Almost all office jobs now require basic levels of computer literacy, so displaying that you have knowledge and experience of Microsoft Excel and the wider Office suite can be invaluable. Where many candidates trip up however, is when effectively displaying this on their CV.
With so much information to include, such as qualifications, employment history, practical skills, and a personal statement, it’s important to know which aspects to keep to a minimum, and which parts to build out.
When covering computer skills, many candidates will simply list ‘Microsoft Excel’ with no further details. As Microsoft Office programmes have a huge range of functions and features, this is both vague and unhelpful for an employer. Additionally, it’s essential to display your own skill level, to distinguish yourself from other applicants.
If you’re competent in Microsoft Excel, don’t just write the programme name on your CV. Prove your skill level by mentioning the features you’re familiar with. A knowledge of Macros, Pivot Tables, Data Manipulation and VLOOKUPs is highly desirable by many employers, and displaying your awareness and familiarity with these functions is invaluable.
This can be applied to other Microsoft Office programmes too. If you have experience in PowerPoint, you can mention your knowledge of Slide Masters, SmartArt, Animations, and importing data into a presentation. By including these details, you’re indicating from the outset that your knowledge is genuine, and letting an employer know exactly what you can do.
When applying for a job, listing your skills is a great start. To really impress an employer however, it’s best to provide examples of how you’ve used these skills in the past. This will not only back up your claims, it will also give an indication that you know how to apply these skills effectively.
If you’re just starting out on the career ladder, don’t be afraid to list university experience. For example, if you created financial models as part of a research project, then be sure to mention it. If you have experience in the workplace, such as creating a sales report or analytics database, don’t leave this out. You can state this alongside your skills, as part of your employment history, or within your personal statement – just ensure that your valuable experiences aren’t hidden from view.
Whatever you write on your CV, the most important rule of all is not to lie. Regularly, candidates list a desired skill on their CV under the assumption that if it’s required, they can learn it on-the-job, or at the last minute. However, if a job is advertised as requiring a certain skill – for example an understanding of pivot tables – it’s not uncommon for a short test to be built into the interview process. If you list skills you don’t have, you’ll be wasting both the interviewer’s time, and your own.
When job hunting, it can be daunting to constantly see lists of desired skills that you may not yet possess. There’s no need to worry, however, as help is at hand. Here at The Excel Experts, we don’t just provide business excel consultancy, we also offer training across the entire Microsoft Office suite. We can deliver introductory, basic or advanced levels of help, via online courses, remote assistance, one-to-one training, or group sessions. We can help you work towards an Office qualification, alongside giving valuable experience, which will be invaluable to your CV. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team, today.