“CLICK!” Will College Graduates and Generation Z Apply for Jobs on LinkedIn’s New Application?

LinkedIn recently launched an application that allows individuals to apply for jobs with the click of a button. If the future of the job application process is a single click, what are the implications for Generation Z?

 The Benefits

(1) Effortless Process:  Preparing a resume is a daunting process for anyone.  Nobody enjoys capturing their professional experiences in bullet points on two cotton fiber pages and questioning whether ivory or off-white resume paper will lead to a job offer. LinkedIn’s application will reduce the emotional, intellectual and economic burden of creating and submitting a resume.  As members of LinkedIn, the next generation will have developed profiles over time and will only need to click “Apply”.

(2) Candid Resumes: Studies show that over 30% of the population fabricates their resumes. LinkedIn profiles are viewable to your “Network,” and therefore are open to the scrutiny of others. By accepting resumes that have been available to an applicant’s classmates and colleagues, LinkedIn creates transparency in the job application process that mandates accuracy.

(3) Social Capital:  While possessing the skill-set for a position is a prerequisite for any employment opportunity, whom an applicant knows can separate him or her from other candidates. Resumes cannot capture this information, but LinkedIn can.  When a member of Generation Z will meet a perspective employer, the interviewer may ask about accomplishments listed on a resume and inquire about a LinkedIn “Connection.”

The Drawbacks

(1) Misguided Decisions: A career choice should be an intentional and prudent process. If the application process is streamlined for certain employers, Generation Z may search for opportunities with the easiest application process and not necessarily the best match.

 (2) False Hope: If clicking a button will be easy for one person, it will be easy for thousands of other applicants. Therefore, just because it may be easier to apply for a job, it does not mean it will be easier for members of the next generation to get a job.

(3) Limited Career Paths: If LinkedIn becomes the one and only career site, the next generation may be pigeonholed to certain industries that utilize the standard resume approach.  To address this challenge, LinkedIn could encourage applying for career opportunities outside of the corporate world by hosting portfolios of art, video and new media content on its website.

While only a handful of national companies have implemented the embedded “Apply With LinkedIn” button, the potential for growth is enormous. The next generation will face unprecedented challenges in the workforce, and we hope to continue witnessing technological innovations that address these problems.

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