just announced a Web plug-in that lets employers add a one-click "Apply with LinkedIn" button to job postings.LinkedIn has
Apply with LinkedIn allows applicants to adjust their LinkedIn profile information to suit the position before they apply. After they submit, the confirmation screen displays people in the applicant's LinkedIn network who work at the company, allowing them to connect or ask for a referral.
For employers and their developers, this is an easy sell. The code to drop into a job posting is dead simple, and the employer uses the LinkedIn interface to create the application, which can still be custom-branded. The employer can then manage submissions more easily and use any of several applicant tracking systems to help match candidates to positions.
But this is also a win for job applicants. Using LinkedIn as the primary point of contact in a job application, rather than a secondary Web presence that doesn't replace the good old-fashioned résumé, makes maintaining one's profile a much better use of time. The customization options in the Apply with LinkedIn plug-in solve the problem of maintaining multiple résumés. Best of all, this can solve the unending mysteries of email attachments and file formats in job applications.
Email-based job applications follow a basic pattern, imitating the way things used to work on paper, but the lack of standards makes for a bewildering experience that changes from one application to the next. Some employers require files in DOC format, others allow PDF; some want cover letters in the email, others want them as attachments. This is no more fun for the employer than it is for the applicant.
LinkedIn could solve those problems if it can drive widespread adoption of Apply with LinkedIn, and it's in a strong position to do so. While other social networks are elbowing their way into the jobs space, LinkedIn, as the dominant dedicated professional networking site, has a clear head start. The company went public this year, and the site crossed 100 million members in March.