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Simon Barker
Simon Barker

Posted on • Originally published at

LinkedIn Easy Apply wasn’t made to get you a junior dev job

LinkedIn Easy Apply wasn’t made to help you get a job, it was made to make LinkedIn look better to people paying them for job listings. The number one metric for any job board is “Applications per ad”, which sounds sensible doesn’t it? You put a job advert out in to the world and you want as many applicants as possible to give you the best chance of finding the right person.

This sounds sensible, but it’s wrong. Too many applications is almost as bad as no applications.

Your Easy Apply application:

  • will look like everyone else’s Easy Apply application, you won’t stand out at all.
  • won’t be tailored to the role.
  • could easily get caught in the “delete 50% of these because there are too many applications”.
  • will trick you into thinking you are making lots of good applications because “LinkedIn made this feature, it must work and be great”.

In the case of a post with many vacancies, like Amazon warehouse operators then this could be a valid strategy, however for the roles we care about in software development, this is rarely the case, usually it’s one or two vacancies.

In this situation it’s more effective for everyone involved to have a small number of applicants who are all a great fit for the role, rather than 100s, many of whom are not suitable.

Why did LinkedIn make Easy Apply?

This is one of those classic cases where the incentives for LinkedIn, their users (you) and their customers (the hiring companies) don’t align:

  • LinkedIn want to show a customer that they got “great value for money” by getting lots of applicants.
  • Users want to apply to as few jobs as possible to get a job.
  • Companies want a small number of high quality applications.

It looks like the users and the companies have he most aligned incentives so why did LinkedIn make the feature?

LinkedIn made Easy Apply because they control the platform and they call the shots, they say “we’ll find you great candidates” the subtext they don’t say is that they will also find you hundreds of bad candidates by making it so easy to apply but it will look like great value for money any way!

What you should do instead

Next time you find yourself hovering on Easy Apply, don’t!

Instead apply directly to the company with a slightly tailored CV/Resume that highlights where your skills and experience align with the job specification and cover email that does the same with a few sentences and a couple of bullet points highlighting the most relevant bits from your CV.

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