LinkedIn Easy Apply: What Is It And How To Use It

By Chris Kolmar and Experts - Dec. 11, 2020

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The process of applying for a job through a company’s website can be tedious and time-consuming.

You’ll often need to create a company-specific account, manually enter your work history, and sign one form after another.

In contrast, LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature presents a seemingly better alternative – a simple button that automatically applies you for a job listing.

However, it’s important to understand its drawbacks and what you’re sacrificing for speed and convenience.

In this article, we’ll tell you exactly what employers see when you use LinkedIn’s Easy Apply option, it’s pros and cons, and when you should and shouldn’t use it.

What is LinkedIn Easy Apply?

Each job posting on LinkedIn presents you with two options:

  • Apply. The “Apply” button takes you to the company’s website, where you can apply for the job through their standard process.

  • Easy Apply. The “Easy Apply” button brings up a simple pop-up box that prompts you for your email, phone number, and attached resume before submission.

    Occasionally you’ll be asked to include a few extra fields, such as your work authorizations or employment visa status.

Although the Easy Apply route is much more straightforward, it gives employers a fairly bare-bones overview of who you are.

Your Easy Apply application will show your:

  • Name and number of connections

  • Headline

  • Location and industry

  • Past job titles

  • Education

  • Email and phone

  • Keywords

And that’s it.

Recruiters can then decide from here to click through to your profile or read your resume.

Disadvantages of LinkedIn Easy Apply

Despite the relative ease of using LinkedIn’s Easy Apply button, consider the negative aspects of the feature:

  • Employers are flooded with applications. Employers receive hundreds of online applications for top positions.

    Unless your profile outline is extremely impressive, it’ll be difficult to stand out among the competition.

  • Weak first impression. Studies show that recruiters spend an average of seven seconds scanning each resume.

    Recruiters likely spend even less time considering Easy Apply applications, given that they’re dramatically less informative than resumes.

  • Doesn’t answer the recruiter’s questions. Hiring managers seek to answer two key questions when sifting through applications: “How does this candidate bring value to the company?” and “What makes this candidate a better choice than the others?”

    The basic job titles that the Easy Apply feature provide are relevant information, but they’ll rarely be enough to answer the above questions convincingly.

    The standard route of applying through a company’s websites provides much more information on your unique qualities and how you’ve demonstrated value in the past.

  • Missing references. Many company websites allow you to include internal references who recommended you for the job.

    With research showing that over 70% of individuals receive their jobs through connections, Easy Apply not allowing you to enter such information puts you at a considerable disadvantage.

When You Should Use LinkedIn’s Easy Apply Feature

Although using LinkedIn’s Easy Apply button comes with some serious downsides, there are situations where it’s perfectly fine to use it.

Feel free to use Easy Apply when:

  • Your LinkedIn Profile is Top-Notch. An optimized LinkedIn profile can compensate for some of the deficits of the Easy Apply option.

    Don’t even consider using the option if your profile doesn’t pass the following requirements:

    1. Rich descriptions of your work experience. Your work experience descriptions shouldn’t only mention your skills but demonstrate how you created value for past employers.

      Make sure you use an action-oriented tone and numbers to highlight the positive results you’ve generated.

      For example, rather than just saying, “I developed a digital marketing campaign” say, “I developed a digital marketing campaign that increased target audience reach by 15% and conversion rates by 44%.”

    2. Impactful headline. The headline is one of your LinkedIn profile’s most visible parts, stretching across the top of the page.

      Therefore, it’s critical that it makes a positive impression and explains exactly what you bring to the table.

      Make sure it’s succinct, contains strategic keywords, and sets you apart in your industry.

    3. Strong resume. Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t replace a well-written resume.

      A resume allows you to tailor your experience and qualifications to an online job listing. It would be impractical to do the same with your entire LinkedIn profile.

      Most application tracking systems are also designed to parse uploaded resumes, meaning strategically added keywords can send your application to the top of the pile.

    4. Aligned industry. A standard application allows you an opportunity to explain how your skills in a different industry can be transitioned to the job in question.

