LinkedIn Resume Assistant

How to Use & Protect Yourself from LinkedIn Resume Assistant

Launched several years ago, Resume Assistant was one of the first product integrations between LinkedIn and its corporate overlord, Microsoft. 

What is LinkedIn Resume Assistant?

The idea with the LinkedIn Resume Assistant feature (aka Microsoft Word Resume Assistant) is to make it easier for Microsoft 365 users to write compelling resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

How?

By displaying language that people with similar job titles in relevant industries use to describe themselves in their LinkedIn profiles.

How Do I Get LinkedIn Resume Assistant?

If you’re wondering where to find Resume Assistant:

  1. Go to Microsoft 365.
  2. Open Word.
  3. Look for “Tell me” on the top horizontal rail.
  4. Type “Resume Assistant” and click on the link.
  5. If you open it while you have your resume open, be sure to save your file first. It crashed my test document.
How Do I Use Resume Assistant?

Once you’re in:

  1. Start typing your desired job title on the “Role” line.
  2. Choose from the provided options.
  3. Start typing your desired industry on the “Add industry” line.
  4. Choose from the provided options.
  5. Read the displayed examples and/or ask for more.
  6. Check out the “Top Skills” for the role shown below the examples.
Synergy

As Bill Gates said to Bloomberg at the time of Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn:

“I certainly think that the value of the two companies, combined, is greater than the two by themselves.”

It worked in this case; Resume Assistant makes Word a better product by adding a beneficial feature, and it makes LinkedIn a better site by improving the quality of its members’ profiles.”

LinkedIn Profile Plagiarism

However, while Resume Assistant can be a great idea generator for the stumped resume writer, it also makes it super easy for job seekers to find and copy great profiles.

Of course, some of this went on before Microsoft built the feature, but Resume Assistant almost encourages it.

This video shows you how easily a copycat using anonymous mode could use Microsoft Word Resume Assistant to find and copy your LinkedIn profile without you ever knowing about it:

You Are Opted Into LinkedIn Resume Assistant

Did that video impress you? If it did, you need to know that unless you opt out of Resume Assistant, LinkedIn can share information from your public profile with Word users anywhere.

Thus, I recommend opting out — unless you want to risk having your profile copied.

You can do so via your desktop and mobile devices:

How to Opt Out of Resume Assistant from Desktop
  1. Log in to your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Click “Me” on the right side of the top, horizontal rail.
  3. Then, click “Settings and Privacy.”
  4. Next, click “Data privacy.”
  5. Then, click “Other applications.”
  6. Choose “Microsoft Word.”
  7. Click the toggle to “No.”

Like this:

Resume Assistant

Setting the toggle to “No” stops LinkedIn from sharing your profile with Microsoft Word users.

How to Opt Out of Resume Assistant from Mobile

Grab your mobile and:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn app.
  2. Load your profile.
  3. Click the Settings gear in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  4. Then, click “Data Privacy.”
  5. Scroll way down until you see “Microsoft Word” and click.
  6. Set the button to “No.”
Double-Check Your Opt-Out

I’ve had several reports of LinkedIn members being opted back into Resume Assistant after they opted out. Thus, it’s smart to recheck your setting a few days after you make the change.

How to Check for LinkedIn Profile Copycats

Are you curious to see if anyone has copied your profile?

Drop a few lines into Copyscape. It will show your profile and any others with the same language in a quick report.

Learn more here:

What About Your Resume Writer?

If you have hired a resume or LinkedIn profile writer, it also makes sense to check their work on Copyscape before you go public with it.

How to Handle LinkedIn Profile Plagiarists

If you find someone has lifted part or all of your profile, send them a polite note asking them to stop.

If they don’t, report them to LinkedIn:

  1. Click the “More” button to the right of their profile photo.
  2. Then, click “Report.”
  3. Choose “Report this profile.”
  4. Click “I think this profile violates terms of use.”

I find the polite request works most of the time.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please invite me to connect on LinkedIn. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

You Might Like

How to Use LinkedIn’s “Active” Feature
LinkedIn’s Problematic “People Also Viewed” Feature
How to Get a Custom URL for Your LinkedIn Profile

Featured on CareerSherpa
Image: KrakenImages
Updated February 2021

© 2018 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 19

  1. Interesting. I hadn’t heard that LinkedIn launched Resume Assistant. I’m glad there is an option to protect your profile copy.

  2. Hi Donna.

    Thanks for the information.

    What are your thoughts about the area “Using public data to improve your profile”?

    Thank you –

  3. Hi Susanne,

    Thank you for pointing me to this privacy setting (which appears to only be available via the mobile app).

    It gives LinkedIn the OK to match information that’s publicly available about you, say patents you’ve been awarded, to your profile and then if you haven’t added the patent, ask you if you want to do so.

    That sounds helpful, so I left it set to the default, which is “Yes.”

    Donna

  4. Thanks for the suggestion, Donna. I review my privacy settings periodically, but missed this one. In addition, I always ‘suggest’ to my clients that they do the same … especially with the settings that share more than we would prefer.

    Gene, I was surprised too when I saw this one. Donna

  5. I’ve updated my settings. Thank you, Donna,!

    Karen, My pleasure. Nice to hear from you! Donna

  6. According to LinkedIn’s help page about ‘Using Resume Assistant in Microsoft Word’, the tool can only pull in details from your public profile information. By disabling this setting, people can still just copy and paste that information wherever they like, so I don’t see this as very harmful.

  7. Hi Jacob,

    What you write is true. However, Word’s Resume Assistant (RA) offers the information to people working on their resumes. It draws on all the profiles in the LI system.

    RA users don’t have to search Google or login to LI, search for what they’re looking for, and only get results from within their network. Thus, Resume Assistant greatly assists plagiarism.

    While Microsoft frames RA as something to give people ideas, it’s not a big leap to imagine that one of the ideas will be to copy what they’re reading.

    Donna

  8. Thanks Donna for bringing this to my attention. I always coach my clients to regularly check their settings preferences, but I didn’t know about this one. LI has a history of changing / adding things often, so it does make sense to do LI Profile ‘maintenance’ often. Thanks again.

    Susan, I know. This one seemed to appear out of nowhere. Thank you, Donna

  9. Thanks, Donna…
    I’ll pass this along to my clients!

    Dumont, Thank you. I appreciate the shares. Donna

  10. Hi Donna, thanks for sharing. I tried turning this off in Linkedin, however it seems that they have taken out Microsoft Word from the privacy menu. I can’t find it anymore. Can you please confirm? Does this mean I cannot stop Linkedin from using my profile for its resume assistant?

    This was squirrely for years. As of 2/21, LI seems to have it fixed.

  11. Donna, I agree with Jacob and don’t see the sharing of job descriptions a problem. I promote clients searching on people in their field to get an idea of how their role is described in other companies or industries. Since many companies come up with unique titles for roles the client can tailor their resume to the speak to the company they are interested. I loftier goal would be to help to normalize the descriptions and titles of roles across industries. I have faith that people will have the integrity to not plagiarize.

  12. Hi Marlynn,

    I wish I could agree with you.

    Sadly, I’ve seen far too many cases of resume and profile plagiarism to do so.

    Donna

  13. Thank you, Donna, I am so low tech, that I would not have connected the dots of LinkedIn’s resume assistant and profile hacking.

    I will connect with you when I submit send. I am a Career Thought Leaders member and would like to learn more about who you write resumes for, and if you have a specialty.

    Gladys, Thank you. Donna

  14. Thank you, Donna. You gotta wonder about LI “announcements” that most of us haven’t heard of. Why don’t they show up as notifications or appear in our feed?

    Carol, I know. Donna

  15. Every time I display a resume the Resume Assistant window appears. Does anyone know how to disable this? It’s quite annoying to have an unwanted window appear that has to be closed every time a resume is displayed! I saw instructions for using RegEdit to do this but they showed a file path that doesn’t exist on my computer (which uses Windows 10 and Office 365).

  16. Go to File -> Options -> General and untick the “Show LinkedIn features in my Office applications check box. ” Took a while for me to figure that out and get rid of the ANNOYING resume assistant.

  17. Thank you very much for posting this article. Recruiters have to contend with enough plagiarized or “embellished” resumes as is. Its unfortunate that MSFT & LI would provide a means making it that much easier for job seekers to further this unfortunate problem.

  18. Michael,

    As a former recruiter, I agree with you 100%.

    Thank you for sharing this important perspective.

    Donna

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *