“Apply With LinkedIn” App Could be a Game Changer

June 2nd, 2011

Apply with LinkedIn AppGigaOM leaked the news yesterday that LinkedIn is getting ready to launch a plug-in for employers’ websites called Apply With LinkedIn, which will allow job candidates to apply for available positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes.

Game Changer for Corporate Recruiting

Depending on LinkedIn’s pricing and packaging strategy, this has the potential to be a game changer in the recruiting and hiring world. Not only could it drive standardization in the front-end of applicant tracking systems, but it will virtually eliminate two of the biggest pains of online job application processes (the need for applicants to cut and paste into predefined boxes, and the need for HR folks to try and fix resume parsing errors).

I also anticipate that this move could seriously cut into the profits of job boards such as Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com, especially if LinkedIn creates an attractive bundle that combines access to LinkedIn job boards with the application plug in for corporate career sites.

Game Changer for Jobseekers

For jobseekers, the Apply Within LinkedIn app could be a game changer too, especially if corporations move to “Upload from LinkedIn” as their preferred option.

For any jobseeker who has ever labored over the cumbersome cut-and-paste requirements of some corporate career sites and wondered why they have to upload everything when they’ve already attached their resume, the option to point and click will come as a welcome relief. The ability to set up job alerts and immediately apply using your cellphone will speed up candidate time-to-market.

As much thought and strategy will need to go into creating your LinkedIn profile as has traditionally gone into your resume, and it will become even more important that your profile be 100% complete.

The Downsides

The biggest downside that I see is the potential for higher incidents of spray-and-pray job applications, which is a no-win for everybody. In fact David Zax with Fast Company has suggested that this will make Apply with LinkedIn a non-starter.

For jobseekers, the one-size fit-all format for LinkedIn profile will limit their ability to tailor their application to the specific information needs of each company, which goes against the grain of job search best practices. Further, a fully developed LinkedIn profile is announcement to the world that you are open for business, job-offer wise, which you may not want your current employer to know

How Will This Play Out?

LinkedIn has probably redefined recruiting and job search best practices more than any other platform, so it will be interesting to see how the business model rolls out. Unfortunately they have a recent history of alienating their core base by monetizing member services that have previously been free, and creating fee structures that price casual users out of the market.

The plug-in may end up being a tool for large corporations only, and its ease of use may make it more of a liability than an asset it when it comes to candidate screening and selection. But with the right business model it could become the must-have tool for applicant-employer interface, no matter what the company size.  How do you think this will play out?


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8 Responses to ““Apply With LinkedIn” App Could be a Game Changer”

  1. Steve Levy Says:

    My one global piece of advice for LinkedIn users is that your LinkedIn profile needs to be indistinguishable from your resume – in other words, your profile IS your resume.

    I don’t believe that “Apply with LinkedIn” is going to change the game at all – unless LinkedIn “requires” that specific information MUST be in one’s profile and in a specific format. So many LinkedIn peeps keep a low profile in their pages for reasons that range from naivete to stealth. This is one reason why the AWLI won’t be a game changer – most people won’t play by the rules. Those that do will obviously be branded as jobseekers for all the world – and bosses – to see.

    Uh woah says the resume writer…you mean that I, Certified Global Galactic Master of Resume Writing, will have to listen to the marketing wonks at LinkedIn? Karen, can’t you just feel all those heels digging in?

    I think this is a ho-hum moment. AWLI won’t help identify better talent which is the Holy Grail that so many are seeking. It might dress’em up a bit better but that is hardly a game changer.


  2. Karen Siwak Says:

    “Certified Global Galactic Master of Resume Writing” — I like that, I might have to add it to my list of credentials! I don’t know many resume writers who don’t already offer LinkedIn profiles as part of their range of services – we’ve already been listening to the marketing wonks.

    One part of the holy grail is finding better talent. The other part is not overlooking the better talent that has already found you but you missed because of the inanities of your Applicant Tracking System. I think that by standardizing the way that the information comes in, the Apply with LinkedIn app will help with the second part. But it could actually make the first part harder.