      With Easy Apply, recruiters often see that a candidate belongs to an unrelated industry and instantly dismiss the application.

    5. Professional photo. The right photo can convey many positive soft skills, such as charisma, empathy, and energy.

      Make sure to choose one that’s friendly and appropriately professional.

      Search for profiles in your industry or target company to get a feel for how others are dressing and portraying themselves.

    6. Quality recommendations. Humans value social proof in all aspects of life, and the job-search game is no exception.

      A personalized recommendation from an authoritative party goes a long way towards impressing potential employers.

    7. Side projects. A candidate with interesting side projects indicates many positive characteristics, such as their drive, innovative spirit, and a true passion for the subject matter.

    8. Critical match. The “View critical match” feature shows hiring managers a breakdown of how well a candidate’s profile fits the job description.

      This metric is used when recruiters filter Easy Apply applicants by “Match Score.”

      Ensure that you’ve customized your profile according to those criteria, or your Easy Apply application will be lost in a sea of others.

    9. Have at least 50 connections. Many employers don’t care about a candidate’s number of connections, but some instantly view an extremely low count as a red flag.

      You definitely shouldn’t add random connections you don’t know just to build this number, but having at least 50-100 people shows recruiters you’re somewhat established in the industry.

  • The role isn’t your dream job. Perhaps you’re pursuing your dream job and happen to spot an unrelated role that seems interesting.

    The Easy Apply option allows you to send that company a quick application without consuming time and energy that could be spent applying for your ideal position.

  • You don’t have the time. Sometimes you’re just overloaded with work and other life responsibilities.

    If you can’t find the time to apply for a job through a company’s website, then sending an Easy Apply is better than nothing.

  • You’re sending a tailored and keyword-rich resume. A customized resume filled with results-focused job experiences and strategic keywords goes a long way to compensate for the bare-bones overview the Easy Apply feature provides.

    Companies often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter candidate resumes for relevant keywords.

    Remember that even if you’re attaching a superb resume, your Easy Apply application still needs to catch the hiring manager’s eye enough to bother clicking the hyperlink first.

  • You intend to reach out. Hiring managers are aware that most Easy Apply candidates are spamming their applications to as many companies as possible without actually reading the job description.

    Therefore, following up on your application instantly sets your name ahead of the crowd and lets them know you’re actually interested.

  • Easy Apply has worked for you in the past. Although there are some fundamental guidelines, applying for jobs isn’t an exact science.

    If you’ve heard back from recruiters and successfully used Easy Apply in the past, then don’t let us stop you.

    Especially if you’re very experienced in the industry or working in retail, using Easy Apply to get your name in front of as many recruiters as possible can suffice.

When You Shouldn’t Use LinkedIn’s Easy Apply Feature

Even if you meet the criteria listed above for using LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature, you absolutely shouldn’t use it if you’re:

  • Searching for your first job. With experienced candidates flooding even entry-level vacancies, you’ll stand no chance if you use Easy Apply with no prior work experience.

    The standard application process gives you at least some opportunity to demonstrate your school accomplishments, drive, and other personality traits.

    With Easy Apply, recruiters will see nothing beyond your name and an empty job title, among countless other applications.

  • Making a career change. Successfully transitioning industries similarly requires you to explain how you can compensate for lack of relevant work experience.

    Using Easy Apply will have employers instantly dismiss your application.

  • Applying for your dream job. The main benefit of Easy Apply is that it allows you to devote more time to find your ideal role.

    If a particular job listing is that ideal role, then nothing beats taking the time and effort to craft a well-written resume and customized cover letter.

Quality vs. Quantity

To succeed in a competitive job market, you have to find a way to stand out among hundreds of other applicants.

When considering a candidate, recruiters seek to answer what makes the person uniquely qualified for the job. If your application can’t answer this question, then it won’t matter how many hiring managers read it.

While LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature certainly has its uses, you need to strongly consider whether the convenience is worth the sacrifices.

No matter what you choose to do, improving your resume and cover letter is always sound career advice. Use the countless resources here at Zippia to aid your job hunt, and good luck.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.


Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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