1 Click Apply

Hiring Success Glossary

Table of Contents

What is one-click apply?

A one-click apply function allows job seekers to submit applications to online job advertisements with a single click. One-click apply buttons usually appear directly in the job ads of online job boards. One-click functionality typically begins with applicants uploading a generic resume and other application materials to their profile on job sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. Other job boards pull a workers employment history directly from their LinkedIn profile. Assuming the former, once generic application materials are uploaded, applicants can simply scroll through online job ads and click the one-click apply button for each and every job that interests them. With each click, resume and application materials are instantly submitted to prospective employers.

The pros of one-click apply

Convenience. Convenience. Convenience. Job sites that offer one-click apply provide a quick and easy way to apply for jobs. One-click saves job seekers the hassle of having to enter the same personal information and upload the same documents into each and every job ad they respond to. One-click apply is especially appealing for candidates who find positions for which they have only marginally interest, are unsure if they meet all the qualifications for, or otherwise feel they may not be competitive for. In these long-shot scenarios, one-click spares candidates the hours of customizing cover letters and resumes.

For organizations, one-click apply enables employers to attract a wider net of applicants. Moreover, offering one-click applications enhances an organization’s brand recognition among job site visitors, and can also increase completion rates and lower candidate drop-off rates.

The cons of one-click apply

In short, the data shows that, for job seekers, utilizing one-click functionality has no impact on the probability applicants will hear back from an employer.

Why is this the case? The logic behind one-click applying goes as follows: organizations use their automated applicant tracking systems to scan for keywords in your resume they believe are good matches for the available job. The one-click application process generates a large quantity of applicants which gives the ATS software plenty of data to sort through and find strong candidates.

Here’s the problem(s). First, roughly 40% of organizations do not use ATS software. In those cases, your one-click application is indistinguishable from dozens of others, or more. Actually, its worse, because unlike the candidates who bypassed the one-click apply and personalized their resume and cover letter, your application contains only the generic application materials you uploaded to your job board profile.

Second, even if an organization does use one of the best applicant tracking systems on the market, your application may be discarded, even if you are a good fit. Why? Because ATS software relies on specific keyword alignment. Therefore, if your resume includes relevant, but not exact, keywords the ATS software is searching for (e.g. “project management” instead of “project manager”), your application may not make it through the initial ATS screening.

How to utilize one-click apply

In most cases, utilizing one-click apply requires job seekers to create a profile on relevant job boards and upload their resume, along with any other required job materials.

For example, on Indeed, once job seekers create a profile, they can click on the “Upload your resume” link in the top right portion of the webpage.

Once candidates upload a resume, they can utilize one-click in one of two ways. First, job seekers can search through the Indeed database. If any of the positions they are interested in offers one-click apply, a button indicating so will appear in the job ad. In those scenarios, candidates only need to click the one-click apply button to complete the application process. On sites like ZipRecruiter, once candidates click the one-click apply button, the button changes to read “applied” to confirm application submission.

Secondly, sites like Indeed offer search functionality that allows job seekers to narrow their search parameters to only those positions that offer one-click apply. Utilizing this search filter may be useful for candidates who feel like they’ve already applied to all of the positions they believe to be good fits for, but would like to cast a wider net.


It’s imperative job-seekers understand what one-click does and does not offer. One-click offers convenience. It provides job seekers the ability to apply for far more jobs than they could without the technology. However, an easier application process does, in any way, equate to an easier path to finding your dream job. Based on all of the data, anecdotal or otherwise, we have on one-click, your best chance to earn an interview is to submit a personalized application tailored to the position at hand. So cast your net wide, but also put in the effort for the positions that truly interest you.

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