Using Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant

Microsoft Word Resume Assistant

If you use Microsoft Word to write a professional resume, you may have noticed a new feature – the Resume Assistant, powered by LinkedIn. The Resume Assistant usually automatically pops up in Microsoft Word when you open a resume.

Microsoft launched Resume Assistant in 2017, about a year after the company acquired LinkedIn and began integrating and providing new features with the professional social media company.

Statistics show that as much as 80% of resumes in the U.S. are written in Word. Resume Assistant is a feature that “lives within” Word and leverages data from more than 500 million LinkedIn profiles and about 11 million LinkedIn job postings.

The main feature and selling point of Resume Assistant is that it provides real-world examples of job descriptions based on positions (like accountant) or industries (like journalism), gathered from the massive data pool of LinkedIn profiles and job postings.

We reviewed Resume Assistant and discovered there are many helpful aspects to the feature, but there are quite a few drawbacks, as well. Read on to find out how Resume Assistant works, how to use it to your best advantage, and some of the limitations of the Microsoft feature.

The Nuts and Bolts

When you open a resume in Microsoft Word, Resume Assistant may automatically pop up in the right-hand corner. If it doesn’t, click on Review and then click on Resume Assistant.

Type in the role you’re interested in and, if you want, also type in the industry you’re interested in. Resume Assistant will then show you examples of work experience and job descriptions from real LinkedIn profiles. From there, you can also filter the search results by the top skills for the position and industry.

Underneath work experience examples, Resume Assistant also shows articles to help write your resume and suggested jobs from LinkedIn based on the role and industry you selected. At the very bottom, there’s also a link to the LinkedIn feature that lets recruiters know you’re open to new job opportunities.

Lastly, the Editor function in Resume Assistant checks your resume for specific style issues such as unsuitable expressions, first-person references, and vague language. The Editor function is automatically on, and there’s the option to turn it off.

If you’re not a fan of Resume Assistant and don’t want it to automatically pop up, there is a way to turn it off. In Windows, turn of Resume Assistant by switching off all LinkedIn features in Microsoft Office. On a Mac, you can turn it off by going to Preferences in Word.

How Resume Assistant Helps

Microsoft Word Resume Assistant

Resume Assistant is an easy feature to use in Microsoft Word. While Resume Assistant doesn’t have many functions, there are some clear benefits to using it for job hunters.

Looking at how job descriptions and work experience is worded from real-life LinkedIn profiles isn’t a bad idea. If several LinkedIn profiles in your industry or desired position list the same skills and experiences, it makes sense you should try to incorporate them into your resume.

Reviewing job description examples can also help when you’re feeling stuck and need inspiration. Also, the industry- and job-specific examples that Resume Assistant provides are very targeted. As we’ve noted before, resumes today need to be especially focused for each position you apply to and for the industry and the company.

With Resume Assistant, you can look at what people list in their job descriptions for specific positions like “Product Marketing Associate” or “Vice President of Operations.” Pay close attention to the keywords they use, as well as the language used in describing their jobs and work experience.

Resume Assistant’s Drawbacks

Resume Assistant is a helpful tool, but it shouldn’t be the only tool you use to build your resume. There are a few things to consider before relying too heavily on Word’s Resume Assistant.

First off, Resume Assistant only provides job description examples from LinkedIn profiles – not professional resumes. This is important to note because job descriptions in your LinkedIn profile and your resume may look different.

LinkedIn profiles are an extension of your resume that allows you to portray a more comprehensive picture of who you are and the value you bring. You’re not limited to two-pages and in addition to having a professional profile picture you can also expand much further to include things like courses taken, projects to showcase, recommendations, etc.

Job descriptions on LinkedIn can be longer, more comprehensive, and written in a more casual tone. This especially applies to your LinkedIn summary, which will be more casual than your resume.  

On a resume, job descriptions ideally need to include only the most important information and achievements. After all, your resume should be kept to two pages max and be able to capture a reader’s attention within six seconds.

A good resume job description also depends on a variety of factors, so using isolated examples from LinkedIn profiles may not make much sense. For example, if you’re changing industries, you’ll want to highlight certain parts of a previous job for transferrable skills. Looking at LinkedIn examples probably won’t help you with this.

When writing a resume job description, it’s also important to use keywords from the specific job posting. LinkedIn profile examples may give you some ideas, but you’re better off matching the phrasing of the job posting.

The Bottom Line

Microsoft Word Resume Assistant

Microsoft’s Resume Assistant provides a few ideas and inspiration for job hunters, but that’s about it.

Resume Assistant conveniently gathers job description examples, but you could just as easily look at LinkedIn profiles for examples. The examples that Resume Assistant shows in search results are also very inconsistent in quality. Some of the job descriptions are well written, but others aren’t so great.

We recommend using Resume Assistant sparingly. If you want to see examples of good resumes or resume job descriptions, you’re better off with a simple Google search or viewing our professional resume examples. Using Resume Assistant also doesn’t replace the need for knowing the fundamentals of writing a resume.

Job descriptions in resumes should use active verbs and metrics to show specific accomplishments and the results of those accomplishments. The thing is, if you follow this golden rule of resume writing, you don’t have much need for Resume Assistant.

If you’re stuck with resume writing or your resume isn’t landing the interview you want, contact us today. We can make your resume stand out among the enormous pool of job applicants out there by creating an effective and uniquely tailored resume for you.

Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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