For job seekers, technology can be a wonderful thing. You can apply to jobs almost anywhere from the comfort of your home, you can stay in touch with your network easily through social media, and, thanks to the rise in remote work, you can even do a job from home.
But because of the ease of access, it can be much harder to stand out thanks to the high levels of competition. Experts say it can take 100-200 applications to get just one job offer, and your average job search could take up to nine weeks. To get a job in the traditional way, you’ll need to send a high volume of resumes.
That’s why job search websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter offer “easy” or “one-click” apply options. For someone looking to get as many resumes out as possible, these features are a massive boon!
Or are they? Despite the convenience, using these features may not make you stand out from the crowd. We’ll cover what easy apply systems actually do, their faults, and when they can help your search.
What do they do?
The name sells the basic function well enough—an easy or one-click apply skips through much of the traditional application process to quickly get your documents into the hands of recruiters. They may or may not offer the chance to attach relevant documents like a copy of your resume or cover letter.
In most cases, this allows you to quickly submit a generic, multi-use resume. In LinkedIn’s case, you’ll instead be submitting your LinkedIn profile. This allows you to quickly scroll through online job boards and apply to anything that strikes your fancy.
Bypassing the conventional application process, which is often time-consuming and tedious, is an amazing idea, but it has its drawbacks.
“As with all quick fixes, the easier option has its drawbacks. Primarily, you’re trading customization for simplicity.” – Jaclyn Westlake, The Muse
This convenience leads to a lot of applications being submitted. In spite of this volume, you may think having the right keywords will get your generic resume picked by the applicant tracking system, but Mac’s List says that may not be the case. Around 40% of companies don’t use ATS, and if your resume isn’t tailored it will struggle to get noticed by the person reading it.
Data shows using one-click apply methods doesn’t have an impact on whether or not you’ll hear back from the employer, according to SmartRecruiters. Your resume will be added to a large pile of applicants regardless, and your content will have to speak for itself.
In LinkedIn’s case, the Easy Apply puts a lot of pressure on your profile. Regardless of whether you attached a resume and cover letter, your profile is the first thing the hiring manager will see. If you’ve been neglecting your profile or hoping your resume will carry you, you may be disappointed when your application is quickly discarded.
You can help alleviate this by having a well-developed LinkedIn profile, which is good to have regardless. Lewis Parrott says having a professional photo, strong headline, relevant details in your job history, and interesting personal details can help alleviate some of the issues with using Easy Apply.
When can it help?
While network connections and carefully customized resumes are a superior job search strategy, one-click applying does have its place and can help lead to a well-rounded search.
Volume does matter in your job search, especially for entry-level roles. The application process is often tedious, and constant rejection after spending significant time applying is discouraging. Quick applies can help you cast a wide net. You may not always bring in the best jobs this way, but it can help build momentum. Career Sidekick does recommend at least tailoring your resume for a specific industry if you choose this route.
If you’ve already tapped your network and carefully applied to your dream companies, then using easy apply functions can be a way to supplement that search. Use them to compliment your job search, not to be the heart of it.
Relying on one-click apply is NOT recommended if you’re looking for your dream job, but sometimes you just need a job. Whether you need a source of income, you need to learn a skill, or you’re just looking to get your foot in the door, these functions are a great tool to find a low-stakes job.
Kindra Cooper believes if you have a top-notch LinkedIn profile already their method can work. In fact, if you’ve spent time adding URLs, displaying endorsements, highlighting your skills, and you have a strong summary, your profile may be even better than your resume. But this requires you to have done all the work beforehand, and it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket.
Job searching can be a long and arduous process, and any tool that can make the journey easier is appealing. But while they offer additional assistance, it’s imperative to understand the pros and cons of using one-click apply methods. There are times to use these features, and they can complement a thorough job search, but they shouldn’t be relied upon as your only job-searching strategy. For more in-depth job search strategies, check out our other great articles!