Resumes are a necessary evil. Not everyone likes making them because of the effort involved. Not everyone can design resumes well. That’s why the Resume Assistant feature in Microsoft Word can be a Godsend if you don’t know where to start or don’t have the words to describe your job roles.
Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant isn’t a template. It is a powerful suggestion tool that takes your desired role and then gives you insights and examples of skills from others in the same role. You can craft your own professional resume with the help of the ideas drawn from your peers.
Note: This feature is available to Office 365 Windows subscribers. The Resume Assistant button is part of the Review tab on the Ribbon. If you do not see the Resume Assistant, check if you have the latest updates from Microsoft.
If the button is visible but dimmed, then you must enable your LinkedIn integration. Go to File > Options > General tab. Under LinkedIn Features, select the check box for Show LinkedIn features in my Office applications and click OK.
Start Designing with the Resume Assistant
You can activate Resume Assistant by:
- Click the Resume Assistant button on the Review tab.
- Open your resume or a Word resume template with Microsoft Word.
The Resume Assistant takes you through a few steps after you click the Get Started button:
- Enter your job role and optionally an industry. The assistant will autosuggest both for you. Click on See examples.
- You can tweak the job role and the industry to narrow down to your desired role with the help of the example profiles displayed. You can also filter the results by top skills. For instance, if you are a “programmer”, you can filter the example results with a few specialized skills and programming languages. For “writing” it might show “copywriting”, “journalism”, or “creative writing”. These sub-categories can be further filtered to help you drill down to the exact role you are looking for.
- Browse through the resume examples in the results. The work experience examples come from public profiles on LinkedIn and you will notice that the names of the people they belong to are not displayed. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can click on See examples on LinkedIn and get a few more insights there like median salary and the top companies hiring in the sector.
LinkedIn says that:
If you have a LinkedIn account, the information you share in your public profile is available to be shown in Resume Assistant, but you can opt out of sharing this information in your privacy settings.
Head towards LinkedIn and log in to disable this information sharing.
Click on Me > Settings & Privacy > Privacy.
Scroll down to the Security section and under Microsoft Word, click on Change. Toggle the slider from Yes to No. The preference is saved automatically.
The Benefits of Resume Assistant for Your Career
The Resume Assistant is like a catalyst. You might have noticed that it is not meant to be a cut-paste tool nor is it a template. It is instead a powerful research tool that surfaces similar professional profiles to yours. The information here gives you better idea of the key skills you can highlight on your resume. There are no personal identifiable details on view, but the descriptions are handy hints to compare your resume to others in the same industry.
Use it to edit your resume. And an important jump off point to research what your industry wants. Scroll down the sidebar and use these sections.
- Browse the Top skills and benchmark yourself against the highlighted skills for your role.
- The Articles to help write your resume can help you design or improve your own resume.
- The Suggested jobs are curated for your job skills and the industry. You can apply to them via LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is now a Microsoft company. Turn Word into a more powerful tool by using the Resume Assistant as a bridge with LinkedIn. Go to LinkedIn and share your career interests with recruiters. You can also specify your city, region, or postal code to improve the suggested results. And LinkedIn does assure us that it takes steps to keep Recruiter users who work at your company, as well as related companies, from seeing the career interests that you share.
But do remember this…
You Still Have to Put in the Work to Design Your Resume
Microsoft Word templates can help. There are also several third-party resume templates available for free on the web. Pick a good template and use the hints from the Resume Assistant to key in the relevant details. A well-crafted resume needs occasional maintenance. But that effort goes a long way when you are trying to give yourself an edge among the competition.
Have you tried the Resume Assistant yet? Did it give you some inspiration to improve your existing resume?
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