The new feature, called Apply With LinkedIn, requires only a few steps to apply for jobs, and the information you submit can easily be personalized. When you click the Apply With LinkedIn button on a company’s website, a new screen pops up that lets you edit any of the fields in your profile. You also have the option to add a cover letter.
Once you complete your edits and click Submit Application, LinkedIn will show you the people in your network who work at that company. From here, you can send them a note. If you do not have any connections at the company, LinkedIn will suggest second connections and who you have in common with them. From here, you can request an introduction.
According to Jonathan Seitel, a technical product manager at LinkedIn, this step is extremely important since referrals are the number-one source of external hires at companies.
Finally, jobseekers can find their history of all Apply With LinkedIn submissions in the Saved Jobs tab, which you can find under the Jobs category.
For businesses that want to include this button on their website, you can visit the LinkedIn Developer page. Here, you can build and customize the plug-in—for example the color, company logo and whether or not a phone number is required—with no programming.
Companies can also choose to receive an email with a brief summary of each applicant. Or, in some cases, the application information can automatically be entered into some of the more popular applicant tracking systems.
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and Web 2.0 for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham.