Reverse Job Apply for Software Engineers
The start of a paradigm shift: Have recruiters apply to you. #ReverseApply
Eric Sanders
Eric Sanders
Product/Content Lead at Laskie
September 12, 2022

Reverse Apply v1 is live! This article has been replaced here:

Set this up for yourself

If you're okay with the public seeing that you're entertaining offers: Use Reverse Apply in your LinkedIn header (this is what the public sees, e.g. CEOs of startups) and in your LinkedIn “About” section (this is what recruiters see when they use LinkedIn Recruiter). You can also use Reverse Apply on your website, GitHub, etc. See #1 and #2 below.

If you want to keep it private: Use Reverse Apply as an automated template to reply to emails and LinkedIn messages from recruiters. Ask them to apply to you in a structured format. See #3 below.

See how it looks

Live demo:

Intro video

1. Quickstart Guide - Add a link in your LinkedIn "About" section

To quickly set up Reverse Apply and have recruiters apply to you, just follow these steps:

Add the Reverse Apply text and link to your LinkedIn "About" section.

Reverse Apply on LinkedIn

Example text:

I get a lot of messages from recruiters. To respect both of our time, instead of messaging me, please fill out this form: [custom URL, from step #3 below]
  1. Make a copy of the Reverse Apply form. (You will need to be signed into Google Drive.)
  2. (Optional) Customize the form's intro or any questions.
  3. Hit "Send", then copy the shortened URL. This is the public link you can now use on LinkedIn, email, your website, etc.
  4. (Optional) Hit "Responses", then the three dots, then select "Get email notifications for new responses".
  5. Add the link to your LinkedIn, email templates, website, GitHub, and anywhere else you have a profile.

That's it! Now, you will get an email every time a recruiter applies to you.

You can use the same text and link to reply to recruiter LinkedIn messages and emails. This way, all your recruiter applications will come into a single place.

2. Add a clickable link in your LinkedIn header

Clickable LinkedIn profile link

First, make sure you have 'Creator mode' turned on.

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View Profile.
  3. Scroll down to Resources and click on Creator mode: Off.
  4. Click Next on the Creator mode preview pop-up window.
  5. Add topics (hashtags) to indicate the topics you post about the most.
  6. Click Done.
  7. Follow the prompts to turn on creator mode.

Then, edit your LinkedIn page: Under "Website", add your custom URL and text.

Example text:

Invite me to a job

3. Use Reverse Apply as a Gmail template + for LinkedIn replies

Email template
  1. In Gmail, hit 'Settings' (gear icon).
  2. Hit "Advanced", then go to "Templates" and select "Enable", then "Save Changes"
  3. Compose a new message
  4. Add the Reverse Apply text and link to your email

  5. Hit the three dots, go to "Templates", "Save draft as template", "Save as new template", then name the template (e.g. Reverse Apply), hit "Save"
  6. Test it out: Reply to a message, hit the three dots, go to "Templates", "Insert Template", then select your template

That's it! Now you can quickly respond to recruiter emails and have them all apply to you in the same format.

You can also use this same text to auto-reply to recruiters' LinkedIn messages.

Example text:

Hi there! Thanks for your email. I get a lot of messages from recruiters. To respect both of our time, instead of messaging me, please fill out this form: [custom URL]

4. What is Reverse Apply?

It's time for recruiters to apply to you.

The software engineers we work with keep showing us how they:

  • Get spammy or vague messages from recruiters where they can’t tell what the exact job, stack, or employer is
  • Don't know what the interview process is or if it requires whiteboard interviews
  • Have screening calls that turn out to be a waste of time

To solve this, we started putting all the information upfront into our highly-targeted messages to engineers. They appreciated it.

But still, better messages didn’t seem like the most efficient solution.

Then, our CTO Daniel found an engineer who’d created his own reverse apply form. We saw that it was time to change the paradigm. To design a tool for software engineers to have recruiters apply to them.

We worked with a team of software engineers and recruiters to find the sweet spot of a) the 80/20 of structured job information that engineers need and b) what recruiters will complete.

In our tests, 90% of recruiters happily completed the form, and the 10% who didn't did not have a targeted job opportunity.

This is Reverse Apply. Now:

  • Recruiters apply to you in a structured format, just like a job application but reversed.
  • You get all the information you need to know upfront, including the interview process and if there's a whiteboard interview.
  • You can quickly see if a job opportunity is worth your time before scheduling a call.

5. How does it look to recruiters?

Reverse Apply form

6. How do I support this project?

We would love you to join the community of software engineers who agree that it's time to flip the traditional recruiter-candidate paradigm.

  • Please use hashtag #ReverseApply and #Laskie so we can find your post!

I wrote a little manifesto about the thinking behind Reverse Apply in my Substack newsletter, if you want dig deeper. Here's the LinkedIn launch post, and a LinkedIn video I made to frame this project. I also highly recommend subscribing to our CTO Daniel's Substack, which is focused on software engineers.

7. How do I share feedback?

We'd love your feedback, as well as examples of how you're using/forking Reverse Apply! You can share it with us publicly via the social links above, or DM us on Twitter/LinkedIn. We are excited to take inspiration from your feedback to design the future of our product.

In the next year, we will build the engine to eliminate inefficient recruiter messages. Instead, you will review all your recruiter job applications from within your single Laskie dashboard.

We can't wait to work with you.

8. What can I do next?

To sign up for Laskie and have tech jobs apply to you, go here:

Follow Laskie on LinkedIn for more news on Reverse Apply and people-first job matching!

Connect with me on LinkedIn and DM me any questions about setting it up!

About Author
Eric Sanders
Eric Sanders
Product/Content Lead at Laskie