How to use Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant to look for a new job… on LinkedIn

While polishing your resume is still as much about relevant experience and skills as ever, finding a job now involves targeting the right keywords and SEO, too. That’s how Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant can help: tapping LinkedIn to assist your work experience.

Resume Assistant is now part of Microsoft Word, assuming you have an Office 365 subscription and subscribe to LinkedIn. It’s part of Microsoft’s combination of apps and services, and a key part of justifying Microsoft’s $26 billion purchase of the business networking service.

It’s important to note that Resume Assistant doesn’t actually alter or correct your resume; it merely suggests ways to improve it. Resume Assistant can tap into other LinkedIn profiles and mine them for what made them successful.

Be aware that there’s far more assistance further down the Resume Assistant column. Scroll down to see suggested skills, helpful articles to assist your resume writing, and a list of open jobs near you in that specific field. Finally, there’s a link to LinkedIn to submit your resume, and let the world know that you’re looking for a job.

If that seems like a lot of LinkedIn references to a feature within Word—well, you’re right. It’s probably fair to say that Word’s Resume Assistant (“powered by LinkedIn”) is geared more toward uploading your profile to LinkedIn than to helping you ship your resume around the web…and away from Microsoft’s services.

How to get started with Resume Assistant

Though you can manually turn on Resume Assistant within Word, the easiest way is to launch Word, then select an existing resume template. Resume Assistant should launch in a sidebar to the right. If you have an existing resume, you can also open it within Word. If Resume Assistant doesn’t open automatically, you may launch it manually via the Tell me what you want to do search box, where you can type in Resume Assistant. Also, make sure you’ve enabled LinkedIn integration via File > Options > General > Show LinkedIn features in my Office applications).

word resume assistant start Mark Hachman / IDG

Resume Assistant is the big, blue sidebar—you can’t miss it.

When you’re ready to move on, click the Get Started button in the blue Resume Assistant pane to the right. It’s here that LinkedIn will begin suggesting ways to frame your work experience.

LinkedIn will autofill your most recent position as a way to start hunting down relevant information, but you can select whatever title and industry you’d like. (If you don’t identify one on the list, though, LinkedIn won’t be able to suggest any examples.) Click the Read More link for the full listing.

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