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LinkedIn has introduce a new feature that allows individuals to apply to jobs through LinkedIn itself.

In some circles, this could be a good thing – LinkedIn already has your professional data, and wouldn’t it be great to automatically fill in those darned job application blanks with the right things.

I’m not so sure I’m happy about it, and here’s why…

Automating the tool

From this one slim perspective, I’m in agreement.

If I dislike job web sites, I dislike the concept of cutting and pasting data onto them even more.

And many companies use these sorts of sites, so having your data auto-populate the form is better than not having your data auto-populate the form.

The wrong order

But here’s where I don’t understand things.

If the point about LinkedIn is that I know people that know people, why would I apply for a job before I’ve gone out to lunch with the inside contact at the company?

That’s like saying I have the best stock broker in the world, but I’m going to buy shares of Acme Social Media and then call up my broker to ask about the company.

So here’s how the tool works – you “one click” a submission for a job (that uses this “Apply With LinkedIn” tool – not all do yet – in fact, not many do yet…), and you’ve applied. Then LinkedIn tells you who you know in the company.

How You can use this tool

So here’s my advice – don’t just apply to jobs with this tool… Heck – don’t apply to any job…

before you research the company and approach them intelligently!

It’s not possible for me to think ahead to every employment situation, but it is possible for you to do your homework when you have an interest in a job.

Certainly you want to use LinkedIn to find out about opportunities.

But finding out about a job is just the beginning. What’s the company culture? Would you like working there? Is there an inside path to the position? Do you know people there?

Don’t just throw your hat into the ring, check things out.

And perhaps at the end of the day, your inside contact will tell you that you must use the online system – be it LinkedIn’s or some proprietary web gateway – and you’ll do so.

Get out of obscurity

Of course, if you like being one in a thousand, just click that submit button and I’m sure one of these times it’ll work out…

Good luck, and let us know how things go.

To your continued success,

steve

Steven Tylock
http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetylock