LinkedIn is great for networking and job search but there are certain features you want to be careful with or avoid all together. One of the ones you want to avoid is actually controlled by a setting within Microsoft Office 356, allowing language from your LinkedIn profile to be used in Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant feature – that is, for other MS Office users to access language from your LinkedIn profile.

Resume Assistant is available to Microsoft 365 users who are Office Insiders, and allows you to see work experience examples and skills descriptions from public LinkedIn Profiles. This means that the hard work you have done to create your unique profile may show up in Resume Assistant and become parts of other jobseekers’ resumes. In other words, Resume Assistant provides content from LinkedIn users to help you develop your resume. You will not be able to identify the names of the people whose content you are seeing. Resume Assistant It will also show you potential jobs that meet your criteria.

While this might not bother you if you’re trying to create a resume, if you are job hunting and have spent time, effort, and perhaps money to develop your resume, you may not want other people stealing / using that content for free. And if the content is used often enough, your content might become boilerplate language for other resumes.

Bottom line: Be aware that LinkedIn now has a feature where your profile can be extracted into a Word document by other LinkedIn users.

Here is how to make sure this setting is turned off:

  • Go to your “Settings” section.
  • Click on “Privacy.”
  • You will see the option for “Microsoft Word.” Click on that.
  • Make sure the setting is then changed to “No.”

Further, you should never copy and paste your resume into your LinkedIn profile where that language could be copied. Let lots of people see your LinkedIn profile, but only give your resume to people you target.

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.