LinkedIn has a feature called "Easy Apply". You can send off an application within 30 seconds, using an auto-generated CV based off your LinkedIn profile. AngelList and Indeed have similar options.

I saw an advert today for a job board where the headline was “Apply to 1 million jobs with 1 tap!”. Obviously this is an exaggeration, but the clear message is that you’ll be able to apply to lots of jobs quickly.

Why is "Easy Apply" bad for job seekers?

It's very hard to put your best foot forward when making an application in less than a minute.

Finding a job should be important enough to dedicate your time and effort. Your goal at the application stage is to receive an interview invite, and even an additional 10 minutes per application will increase your chances.

You've likely spent the last 5 years of your life working or studying to build up your skills and abilities. Why put that to waste with a quick-fire application?

I would always recommend making 10 applications with thoughtful answers and a tailored CV, rather than 30 applications with little effort. This might sound obvious, yet in my experience many candidates choose to make 50+ low-intent applications.

"Easy Apply" leads to bland applications

The majority of "Easy Apply" adverts don't include any additional questions set by the company. Hiring managers then have to rely heavily on track record.

The best job adverts I see include questions such as:

  • "What excites you about this role at Spotify?"
  • "What software product are you most proud of shipping?"

Without these questions, there is no opportunity to stand out. It's hard to show your excitement, explain your skills or display you have researched the company.

Typically "Easy Apply" isn't the only option

Most companies have a careers page where you can enter a more detailed application. Therefore, there will be other candidates out there putting more effort into perfecting their application.

There is something quite special about having friction in a job application. Without it, it becomes more painful to spot the best people, as the application piles simply fill with unmotivated or unsuited candidates.

If you stick to "Easy Apply" you'll be competing against 100s of other candidates who have also sent off a quick application.

"Faster and easier" may be better in a lot of industries, for example booking an Airbnb, but I don’t think this is a trend we should be excited about in applying for jobs.