’t answer the question ‘What do you do?’ with a single word or phrase.”)
Donna Svei points out that reports say applicants will have a chance to edit their profiles when they apply, but as she explains, it’s unclear right now if the changes would be permanent on the LinkedIn profile or not.
These are all important details, and it will be absolutely necessary for job seekers to remember that “one button” applying may shorten the process, but it’s not an invitation to apply for jobs without foresight and focus.
If companies do start to receive a lot of unqualified or un-targeted applicants, we may see them preferring to find candidates from other sources. In fact, Career Columnist for The Seattle Times (NWjobs), Paul Anderson recently shared a column describing the fact that some employers advertise and collect applications from places even though they DON’T expect to hire applicants from that pool! A little crazy, right? Paul clarified for me they put out those feelers “just in case” they don’t get a good pool from their preferred sources.
Job seekers should keep an eye on news about easier ways to apply for jobs. If you want to land an opportunity to interview for the job, though, don’t focus on the “it’s easy” aspect — keep an eye on the prize and spend time needed to tweak and target.
Have you seen my new book — Social Networking for Career Success? Take a look if you want ideas about how to get your job search (or business) going in the right direction!
photo by Jim’s outside photos