When browsing job listings on LinkedIn you’ll notice that some jobs have an “Apply” button while others have a “LinkedIn Easy Apply” button. What’s the difference between these two options?

linkedin easy apply button
LinkedIn Easy Apply (left) vs. normal apply (right)

What is LinkedIn Easy Apply?

While the “Apply” button will typically take you to a company’s job site, “Easy Apply” lets you apply without leaving LinkedIn. When you click “Easy Apply,” a popup like this will appear:

Easy Apply dialogue

LinkedIn Easy Apply applications are usually pretty straight forward. They typically feature a dropdown to select your preferred email address, a place to enter a phone number, and an option to upload your resume.

Occasionally you’ll be taken to a new page that will include a few extra fields, like work authorizations.

What an employer sees when you apply through LinkedIn

If you apply for a job via LinkedIn Easy Apply, your first impression will probably be this:

what an applicant looks like in linkedin

Before they review your complete LinkedIn profile, you have to grab their attention here with just a few pieces of information.

Have a great photo

This should go without saying.

Opting not to use a photo could get you passed over, so upload a photo and make it a good one. That means something professional, in focus, well lit, and not too grumpy.

Write a strong LinkedIn headline

Your headline stands out throughout the LinkedIn application process.

By default, LinkedIn creates your headline based on your current job title and company. For example: “Web Developer at Jobscan.” But with 120 characters to work with, stopping there is a wasted opportunity. Add in other details that describe what you can do for the company. Check out these LinkedIn headline tips and examples here for more information.

Align your location and industry

Ensure that your location aligns with where you’re looking for jobs, not necessarily where you currently live or work. Same thing for industry. Think about where you’re trying to take your career rather than where it’s historically been.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile to match

View critical match” shows the recruiter a breakdown of how well your profile aligns with the job description.

criteria match linkedin job application

The skills section is made up of the keywords you entered into your Skills & Endorsements profile section as well as words you used throughout your profile.

Recruiters and hiring managers can also sort their applicants by Match Score, which appears to be based mostly on job title match, experience level, location, and industry.

Match score linkedin apply

While you don’t need to tailor your LinkedIn profile for every job application the way you would your resume, you do need to write a complete, keyword-rich LinkedIn profile that matches the types of jobs you want.

Try LinkedIn Optimization

Jobscan has a tool that analyzes your LinkedIn profile against three or more jobs at a time.

LinkedIn Optimization scores yours profile and shows you the exact skills missing from your profile based on the job descriptions.

Try it today to get your profile score and dozens of other checks covering everything from your headline to your network to your industry relevance.

Try linkedin optimization

Attaching your resume in LinkedIn Easy Apply

While LinkedIn Easy Apply applications typically include a place to upload your resume, it’s often marked “optional” and is deemphasized within the recruiter’s dashboard. LinkedIn sees itself as the evolution of resumes, so it’s not surprising that resumes are merely a supplemental part of many LinkedIn applications.

In the recruiter dashboard, the resume you upload is hidden within a couple obscure menus, like this:

what a resume looks like in LinkedIn

They can also find it by scrolling down near the bottom of your profile in an Additional Info section.

In these cases, yes, upload your resume to LinkedIn, and yes, tailor it to the job. But don’t submit your LinkedIn application hoping your resume will do the heavy lifting. Your candidacy will likely live and die with your LinkedIn profile so needs to be in tip top shape.

Learn more about creating a killer profile:

Easy Apply variation

Some Easy Apply applications, particularly with big money companies, are a little different.

easy apply on linkedin
Nike Easy Apply application on LinkedIn

While a Nike recruiter will take applications through LinkedIn, they probably aren’t doing much within the LinkedIn Recruiter platform. Nike accepts applications through a number of different channels and they need to keep everything uniform within their applicant tracking system (Nike uses Taleo). That’s why they need to require a resume here.

If you don’t have one handy, LinkedIn can convert your profile to a resume, which is used for the “Submit a PDF version of your LinkedIn profile” option.

What you need to know about the standard Apply button

If Easy Apply is not shown as an option, you will likely be taken away from LinkedIn to complete your application.

Applicant tracking systems

Typically, this application page is part of the company’s applicant tracking system, or ATS. These systems are used to collect, filter, search, and rank incoming resumes. When applying through an ATS, it’s important to strategically optimize your resume based on the job description. This will help you rise to the top of the ATS algorithms and avoid what has become known as the “resume black hole.”

Tailor your resume for ATS

Learn more about ATS:

“Your profile was shared with the job poster”

After clicking “Apply,” you might notice a message that says “your profile was shared with the job poster.”

linkedin apply your profile was shared

Even if you do not follow through with your job application, the job poster now knows that you’re interested. This likely won’t make a difference in your job search, but recruiters sometimes sort through these shared profiles when they’re not getting enough quality applications.

Here is what these profiles look like from the recruiter’s side:

shared profiles after hitting the linkedin apply button

Hopefully this peek behind the curtain helps you become a better applicant and write a stronger LinkedIn profile. For more information like this, check out our Job Seeker’s Guide to LinkedIn Recruiter Search and be sure to check out Jobscan’s leading LinkedIn optimization tool.

LinkedIn optimization before you use LinkedIn easy apply