  3. Donna Svei aka AvidCareerist.com Says:

    Hi Karen & Steve,

    Great additions to the convo on this today. I’ve linked my blog on the topic to here and want to crosslink back. It will be interesting to see if “Apply with Profile” turns out to be a monopolizer or an also ran.


    Link: http://j.mp/kOZ6Zt.

  4. Steve Gallison Says:

    I am a State employee that runs a large state-wide Professional Outplacement Assistance Center and we see on average of 180+ professional, executive, technical, managerial and scientific folks each month. We have embraced the résumé writing process and are spending more time on designing “Marketing LinkedIn profiles”. We have even introduced a free service to the customers… professional head shots done by a photographer to rid the LinkedIn pages of “shadow people”, people & pet shots, glamor shots along with those photos with busy backgrounds.

    LinkedIn is where the process of hiring is going and we want our unemployed customers to have the latest. It is the world’s largest talent bank. We have conducted surveys of employers who basically say they are not advertising jobs whatsoever but mining LinkedIn and more and more are doing so daily. Bad new for the print media but they knew it was coming. Good news for employers as they have more data on which to make an interview decision – EEO may have some adjusting to do.Discrimination may pick up -as stupid as that practice is! Résumé writers may have to add profile writing to their list of services.

    Many of the LinkedIn users are part of a Group which will give the user(employer) the insights of the targeted candidate’s values and knowledge base and how a candidate plays in the sand box of ideas and opinions.

    The ability to select people and at the same time review their endorsements, the books they read and their shared PowerPoint presentations etc. will provide an employer with more value than the traditional résumé or the visual résumé.

    If I were the owners of the other job boards I’d start converting to a more LinkedIn approach (there are over more than 100,000 job boards and some shake out is due). I’d like Peter Weddle’s to comment on his vision, in fact I’m sending him your link and ask him to comment.

    And the beat goes on!

  5. Karen Siwak Says:

    Hi Donna, I agree, the waiting and seeing will be the interesting part because there are so many ways this could go. Dan Schwabel is predicting the impending demise of Job Boards and resumes, but I think it might to be early to call for the coroner on this one.

  6. Karen Siwak Says:

    The beat goes on, indeed! I agree that this is definitely going to be a benefit for candidates who are currently out of work, because they can be very active and “out” in their job search. I’m not sure yet what it will mean for passive or surreptitious jobseekers, or how it will impact the business processes involved in recruiting, screening and selection. I look forward to hearing from Peter about this.

  7. Steve Levy Says:

    Dan Schwabel has never recruited nor substantively engaged himself in the convo. So I take his opinion seriously…

    @Steve As an early adopter of #in, I’ve seen it grow to a very useful tool but like any other job board and talent reservoir that came before it, now see it stagnating. As I noted above, the challenge is that while you’re noble efforts may impact thousands, so many more people on #in won’t be offering the same richness and depth on information on their profiles. It’s unequivocal that many great people do not fill out their profiles to the level required to have a recruiter effectively begin to assess expertise and skill.

    Even more, the career management challenge is one of content: Those with more content on #in are probably jobseekers and adding such info will red flag their intent to their bosses (whom they’re undoubtedly connected to and who probably receive emails when profiles are updated).

    Technology-wise, it won’t be too long before there are better algorithms to allow for an entire resume to be 100% effectively read into any ATS. So LinkedIn’s “Apply with LinkedIn” button becomes moot.

    All this being said, a great shout out to you for doing for your customers what so few state agencies do…

  8. Game Changer DNA Says:

    The GameChanger DNA…

    Resume Confidential » Blog Archive » “Apply With LinkedIn” App Could be a Game Changer…

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Meet Karen Siwak

An award-winning Certified Résumé Strategist, Karen has crafted top calibre career transition packages for thousands of clients. Her specialty is helping people identify and articulate their unique brands and value propositions, and she is passionate about empowering clients with the tools, strategies and confidence to take control of their career search. Read more...

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