Microsoft and LinkedIn’s Resume Assistant is the software giant’s riposte to Google’s attempts to carve a niche for themselves in the recruitment industry. And it looks like it just might blow Google for Jobs right out of the water.
When Google announced in May of this year that they were entering the recruitment niche with Google for Jobs, the world sat up and took notice. The internet behemoth had, at last, entered the fray yet they did so in a slightly unexpected way. Rather than setting themselves against the competition, Google decided to work together with the industry’s leaders partnering up to give themselves a slice of the action with a minimum of effort.
Yet now it might seem that their willingness to share the wealth (so to speak) may have backfired spectacularly as Microsoft has somehow managed to completely remove the search engine giant from the job search process.
So what is Resume Assistant?
Resume Assistant is a new extension in Microsoft Word that uses LinkedIn data to help you create a resume that will make recruiters go weak at the knees. Yes, it’s really that good.
It’s available to all Office 365 subscribers who have the latest edition of Microsoft Office installed on their computer. Now while that might seem to eliminate a huge percentage of the computer-using population, Microsoft maintains that 80% of the world’s candidates use Word to create or edit their resumes. Quite how they reached this precise figure is anyone’s guess, but we’re inclined to believe that it is indeed somewhere in that region.
How does it work?
Resume Assistant sits in your Microsoft Word sidebar and chimes in with suggestions according to your job title and skills.
So let’s say successful people in your line of work use particular keywords and phrases in their resumes, Resume Assistant grabs this data from LinkedIn and then presents it to you. The idea being that if successful people use these words and phrases then so too should you.
Now we know what you’re thinking. It sounds pretty cool but how does this affect Google for Jobs?
In a recent blog post, Bryan Goode, general manager for Office 365 stated that “Nearly 70 percent of people say they have difficulty portraying their work experience effectively, and 50 percent struggle to tailor their resume to a specific job opportunity. Furthermore, job applications on LinkedIn have increased 40 percent year-over-year, signaling increased competition for jobs.”
Microsoft’s and LinkedIn’s response to these findings was to incorporate a wide range of features into Resume Assistant that include the ability to
- Search for in-demand skills that a candidate can then make sure to include on their resume.
- Immediately let recruiters know that the resume writer is available via LinkedIn’s Open Candidates.
- Connect the user to LinkedIn’s ProFinder.
- Allow the resume writer to browse job listings on LinkedIn and apply for those positions through Word.
So as you can see, despite its rather modest name, this is far more than a simple resume assistant. This extension has the power to completely remove Google (and every other search engine for that matter) from the job search process. A power we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand.
When Microsoft purchased LinkedIn last year, it said that the reason it valued the professional network so highly was because of its data. However, we’re quite sure that not even the savviest of industry experts would have predicted such a clever use of LinkedIn’s incredible mine of information. And that crafty outmanoeuvring of Google’s attempts to corner a piece of the market is simply the icing on top.
We’ll go on record here to say that whoever came up with this idea is nothing short of a genius. Putting job opportunities right there in front of candidates as they write or edit their resumes is incredibly clever. But also giving them the ability to apply without ever leaving their Office 365 Suite is a pure masterstroke.
So what happens next?
Well, that’s anyone’s guess. If Microsoft’s assertion that 80% of resume writers use Word is true, then Resume Assistant certainly puts LinkedIn at the forefront of the job search process. And with over 60 million monthly subscribers to Office 365, the number of passive and active candidates using or at least trying out the feature will surely top a million.
Just when we thought that Google might start to gain a foothold in the job search market, along comes the old professional stalwart that is LinkedIn to prove that there’s life in the old dog yet. Of course, we never doubted for second the power of LinkedIn particularly following the $26.2 billion takeover by Microsoft. Having said that though, we never imagined that they would make such a spectacular move and completely sidestep their biggest rival in the process.
But it’s not just LinkedIn and Microsoft making waves in the job search market. Facebook teased us recently, hinting that they are in the process of developing and testing a resume feature that will make recruiting through the world’s biggest social media platform a much easier task than it currently is.
While we’re all aboard the social media recruitment train, we’re not quite sure that a platform used primarily for social interaction will ever threaten a network like LinkedIn. But stranger things have happened, and if Facebook’s resume feature turns out to be of value, then it could open up further opportunities for the recruiters of the world to zero in on their perfect candidates.
Whatever happens, this back and forth between the giants of the internet can only benefit the recruitment industry. The easier these networks make it for candidates to put their names out there, the easier it is for recruiters to hire them.
Are you finding it easy to find your perfect candidates? Or does your recruitment team need a resume assistant of their very own? Well, we’re not quite an Office 365 extension, but in terms of candidate sourcing, here at vsource, we’re all the tech you’ll need. So if you want to give your team a boost and add some expertise to your efforts, get in touch with one of our talent sourcing consultants today, and together we’ll make sure you get the right candidates in your pipeline.