Applying for jobs can be a clumsy process. You could spend hours manually entering your work details into an online application form, uploading your keyword-optimized resume, and hunting the name of hiring managers for your catchy cover letter.

Enter, the ‘Easy Apply’ button on LinkedIn and we move away from tedious to easy. The only bad thing is that applying for a job using LinkedIn’s ‘Easy Apply’ option can put you at the back of the pack.

‘Easy Apply’ equals quick fix, right?

The short answer is, “No.” In short, you are trading the opportunity for customization and targeting by using this button. Yes, all you do is push/click the button, enter your phone number, and email address and you’re done! In some cases, you’ll be asked to upload your current resume, but most of the time it’s optional.

This simplicity can be tempting! When a recruiter acquires an ‘Easy Apply’ request, all they get to see is a snapshot of your LinkedIn profile. Specifically – your photo, education, headline, past and present work experiences, and skills you’ve listed.

That’s it! So, if your LinkedIn profile is very bare-bones, isn’t up to date, or doesn’t elaborate your complete journey you likely won’t be hearing from potential employers anytime soon. Check out this article, How to perfect your LinkedIn profile to get noticed by recruiters.

Throw your resume at a bunch of jobs and hope something sticks

Sad to say that the “Easy Apply” button is so much like mailing your resume to a hand full of recruiters and hoping to hear back from them. When you decide to apply without uploading your resume or cover letter, the hiring manager only has an approach to your LinkedIn profile.

The message that pops into their email will say, ‘(Name) applied to (Job Title)’ and it will contain your headline, location, and profile photo. If your headline is like most people’s headline – with the title of your current role and present company name – you will blend into the sea of sameness.

The main idea of applying for any job is to get their attention. If you look like every other candidate, you’re not doing that. What incentive does the hiring manager or recruiter have to click on your application?

All hiring professionals have the question ‘So what …?’ playing in their minds

Are you answering the ‘So what…?’ question or do you fall into the ‘Meh!’ category? Not only do you have to give them a reason to open your profile, but you have to do so in about 6 seconds.

Your LinkedIn profile is only providing a high-level overview of your career experience with some achievements sprinkled in here and there. Originally, the format was laid out in a way that aided with networking. Did you know that about 80% of all jobs are landed through networking?

Effectively networking using an optimized LinkedIn profile is a great way to open yourself up to recruiters and hiring managers. However, now that LinkedIn has created the ‘Easy Apply’ feature, the platform isn’t being used just for professional networking anymore.

This means you must completely customize your profile so that it is specifically targeted to a particular job or job type. This helps to answer the ‘So what…?’ question. It shows how you add value.

Use your LinkedIn profile together with your resume to complete your career picture

Every resume writer everywhere will tell you to customize and tailor your resume to each job that you apply to. Your ATS-optimized resume calls attention to your career accomplishments as they are associated with a certain job.

When you combine your resume with the information on your profile, you provide hiring managers, recruiters, and HR personnel with a full overview of what you have to offer. Additionally, because your LinkedIn profile is written in the first person, it helps you inject a bit of your personality into your job search.

Never say never

It sounds like you’re being told to never use the ‘Easy Apply’ button. There are two possible scenarios where you can get away with using the “Easy Apply” button:

1. When you intend to upload a keyword-rich resume:

Don’t let the fact that you’re also sending your resume make you think you can neglect your LinkedIn profile. The profile is still going to be the first thing they see. When you use ‘Easy Apply,’ your uploaded resume is shown as a hyperlink at the bottom of your application.

What happens if the hiring manager misses the hyperlink or if they simply decide to not click on it? If your profile doesn’t catch their attention, there’s very little chance they’ll spend more time on your application by clicking on the hyperlink.

2. When you intend to follow up:

Companies know that applicants who use ‘Easy Apply’ are usually only glancing at the job descriptions. For recruiters, the Easy Apply button tells them that you just pressed a button and don’t have much information about the full extent of the job.

Whereas, when you follow them up, it portrays that you’re truly interested in what they are offering.

Take-away

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.” Applying to a job may be a tedious, overbearing, and time-consuming drain on your time. It’s worth it in the end, though, isn’t it? Always remember the value you get out of the time you spend.