Why ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ might not get you hired faster

LinkedIn Apply Button

Recently LinkedIn announced that they have made it possible to apply for a job on a mobile device using their ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ button. This button was already available on their browser version. Right below the button LinkedIn suggest you will get hired faster. I disagree with this and would like to explain why, in hope of helping people to get their dream job.

TOPdesk and LinkedIn

At TOPdesk, we use LinkedIn to try and find new potential employees. We have a paid account which allows us to post up to five jobs simultaneously and gives us plenty of possibilities to find and contact the candidates we would like to talk to. Overall we are satisfied with the results and are really happy with LinkedIn and the way they change the job market (which is otherwise flooded with old fashioned job boards and recruitment agencies). One feature we do not use is the  ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ button. We ask our potential employees to go to our website and apply there with a resume and motivation letter. Why do we ask people to do this? Does it not discourage potential talented people to apply by asking them to do something while they could have applied by just clicking on the button? It’s because we would like you to motivate why you want to work with us.

The work of a recruiter

Let me try and approach this from a different angle: You probably know this, but the recruiters who post a job offer receive more applications than the one you’ve just send in. Especially in these times, where the difference between the number of cool jobs and the number of applicants is even higher, it is wise to distinguish yourself from the other job hunters. A recruiter who receives 100 applications for a single job, will read trough all the resumes and motivation letters and and come up with a short list of people he would like to invite for an interview. Applicants who have added a decent motivation letter show that the applicant is truly motivated, and thus are more likely to get an invite.

Adding a motivation letter to you application is not just a check box you should fill in, in order to have the recruiter to take your application seriously, or because it is a tradition. The motivation letter is a chance for you to explain why this is your dream job and why you are the person that should be hired. This is even more important when your resume isn’t top-notch, doesn’t completely match the desired skills, or when you want to make a career change. In those cases (but I would advocate in all cases), the recruiter would probably overlook your resume if you didn’t send a motivation letter. Adding a good motivation letter might get his attention and persuade him to invite you for this dream job despite the unusual profile or other ‘better’ resumes.

Will you get hired faster?

Getting back to the new ‘apply with LinkedIn’ button in the mobile app. It says right underneath that you ‘Get hired faster’. I would like to nuance that statement. The button makes it much easier to apply for a job (or a huge amount of jobs), but it does not necessarily mean you will get your dream job faster. When you use the button, you are unable to add your motivation letter. People taking the time to go to the corporate website and apply with their resume (or LinkedIn profile) and add a motivation letter might just snatch away your dream job. Think of it this way: using the apply button is like using a shot gun, it works wonders for targeting large amount of targets/jobs. However, if you want to catch that one dream job hiding in the bushes, you might be better off using a sniper rifle and taking the time to aim for that important shot. Hopefully LinkedIn will provide you with this option in the future.


In a future post I will give some tips on what a good motivation letter actually looks like.

3 Replies to “Why ‘Apply with LinkedIn’ might not get you hired faster”

  1. Rob, you’ve drawn my attention, as I’ve been actively looking for a new role recently (resulting in joining your great place to work), and being a firm believer in the value of LinkedIn – also to job hunters and employees. So, enough disclosures. Now: of course any job application without a motivation letter deserves to be ignored – period. But requiring candidates to apply via e-mail or the employer’s website might be a bit 2012. We have learned about social networks that you need to go to where your audience is, and the lowest threshold to action is the best. It’s actually tempting to push the “apply” button without including a motivation letter – fine, that helps recruiters to easily filter out the irrelevant applications. But that temptation in itself does not make job applications via Linkedin unattractive! I’d say try it, and maybe include a statement like “any application without motivation letter will be rejected”.

    1. Hey Ludo, thank you for your comment. And I can be rather short: I completely agree with you. I didn’t really go into how we use LinkedIn in this blog, but we are firm believers in the value of LinkedIn for (in-house) recruiters and job hunters.

      The aim of the blog is to warn people of the apply button in the app as it is right now. I love the quick call to action (lowering the threshold as you say), but it simply doesn’t allow one to enter a motivation letter even if the applicant wanted to.

      In my last sentence I mention that I hope LinkedIn will give people the option to add their motivation. They could make it simple and quick, by adding a standard motivation letter you have added somewhere on your profile; but I would advocate that it still wouldn’t be very good. Or they could give the option to write (or in the future record?) the motivation after clicking the apply button allowing people to choose whether they would take the time or just skip it.

      What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.