‘Proficient in Excel’. That’s something we’ve all seen at least once when looking through job adverts.
It doesn’t really matter whether you’re aiming for a position in finance, marketing, or education. It also doesn’t matter if the organization you’re applying for is a multinational corporation or a small NGO.
In fact, being proficient in Microsoft Excel is sometimes listed as a more straightforward alternative to being tech-savvy.
But how can you tell whether you’re really ‘proficient’ in Excel or just average? Does this even matter that much to recruiters?
And most of all – how do you prove your Excel proficiency on your resume? Let’s find out!
What are Excel skills and why are they wanted on your resume
Excel is considered important by recruiters because it allows users to organize data, identify trends, and most importantly – draw priceless conclusions.
It’s not as intuitive as its sibling MS Word, for instance, and requires some time to master. That’s exactly why applicants with strong Excel skills are preferred over others, even if they have less experience.
There are two types of Excel skills - basic and advanced. Basic skills include stuff like being able to add and subtract numbers in different cells, change cell styles, and insert graphs. Advanced Excel skills, on the other hand, include using functions and formulas, creating pivot tables, and knowing how to make your own conditional formatting rules.
And usually, recruiters add ‘Excel skills’ or ‘Proficient Excel user’ to job requirements for two main reasons.
Firstly, to separate strong candidates from weaker candidates. As mentioned above, many recruiters believe Excel to be a complicated software that requires discipline and a strong work ethic to master.
Secondly, to point applicants to the fact that the job will most probably require them to use MS Excel in some form or another.
It’s also worth remembering that an increasing number of recruiters have started using applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen resumes for certain keywords.
That being said, if knowledge of Excel is mentioned as a job requirement, make sure to list it explicitly in different sections of your resume.
Let’s now look at some examples of specific Excel skills worth adding to your resume!
Examples of Excel skills for your resume
Instead of just plainly listing ‘Excel’ or ‘Microsoft Excel’ in your skills section, we advise you to try something less common that will help you stand out. You can list these skills in any part of your resume: