Office Skills to Include on Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 22, 2021

When you are applying for office-related positions, it is important to include the right skills on your resume. These office skills are desired qualities that employers will be looking for in potential candidates, and incorporating them into your resume can make a good first impression. In this article, we define what office skills are, provide examples of important office skills you can include in your resume and review the most practical methods for incorporating office skills in your resume, cover letter and job interview.

What are office skills on a resume?

Office skills can be labeled as the appropriate behaviors and knowledge that you apply to your role in an office setting. These traits and qualifications should be included in the skills section of your resume, as they demonstrate your ability to contribute to a productive work environment. By listing office skills on your resume, you may have a better chance of employers noticing your application.

Examples of office skills

Office skills are a combination of hard (technical) skills and soft (interpersonal) skills. When used together, these skills can help you maintain an effective work environment. Here are some common hard and soft skills you can include in your resume to set you apart from other candidates:

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Hard skills

  • Microsoft Office Suite: In an office role, you will probably need to know how to use computer software. Microsoft Office Suite is a set of programs⁠—Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook⁠—that help you accomplish common productivity tasks on your computer. By listing Microsoft Office Suite as one of your skills, you are demonstrating your proficiency in the use and operation of these programs.

  • QuickBooks: Putting payroll software such as QuickBooks on your list of skills demonstrates your knowledge of computer software and payroll systems. If you are working in an office setting, you may be in charge of payroll-related matters, so any relevant experience with payroll can be beneficial to include in your skill set.

  • Data entry: Data entry is an important form of clerical work in an office position. Whether entering dates into a calendar, typing up Excel spreadsheets or entering information into a company database, the job you are applying for may require some form of data entry on a daily basis.

  • Bookkeeping: If you are looking to get a job in an office-related role, you might be required to do some form of bookkeeping. Office-based employees are often in charge of maintaining a detailed record of a company's financial expenses to track revenue spent. Any related bookkeeping experience should be included in your resume.

  • Appointment scheduling: You should list this on your resume if you have had previous experience managing a schedule for someone. This is a practical skill to include, as it demonstrates your ability to be responsible and keep track of important dates and times.

  • Filing: Filing can be included if you have previous experience with it. Being able to organize information and company documents is something employers may be looking for in a candidate applying for an office position.

  • Foreign language: If you speak one or more languages besides your native language, this can be included as an office skill on your resume. It demonstrates your ability to communicate between cultures, and it could be used to coordinate with clients who are not native English speakers.

Soft skills

  • Multitasking: Multitasking is a sought-after office skill, as office employees may be expected to keep up with booking schedules, taking phone calls and other clerical work all at the same time. Multitasking is an important soft skill to add to your resume.

  • Time management: Similar to multitasking, knowing how much time to spend on a task is an important part of an office person's job. By listing time management as a skill on your resume, you are demonstrating to employers that you can manage your time effectively.

  • Attention to detail: Listing attention to detail as a skill on your resume notifies a potential employer that you prioritize accuracy in your work.

  • Customer service: Customer service is a reliable skill because it highlights your ability to display empathy toward others. In an office-related role, you might be the face of a company, greeting visitors and answering phone calls. Listing customer service as a skill on your resume demonstrates your personable traits.

  • Organization: Being well-organized is one of the top priorities for someone working in an office. By including organization as an office skill on your resume, you are telling potential employers that you possess the necessary organizational skills needed to separate files, set schedules and complete data entry.

  • Team-oriented: Many office-related roles are largely team-driven, completing tasks with a company's success in mind. By including on your resume that you are team-oriented, you are demonstrating your desire to achieve a collective goal.

  • Conflict resolution: Conflict resolution is the ability to solve work-related problems in a professional manner. Listing this as a skill on your resume demonstrates your ability to handle mistakes in a constructive way.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume (With Examples)

How to improve office skills

You may already be familiar with the technical skill requirements and know both the technical and interpersonal skills that contribute to an office-related role, but you can still find ways to improve your skill set. Follow these steps to hone your office skills:

  1. Practice your written and verbal communication skills. Test your communication skills by challenging yourself to improve the way you communicate with others. Return phone calls in a timely manner, schedule plans with friends, follow through with them and pay attention to how your behavior affects others. By doing this, you will develop a better understanding of the power that effective communication can have on you and your relationships.

  2. Take an online crash course in a software program. Take the time to review computer software that you are not as experienced in. You can take an online course or watch how-to videos on a program to familiarize yourself with how to use it properly. This will also help you stay up-to-date on any new components to the software.

  3. Apply organizational practices to your personal life. If you don't already do so, now is the time to practice good organizational habits. Organize your closet, refrigerator or at-home filing system to familiarize yourself with the necessary habits that help you maintain a clean and structured environment.

Office skills in the workplace

Here are some tips you can consider when using your office skills in the workplace:

  • Be mindful. In an office position, you may be in charge of ensuring your office is functioning properly. Be mindful of the fact that your job is heavily relied on by your superiors and coworkers. Your job might entail making their jobs easier by coordinating meetings, keeping everything organized and communicating with clients. Keep this in mind to maintain a productive office.

  • Use organizational skills to maintain a clean office space. One of your many responsibilities in an office-related role might be maintaining an organized workspace. It is important that you devote your organizational skills to this aspect of the job, as you might be in charge of filing systems, calendars and emails. Staying organized is vital for creating a tidy and productive work environment.

  • Prioritize communication. Prioritizing healthy communication practices with co-workers, superiors and clients can help make your office job much easier. As someone who works in an office, you might be responsible for communication between these three groups. Your ability to effectively communicate could determine the company's productivity.

How to highlight office skills

Your resume and cover letter will give you the opportunity to professionally display your qualifications for an office position. The job interview will then be your chance to present those qualifications in person. Below are a few tips to help you effectively highlight your office skills in your resume and cover letter as well as show you how to present yourself in a job interview:

Highlighting office skills in a resume

To increase the chance of your resume getting reviewed by a hiring manager, highlight keywords from the original job posting and incorporate those that apply into your resume, focusing specifically on your skills and experience sections.

In your skills section, you should highlight your best office-related qualifications. For example, you could include skills like detail-oriented, organized, Microsoft Office and bookkeeping. Then, using the desired requirements found in the job posting, begin inserting your relevant skills into the descriptions of your professional experiences. Rather than simply listing skills, find creative ways to include them in your responsibilities for each job, such as saying you organized company filing systems or scheduled appointments for supervisors.

Related: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

Highlighting office skills in a cover letter

Before sitting down to draft your cover letter, you should first review the job posting, candidate responsibilities and requirements. Highlight the company's desired office skills and incorporate these keywords into your cover letter. This will increase the likelihood of employers noticing and considering your application.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

Highlighting office skills in a job interview

Your ability to demonstrate your office skills in a job interview will start with the way you present yourself. An employer will be looking for someone personable and energetic who demonstrates superb communication skills, as an office position will likely encapsulate all three. You may also be asked to provide real-life examples that apply to the required skills mentioned in the job posting.

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