LinkedIn Privacy

New LinkedIn Privacy Setting (Protect Your Profile from Microsoft Resume Assistant)

Late last year, Microsoft announced a new MS Word feature called Resume Assistant. It connects to LinkedIn and affects your LinkedIn privacy settings. 

What is Resume Assistant?

The idea with Resume Assistant is to make it easier for Microsoft Word users (i.e., everyone) to write their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

How?

By showing them what other people in roles like theirs say about themselves in their LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn Profile Plagiarism

Sadly, this will likely generate profile and resume plagiarism and make it harder for people to differentiate themselves in their marketing documents.

Some of this already goes on, but Resume Assistant will make it much easier for Word users to copy other people’s profiles — including yours.

Here’s how to do it:

View all my “how to” videos on my Donna Svei YouTube Channel.

Your LinkedIn Privacy Settings Automatically Opt You Into LinkedIn Resume Assistant

Unless you opt OUT of Resume Assistant via your LinkedIn privacy settings, LinkedIn can share information from your public profile with Resume Assistant users.

I recommend opting out — unless you want to risk having your profile plagiarized.

You can do so via one of these three options from your desktop and mobile devices:

Option 1: Opt Out of Resume Assistant from Desktop Devices

  1. Log in to your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Click “Me” on the right side of the top horizontal rail.
  3. Click “Settings and Privacy.”
  4. Click “Privacy.”
  5. Scroll down to “Data privacy and advertising.”
  6. Click “Microsoft Word.” (If you don’t see this, use Option 2 or 3 below).
  7. Click the toggle to “No.”

Like this:

Resume Assistant

Setting the toggle to “No” stops LinkedIn from sharing your descriptions of your work experience with Microsoft Word users.

The “No” button will help you prevent copycat versions of your LinkedIn profile from showing up in your competitors’ resumes and profiles.

Here’s a quick “how to” video:

Option 2: Opt Out of Resume Assistant on LinkedIn from Mobile Devices

Grab your mobile and:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn app.
  2. Load your profile.
  3. Click the Settings gear in the upper-right-hand corner of your screen.
  4. Click “Privacy.”
  5. Scroll down until you see “Microsoft Word” and click. (If you don’t see this, use Option 3 below.)
  6. Set the button to “No.”

Option 3: Opt Out of Resume Assistant via This Backdoor Link

There’s a backdoor link to the toggle switch:

  1. Open your LinkedIn profile on your desktop or mobile device.
  2. Using the same device, click this link.

(Thanks to David Petherick for sharing the link.)

Two More Important LinkedIn Privacy Settings

I’m disappointed that Microsoft/LinkedIn would set Resume Assistant up as an opt-out instead of an opt-in.

Where else or how else might the company be sharing your profile information?

See two more important LinkedIn privacy settings below:

Profile Visibility off LinkedIn

This privacy setting allows LinkedIn to share your profile with “partners and other permitted services.”

That’s vague.

I recommend setting this to “No.”

From your desktop:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Click “Me” on the top horizontal rail.
  3. Click “Settings & Privacy.”
  4. Click “Privacy.”
  5. Scroll down to the “Data privacy and advertising” section.
  6. Click “Profile visibility off LinkedIn.”
  7. Toggle the button from the default “Yes” to “No.”

Like this:

Your Public LinkedIn Profile

Finally, check your public profile settings (what non-LinkedIn connections can see via search engines).

If you don’t want an element of your profile viewed or scraped, then “Hide” it.

From your desktop:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Click “Edit public profile and URL.” It’s towards the top of the right vertical rail.
  3. Review your settings.
  4. Toggle “Hide” for anything you don’t want to have publicly displayed or scraped.

Until the Next Change

Now you’re good to go until the next LinkedIn change!

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.

***

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Look good. Get hired.
Learn more here or email me here for more information.

***

Featured on CareerSherpa
Updated October 2018

© 2018, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Let's Connect:

Comments 26

  1. Update: Tamas Banki asked on Google+ if this can be done via LI’s mobile app.

    Yes, you can set the “No” button from the mobile app.

    1. Go to your profile.
    2. Click the Settings gear in the upper-right-hand corner.
    3. Click “Privacy.”
    4. Scroll down until you see “Microsoft Word” and click.
    5. Set the button to “No.”

  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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. Hi NShah,

    Please see the 1/24 update in red type at the end of the post. And now the 1/26 update above. 🙂

    Thank you,

    Donna

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Michael,

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

    Thank you for sharing this important perspective.

    Donna

  18. Interesting.

    I just checked my Privacy Settings and saw this setting was switched back to “Yes.”

    I turned it back to “No.”

    Keep an eye on your settings!

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