Last week, LinkedIn announced the roll out of an “Apply Now” button that lets users apply to a job with just one click. This is being widely praised as a step toward streamlining the application process and has many job seekers cheering. But what appears to be a big step forward in the job search process, might be making it even harder to actually get a job. Consider this…
The candidate pool just became the candidate ocean – Once upon a time, applicants had to type or print their resume and physically mail it in. Remember that, anyone? That time consuming process kept less serious candidates from applying. Online systems (thankfully) changed that, and automated resume screeners and applicant tracking systems were developed to (among other things) deal with the large number of resumes. The new LinkedIn “Apply Now” button makes it so easy to apply, that – to simply deal with the onslaught of unqualified candidates – stronger and less forgiving filters will need to be put in place.
You can’t target your profile – One of the most effective ways to get your resume noticed is to target it toward each position you apply for. Obviously, that is not an option with your LinkedIn profile. This means that you need to be uniquely qualified for each position, and those qualifications need to be extremely clear on your profile. This makes it very difficult for candidates who are looking to shift careers, take a big step or are banking on having a reader see their “potential.”
Your “social resume” is anything but easy to maintain – The social resume has been increasingly important for some time now, and that is not a bad thing. But for those that think this new technology just made the job search process less time consuming, I have to pop your balloon. Instead of just updating your resume once in awhile, you now need to constantly manage your professional online presence – whether or not you’re looking for work. There are some very positive aspects to this, but the process is anything but less time consuming.
It will be interesting to see what impact the “Apply Now” button has on the job search landscape. I think this actually complicates things a bit and – despite the hopes of many – does not even come close to “killing the resume.” However, LinkedIn is a powerful tool and almost a non-negotiable for most professionals.
Clearly, the best time to start building your professional online presence is now.
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