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Microsoft Integrates Word and LinkedIn with 'Resume Assistant'

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled the next step in its ongoing effort to integrate its various productivity applications with LinkedIn, which it acquired last year for over $26 billion.

The company took the wraps off a new capability in Microsoft Word called "Resume Assistant" that, as its name suggests, helps job seekers improve their resumes. To do this, Resume Assistant uses artificial intelligence (AI) to surface job data from the LinkedIn Graph, and presents that data to the user in a LinkedIn window that appears directly on the Word interface.

Bryan Goode, general manager of Microsoft Office 365, and Kumaresh Pattabiraman, LinkedIn director of product management, introduced Resume Assistant in an online presentation to media on Wednesday. According to Pattabiraman, over 80 percent of all resumes are updated in Word. That, combined with LinkedIn's position as the largest online professional social network, means integrating the two products can significantly streamline the resume-editing process.

"This really marks the beginning of the potential we can bring across LinkedIn and Microsoft," Goode said.

In a demo during the presentation, Microsoft showed how Word can automatically detect if a newly opened document is a resume. It then launches the Resume Assistant feature, which pulls relevant information from LinkedIn's repository of 500 million member profiles to give the user suggestions as they edit their resume.

[Click on image for larger view.] Resume Assistant presents information relevant to the Word user's resume straight from LinkedIn.

For example, Resume Assistant shows the most common skills and phrases associated with the job titles that appear in the user's resume. It also suggests open positions that may interest the user, based on key words in their resume. Users can follow up with open job listings straight from Word, using the Resume Assistant feature.

Currently, Resume Assistant "works best" for updating existing resumes, Pattabiraman noted. "In the near future, we plan new features that will make it super easy to bring LinkedIn information onto the resume and vice versa," he said.

Resume Assistant is still in preview stage. It will begin rolling out on Thursday to those enrolled in the Office 365 Insider program, with broader availability expected in 2018. Goode indicated during the presentation that it will be initially available to Word on Office 365, though Microsoft eventually plans to extend it across its full productivity family.

"Our plan is to bring Resume Assistant across our platform, so Windows, Mac, [Office] Online and beyond," Goode said.

Since announcing its acquisition of LinkedIn last year, Microsoft has been exploring avenues to integrate the social network's vast pool of user and company data with its own productivity stack. Earlier this year, it began integrating LinkedIn with Dynamics 365 with the launch of Microsoft Relationship Sales.

Goode gave a brief and vague update on the ongoing LinkedIn integration during the presentation. "The integration itself is going well. The focus is really on growing the LinkedIn business and finding places where we can really bring the magic of LinkedIn and Microsoft together to create new user experiences," he said. "I think Resume Assistant is one more great example of us being able to do that."

More information on Resume Assistant is available on this LinkedIn blog.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.