In 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for over $26 billion. This was a very strategic move, as LinkedIn is considered one of the most powerful and effective social media platforms in the world. The good news is that LinkedIn is now integrated with Office 365, the popular enterprise suite for email, file sharing and document processing. Imagine having a database with access to LinkedIn’s 500 million users that you can access right from Microsoft Outlook. That’s exactly what you get with the Office 365 and LinkedIn integration.
Professionals across all fields had already been using Office 365 and LinkedIn separately, so the integration made sense. The two platforms complement each other: Office 365 allows professionals to efficiently manage all of their work from a centralized location, while LinkedIn provides a robust professional networking platform.
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Office 365 and LinkedIn
Office 365 is a favored enterprise solution among business users. The platform offers many of the features that businesses need, including convenient email management with Outlook, a full document processing suite, instant messaging, voice and video calls, and encrypted cloud storage. Most importantly, Office 365 provides all of these services and apps on a single, accessible platform.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn offers a vast wealth of data that can be used for lead prospecting and connecting with businesses or other professionals. When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, it not only gained access to a popular social media network but also a vast amount of business intelligence.
By combining the strengths of Office 365 and LinkedIn, Microsoft has made it easier for professionals to build and manage their business relationships. Importantly, you no longer have to leave Office 365 and head over to LinkedIn to acquire business intelligence—it’s all right there for you to view, with ease of access through mouseovers and other features.
The Resume Assistant
Even if you’re not actively seeking employment, you need a good resume to reflect your experience and interests to potential employers, colleagues, and other professionals in your field. This is at the heart of networking. In our connected and digital world, you need a good resume to stay relevant.
Many C-level executives pay top dollar to have their resumes polished to the nines, but the average person doesn’t have the budget to hire a personal resume writer. Fortunately, there’s an alternative—the integration of Office 365 and LinkedIn has introduced the Resume Assistant.
The Resume Assistant is found within Microsoft Word. With it, users can easily mine the profiles of over 500 million LinkedIn users to draw inspiration from sample resumes of professionals in similar positions. Bryan Goode, general manager for Office 365, wrote this in a blog post:
“The workplace is changing, impacting not only how people work, but also the frequency with which they change roles, introducing new challenges for job seekers. 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.”
To access the Research Assistant, simply launch Word and head over to Review > Resume Assistant > Get started. Click on “See Examples” to view similar LinkedIn profiles in your field. You can also filter top skills identified by LinkedIn.
But when you integrate the Resume Assistant, it can be used for so much more than just resume writing. You can use it to alert recruiters that you’re actively looking for employment. Other benefits include:
- Signaling availability for recruitment through Open Candidates
- Filtering jobs by skills to better match your experience
- Customizing your resume to improve how your profile is presented to others
LinkedIn profile cards allow you to view someone’s job history, skills, and other basic information through Outlook, making it easy to familiarize yourself with their experiences and get a better sense of who they are and what they value. Microsoft spokesperson Frank X. Shaw put it this way:
“This will result in experiences like having LinkedIn content integrated with the Office 365 profile card. So, for example, before you go into an interview, information about that person from LinkedIn will show up in their contact card inside your Outlook Calendar in Office 365.”
When people view your profile card, they see how much you value your position and skills. In turn, you see insights such as where the person worked or went to school and what they do. If you receive an email from someone new, you can start a thoughtful conversation based on information gleaned from their profile card. You can also send a LinkedIn connection invite through user’s profile card.
People want to see how well you differentiate your abilities from others in the same field, and they also want to see career progression. Don’t hesitate to include achievements and promotions in your profile. This could be something along the lines of “Increased overall sales by X percent within 10 months.”
Keep in mind that profile cards aren’t just for users—they’re perfect for recruiters, too. Simply hover over a person’s name and go to the “LinkedIn” tab on the profile card to view their LinkedIn profile information, such as their work history, education, and skills.
Master the Art of Connecting
When you get introduced to an individual by someone who already knows them, you get an endorsement of your authenticity. This is considered a warm introduction, and it’s one of the most valuable currencies in the world of networking.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects and clients: if you had the choice of either speaking with a complete stranger or an acquaintance of a friend, what would you do? Most people would choose the acquaintance of a friend.
With a warm introduction, you already have someone in common. This can help the conversation flow more freely, while building trust. Profile cards can help you request warm introductions with connections of people within your organization. As they say: it’s not what you know but who you know. Warm introductions lead to jobs, partnerships, sales, and more opportunities.
Accelerate Your Sales
What about sales? Nowadays, you won’t see many salespeople going door to door selling wares or making random cold calls. In the B2B space, you need to be effective about where and how you get your leads—and often, warm outreaches are better than cold ones.
There are only so many hours in a day, and 100 random phone calls aren’t going to be nearly as effective as five targeted inquiries. It’s a no-brainer that business is driven by sales. To get those sales, you need to be willing to spend some time to research and identify qualified leads. The funnel needs to keep flowing through vigilance and persistence.
So why do many professionals use LinkedIn? Because it gives them access to over 500 million users with professional profiles. And since LinkedIn is now integrated with Office 365, access and insights are less complex to manage. You can use filters by demographics, location, and more. All in all, LinkedIn helps you build strategic relationships and drive your sales by connecting with the right people.
Does your LinkedIn profile need a little TLC? Check out our blog on How to Make Your MSP LinkedIn Profile Stand Out
Microsoft and LinkedIn Graph
Microsoft Graph is a cloud-based API that facilitates the integration of Office 365 and LinkedIn. It’s also designed around a self-learning algorithm. With the LinkedIn integration, you get deeper and real-time insights on:
In short, you get simplified and centralized communication without having to open any other portals.
The Office 365 and LinkedIn integration improves productivity and networking, allowing users to gather key insights and connect with other professionals. Since Office 365 is completely cloud based, it’s easy to implement and use from virtually anywhere. To learn more about how Office 365 complements the modern business workflow, check out our blog on How Office 365 is Driving the Digital Workplace.