MS Excel Skills: Example Usage on Resumes, Skill Set & Top Keywords in 2022

‘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:

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MS Excel fundamental skill set:

  • Task automation using macros and VBA
  • Creating dynamic reports with PivotTables
  • Building formulas
  • Cell formatting
  • Managing large datasets with functions: IF, SUM, INDEX, MATCH, VLOOKUP
  • Task automation
  • Manipulate date, time, text, and arrays
  • Building charts and graphs
  • Pivot tables and reporting
  • Data recording
  • VLOOKUP and XLOOKUP
  • INDEX MATCH
  • Advanced conditional formatting
  • Data simulations
  • Data validation
  • Charts and graphs creation
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Pro Tip

MS Excel is one of the most asked for skills in business today. Almost any job application that requires computer skills has “MS Excel” listed.

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Power phrases for your MS Excel skills on resume

  • Used MS Excel to organize company data and budget reports into detailed pivot tables
  • Monitored office inventory by tracking stock items with advanced skills in MS Excel
  • Automated manual MS Excel tasks using macros which lead to a 12% boost in productivity

You should also aim to give specific examples of situations when your Excel skills have helped you excel in your previous job (pun intended).

Another great option is to mention the courses you’ve taken to strengthen your MS Excel skills. This will show recruiters that you’re inquisitive and passionate about improvement.

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How to demonstrate Excel skills on your resume

  • List any courses you’ve taken to improve your Excel skills.
  • Share more about how you’ve used Excel to optimize different processes.
  • Highlight your Excel skills in your resume summary.
  • Mention some achievements related to your Excel skills.
  • Discuss how having strong Excel skills has helped you do well in your previous job.

Example 1: Show Excel skills in the experience section

Experience
Business ConsultantLarinda Inc.
New York, NY
Built complex Excel models to forecast client growth
Identified important trends to suggest working solutions
Worked with PM team to create Gantt-charts and optimize internal processes
Used Pivot Tables to create quarterly reports
RIGHT

Look at the experience section of this business consultant. They’ve done a great job at illustrating how they use Excel in their daily tasks by mentioning specific tools and functions.

They’ve also implied that they can work both individually and as part of a team, which increases their chance of landing an interview.

Wondering how to describe your work experience? Check out this article!

Example 2: Demonstrate Excel skills in the resume summary section

Summary
A disciplined yet empathetic Human Resources Manager with 12 years of experience. Able to turn every entry-level candidate into a professional. Proficient in using MS Excel for all stages of the hiring process - assessment, hiring, onboarding, and performance monitoring.
RIGHT

Your resume summary should be no longer than 2-3 sentences and should contain at least some relevant keywords.

In addition to providing insight into what their strengths are, this HR manager has also made it clear that they’re an Excel master.

They have done this by linking MS Excel with specific tasks and responsibilities. This gives context and depth to their whole resume.

Example 3: Show your Excel skills in your achievements sections

Achievements
Update and Excel
Collected and updated old data to optimize future costs using Excel
Ideation and Improvement
Used a mix of creativity, design thinking, and Excel to come up with a new and more engaging way of presenting financial data to clients and partners. This increased their satisfaction by 76% on average.
Fly Cheap Ltd.
In 2008, I created my first start-up that used Excel to analyze flight prices and suggest what the optimal price for certain destinations was. Later sold this model to Google.
RIGHT

In case there are certain accomplishments you’d like to highlight, you can add an ‘Achievements’ or a ‘Most Proud of’ section to your resume.

Try to mention only things that are linked to your Excel skills or are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For instance, this Enhancv user has used the achievements section to point out how their Excel skills have helped them succeed throughout the years.

Read this: Why Resume Accomplishments Get You Hired

Example 4: Use a separate skills' section

Going for a separate technology section increases your chances of landing an interview for one main reason – it’s the perfect place to add keywords and pass ATS.

Here’s one example of using it to emphasize your Excel skills:

Skills
Pivot TablesAdvanced Conditional FormattingVLOOKUPVisual Basic Application (VBA)Graphs and ChartsData Formatting
RIGHT

Looking for other technical skills worth adding to your resume? Click here!

Should I show or say what level my Excel skills are?

We advise you to not mention the level of your Excel skills explicitly.

Rather, prove your expertise by elaborating on your experience, your accomplishments, and the courses you’ve taken.

This means much more than simply stating ‘Proficient in Excel’. It also gives recruiters an idea of what to expect when working with you.

Last, but not least, different people have different understandings of what ‘proficient’ means. For basic users, it might mean sorting data in a specific way. For experts, it might mean analyzing tens of thousands of numbers and drawing a single conclusion.

Looking for a fun and easy way to build your resume? Check out our free-to-use resume builder!

Should I categorize my Excel skills?

Categorizing your Excel skills helps for an organized resume. That’s why we encourage you to have at least some form of category.

This will also help you show you’re well aware of all things Excel could be used for. And isn’t this what you want?

Excel Skills: Key Takeaways for Your Resume

  • Use all sections of your resume: Simply stating ‘Excel’ in your skills section won’t do you any favor
  • Link your skills to your achievements: Showing that your knowledge in Excel has helped you smash your goals in the past is always a good idea
  • Mention courses and certifications: Use the courses or certifications section to show you’re passionate about strengthening your Excel skills

Looking for more tips on crafting a job-winning resume? Check out this guide!

About this report:

Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com.

While those skills are most commonly met on resumes, you should only use them as inspiration and customize your resume for the given job.

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.