LinkedIn Tip: One-Touch Job Application

Are resumes an endangered species?  Are we nearing the point where social media websites and other new tools/technologies will fully displace the familiar world of printed career documents, cover letters, and cumbersome job applications?

People have predicted such developments for many years now, but my opinion has always been that resumes are like crabgrass: they’re tough to kill.  As much as everybody in the job market bemoans the limitations of making key hiring decisions based on a few stuffy and sterile pages of printed background information — which can easily be fabricated or fail to tell the whole story of a candidate’s capabilities — resumes are still the familiar, tried-and-true method for evaluating potential job applicants and I don’t see a lot companies that appear ready to abandon this process.  At least not yet.

The latest feature conjured up by LinkedIn, however, leads me to suspect that such a day may be coming sooner than we think.  If you haven’t yet heard about it, the world’s top business networking site is now heavily promoting a “one-touch” application feature that allows users to respond to job ads simply by clicking an “Apply With LinkedIn” button which forwards their profile along to the employer for review — versus submitting their full formal resume.  Click on the link below if you want to read a bit about this new process:

Linked’s New “Apply With LinkedIn” Feature

Now I haven’t come across a bona fide job opening that utilizes this new feature, quite yet, but as a test I looked up one of LinkedIn’s OWN corporate job openings here, where you can see this new button in action at the top right of the screen.  Pretty nifty.

The bigger question about this new feature, however, was tackled just the other day by one of my favorite fellow career correspondents, Nick Corcodilos of the Ask the Headhunter blog.  If you read Nick’s article here, you’ll note that he’s treating this new LinkedIn feature basically as a sign of the apocalypse — and a prime example of the type of thinking that’s made the hiring process these days a nightmare for all concerned, job hunters and employers alike.  I’ll leave you to form your own conclusions about the thoughts Nick shares, but from my standpoint, this one of these cases where he’s absolutely, completely right — if we were living in a perfect world and everybody was making rational decisions about this stuff, as a society.

At the end of the day, however, there’s really no question that this shiny new capability of LinkedIn is merely the tip of the iceberg and that we’re going to start seeing social media being used more and more in a hiring context.  Why?  Because it’s possible.  And there are no laws against it.  At least not yet, until somebody sues some unwary employer out there, claiming that hiring people in this manner favors tech-savvy applicants and is therefore a discriminatory practice.

In closing, I just had to chime in with some thoughts on this latest LinkedIn development, especially given my recent announcement here that job hunters finally need to actually CHECK the LinkedIn Jobs page for the first time in many years!  As always, your thoughts and comments on this matter are welcomed…

P.S.  One other quick announcement, for those of my readers based in the Seattle area.  If you’re into “any and all things LinkedIn” or are still feeling you need to improve your skills in using the system, I’d remind you that I’ve got a brand-new Advanced LinkedIn Workshop coming up next Wednesday night.  Details here, if interested!


5 Responses to “LinkedIn Tip: One-Touch Job Application”

  1. Short answer: yes. I’d assume that any employer who reviews your resume might also, in this day and age, check out your LI profile. So you don’t want to have any discrepancies that raise red flags…

  2. I find myself wondering if I should make my LinkedIn profile more closely match my resume. Thoughts?

  3. It’s Matt, actually, not Mark. But no worries, I get that a lot,for some reason. At any rate, I’m glad you identified yourself since you obviously put a TON of thought into that last reply (thanks) and it seemed strange that you’d want to keep your comment anonymous, as a result!

  4. Mark,
    The preceeding comments were not meant to be anonymous.

  5. Hi Mark,

    I have also seen the “Apply with Linkedin” button hype. It may very well be the future. However, I feel we have a long way to go before we are to a point where one abbreviated Linkedin type profile will be a viable approach for most job seekers or most recruiting/talent acquisition screening requirements.

    If you merely look at the resume or application scanning tools employed by the State of Washington, Boeing, Taleo, Kenexa and numerous other Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), there is no possible way to practically utilize a “one button” approach. This is similar to a generic resume submission for every position. It doesn’t work today and doubtful it will not work in the near future.

    Earlier this year I attended a social networking seminar and the general thought on resumes was the submitted resume should be the same (essentially similar) as the online resume profile published on Linkedin and FaceBook, etc. Not to do so would give a recruiter or hiring manager the impression that something looked fishy, misleading or untrue. Keywords contained in the cover letter were how the submission was to match the recruiter’s job description.

    This approach might work for some straight forward professions like nursing, engineering or high-tech where skills have names abbreviations and/or a clear skill set. However, I believe this approach does not and will not work well for most professional (or many other?) positions. A career spanning 10-20 years or more is so varied one resume can’t possibly work. A generic resume scanned either by a computer system or by a recruiter looking at the top half of the front page of a resume (“above the fold”) without keyword matches to the job description will get you discarded as fast as being totally unqualified. Why??

    The Boeing system allows the candidate 15,000 characters to match or hit the key words being scanned! One advantage for a computer scan might be the allowance for so many words since a typical 2-page resume only contains 6-8000 characters. The computer scanning system is looking for “hits” on pre-determined key words and will not pass a candidate through to the recruiter unless that resume or application meets the quantity of “hits” pre-programmed into the scan. A “person” will never see the resume or application unless it is a match!

    Real people recruiters, however, can’t and won’t process that much verbiage. An overworked recruiter has 10-30 seconds to determine qualifications base on looking at the top half of the first page of a two page resume. In those seconds the resume must match the job description the recruiter is processing. If not…you’re out. Unless your generic resume or Linkedin profile accidentally matches a majority of keywords you will never get much attention, or, hope the recruiter will review the “rest of the story” resume. It’s that simple.

    We are in a prefect storm decade of changing hiring processes. Businesses are using both computer scanning and real person recruiters. Some recruiters and hiring mangers are comfortable using Tweets, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and texting but others are not. New technology can block those not using the technology from the hiring process, even if qualified, by excluding their ever being seen.

    We are a long way from abandoning more traditional recruitment and submission tools like resumes. The biggest challenge is trying to figure out who is using what. It is not a simple or easy process and represents a major problem for job seekers, recruiting and business. Furthermore, it costs employers a lot of money… an expense they may not even recognize.

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