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How to List Microsoft Office Skills on a Resume

February 4, 2020

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If you are searching for a job, including Microsoft skills on your resume can tell employers that you have the ability to perform any data-handling and presentation tasks required for the job. Required for most jobs today, these skills can position you as a highly promising candidate with companies. As you customize your resume skills section, it's important to include any Microsoft Office skills you have to offer a company. In this article, we discuss why Microsoft skills are important, the types of skills you should include and how Microsoft Office skills should be listed.

Related: Benefits of Microsoft Certification Training

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Why list Microsoft Office skills on a resume?

Companies often use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, products that are included in Microsoft Office 365 Business. They may also use Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint to make teamwork easier. In fact, Microsoft Office is the most widely-used tool for documenting, organizing information, delivering presentations and processing data. For this reason, Microsoft Office efficiency is usually a required skill for most positions, regardless of your industry.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

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Examples of Microsoft skills to list on a resume

Here is a list of Microsoft Office skills you could include on your resume:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Word

Here are some skills you may want to include to demonstrate your competency with Microsoft Word:

  • Page setup
  • Comparing and merging documents
  • Creating forms using fields and advanced tools
  • Creating and using templates
  • Sharing and protecting documents
  • Tracking changes
  • Creating labels
  • Formatting tables
  • Formatting documents

Related: Computer Skills: Definitions and Examples

Microsoft Excel

Here are some skills you can include to demonstrate competency with Excel:

  • Creating spreadsheets
  • Creating tables
  • Analyzing data
  • Macros
  • Pivot tables and pivot charts
  • Formulas
  • Group data
  • Functions
  • Data validation

Microsoft PowerPoint

Here are some skills you may want to include to demonstrate your competency levels with PowerPoint:

  • Creating presentations
  • Creating and formatting templates
  • Creating interactive slideshows
  • Inserting, embedding and linking media and data
  • Inserting hyperlinks
  • Inserting and formatting media
  • Linking and embedding video
  • Using the advanced timeline
  • Broadcasting and sharing a slideshow

Microsoft Access

Here are some skills you may want to use if you are proficient with Access:

  • Creating and designing databases
  • Calculating controls
  • Data sorting and filtering
  • Creating advanced queries
  • Establishing relationships and joining lines between tables
  • Using VBA and SQL within Access
  • Using other Office applications with Access

Microsoft Outlook

Commonly used by employers for email, here is a list of skills you can include to demonstrate your competency with Outlook:

  • Auto reply
  • Configuring email settings
  • Creating, scheduling and delegating tasks
  • Planning meetings
  • Sharing and configuring calendars

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Levels of proficiency for the skills section

In order to communicate your level of skill with a particular Microsoft product, it's important to include your level of proficiency. Though there are a variety of assessments used to gauge a candidate's level of proficiency, the rating system with which hiring managers are more familiar with is:

  • Fundamental: Fundamental means you have little working experience with the software and little or no training. With this level of skill, you can typically create, save and delete documents and recognize basic icons.
  • Basic: With this level of experience, you have a basic understanding of the software. For Microsoft Word, this usually means you can write and edit text. For Excel, this may mean you can create and format simple spreadsheets, although you will have no experience with functions, sorting or creating tables. For PowerPoint, you may understand how to create a basic presentation.
  • Proficient: This level of proficiency is comparable to having intermediate knowledge of the software. Proficient in Word typically means you know how to create templates, use SmartArt and perform basic page setup, editing and text formatting functions. With Excel, this means you know basic formulas, data linking, pivot tables and charts and how to use IF statements. In PowerPoint, this generally means you know how to create templates, animation, graphs and charts.
  • Intermediate: Intermediate skills build on the basic level of proficiency and require a moderate amount of experience. Creating slideshows in PowerPoint is an intermediate-level task, as is creating formulas in Excel to calculate the desired results for taxes or sales commissions. Using Mail Merge in word to personalize business letters for a mailing campaign is an intermediate skill.
  • Advanced: Understanding how to use OneNote and InfoPath are considered advanced skills for Microsoft Office, as is creating databases in Access. Customizing animated presentations in PowerPoint is considered advanced, as is using Excel for custom financial forms or tracking changes between shared documents in Word.

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How to list Microsoft Office skills on a resume

Here are the steps you should follow to include Microsoft skills on your resume:

  1. Create a list of all your skills.
  2. Determine your level of competency.
  3. Prove your skills in your job description.
  4. Consider becoming certified in Microsoft products.

1. Create a list of all your skills

Review the list of skills above and create a list of all the skills that you have that are relevant to your future position.

2. Determine your level of competency

Evaluate your level for each of the relevant skills. If you aren't at least proficient in using particular software, leave it off of your resume. Be honest about the level of skill you have with each of the Microsoft products you include on your resume.

3. Prove your skills in your job descriptions

Within your employment history section, include skills you have used as part of your job. Show how you used them in practice and what you were able to achieve by using Microsoft products.

4. Consider becoming certified in Microsoft products

If there are specific skills that are relevant to the job for which you're applying, consider getting Microsoft certified in those products. This will give you an automatic edge over other candidates.

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Examples of how to list Microsoft Office skills

Here are some examples of how to describe Microsoft Office skills on a resume:

Skills listed in a separate skills section

Depending on the resume style you are using, you may want to list your Microsoft Office skills in a separate skills section. Here is an example of what that could look like:

"Relevant skills: Advanced experience with using Excel formulas, functions and pivot tables, advanced experience with Word mail merge functionality, intermediate experience with MS Access".

Skills listed in job descriptions

You could also include your skills throughout your job descriptions on your resume. Here is an example of what that could look like:

  • Created Excel pivot tables to compile key company data and reports to monitor the effectiveness of our outbound marketing campaigns
  • Used Excel macros to automate manual processes and increase the productivity of our team by 10%
  • Utilized the mail merge functionality in MS Word to increase the speed at which we were able to turnaround a mailing campaign to a list of over 10,000 people by 25%

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Template for listing Microsoft Office skills on a resume

Here is a template you can use for listing your own Microsoft Office skills:

  • Proficient in [insert Microsoft skills]
  • Advanced experience with [insert Microsoft skills]
  • Basic knowledge of [insert Microsoft skills]

Indeed is an independent company and is neither affiliated with, nor authorized, sponsored nor approved by Microsoft Corporation.

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