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Old 01-15-2014, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
8,803 posts, read 7,588,026 times
Reputation: 4501

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I have a "computer skills" section on my resume that I find to be very lame:

Microsoft Excel Worked with statistical formulas in quantitative finance, utilized pivot tables and spreadsheets to assist with audit data organization, and performed and documented the majority of audit work within excel spreadsheets. Microsoft Access Utilized queries and macros to find duplicates in client databases, utilized basic Access functions in various projects at the undergraduate and graduate level
Microsoft Visio Created flowcharts for asset enrollment and valuation processes
Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook

When I look at job postings, everyone talks about how you need to be proficient with Microsoft Office, but I feel like that's almost common place now and feel that all this detail is too much. Does anyone have any advice on beefing this section up, or do you think what I have is fine?
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:32 AM
 
2,677 posts, read 3,867,647 times
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I agree with you in that it is almost common place to know MS Office, however, there are different skill levels. I consider myself and Excel power user. I know how to do a lot of fancy advanced things. I've met very few people at my skill level in my work life. I think what you want to do is highlight those advanced skills. I wouldn't do a "computer skills" section, but rather mention those key words when you talk about what you did at a particular job.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
6,974 posts, read 7,792,563 times
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I'm with katestar on this one, especially on the varying proficiency levels. I consider myself a power user when it comes to Word and Publisher because I use them on an almost daily basis, but if you open up an Excel spreadsheet and ask me to do anything with it you'd better have a backup copy. On the other hand, my wife is a wizard with Excel and has very limited knowledge of Publisher or Word. Not to say that she can't use them, but she doesn't know all of the ins and outs as well as I do.

On the resume, I'd also leave out the "computer skills" section and touch on those areas in your job descriptions. However, I'd also add them into the Qualifications section. Something along these lines:

Quote:
Proficient with Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Word, Access, and Powerpoint as well as other Microsoft products such as Vizio.
Short and sweet, and the Qualifications area is where you want to grab their attention anyway.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:11 PM
 
Location: DC
2,044 posts, read 2,292,011 times
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Trust me putting it down is important, going into great detail is not. Especially for types of jobs were proficiency is assumed.
If you are doing jobs which stress data analysis I would try to throw in some proficiency with other tools such as SAS or R. If you don't have a proficiency try to learn them. R would be the easier path since it is open source/free product. It's how much you know outside of office which will distinguish you, not how well you know office.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:13 PM
 
1,135 posts, read 1,642,187 times
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If you're limited on space, I would consider leaving it off.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:20 PM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,306,997 times
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You should make yourself stand out if you have advanced skills in Microsoft Office. Give them details!

Everyone says they are proficient in Microsoft Office on their resume and as a result hiring managers and recruiters ignore it. But if you give examples of where your advanced skills created value and accomplishments, then your resume would stand out.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:39 PM
 
Location: DC
2,044 posts, read 2,292,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
You should make yourself stand out if you have advanced skills in Microsoft Office. Give them details!

Everyone says they are proficient in Microsoft Office on their resume and as a result hiring managers and recruiters ignore it. But if you give examples of where your advanced skills created value and accomplishments, then your resume would stand out.
Not really. Honestly it would be a "who cares" for me if I were back doing data analysis jobs and reviewing a resume. In fact the focus on it to me would say they were to reliant on it, and maybe unwilling to learn other tools and expand their skillsets. It's no longer a special skill no matter how good. It is really about weeding out the people who don't know it.
The access skills I would stress, since most people who know office do not know access, the same thing with Microsoft Project. But the rest are pretty disposable.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Hampton Roads
3,032 posts, read 3,796,871 times
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I think it has to do with how did I use these tools and knowledge to add value to the company, not necessarily an aggregate listing. One of the things I did as an excel power user was I made our company's cash management spreadsheet because they were tracking things weekly only and not very efficiently. I created a model for them that would then tie into a piece on the statement of cashflows, saving them about ten-fifteen hours a month on that section. Nowhere on my resume have I ever had a computer skills section, but rather highlighted the advanced skills I had and how it brought value to the company.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:10 PM
 
2,677 posts, read 3,867,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomlikeme View Post
I think it has to do with how did I use these tools and knowledge to add value to the company, not necessarily an aggregate listing. One of the things I did as an excel power user was I made our company's cash management spreadsheet because they were tracking things weekly only and not very efficiently. I created a model for them that would then tie into a piece on the statement of cashflows, saving them about ten-fifteen hours a month on that section. Nowhere on my resume have I ever had a computer skills section, but rather highlighted the advanced skills I had and how it brought value to the company.
This is great advice and what I was trying to say in my post.

Also, from reading the other posts, it seems that how you say it and it's worth is industry dependent. I work in Finance/Accounting and we must know Excel. Power users stand out because not everyone knows all the ins and outs of Excel. I'm talking about lookup formulas, if formulas, index, match, pivot tables, how to combine formulas and the list goes on. In my field, it is important to distinguish that I know these advance features. It seems from the responses that in fields that are more technology/IT focused, this wouldn't matter.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: The Carolinas
2,007 posts, read 2,021,696 times
Reputation: 6104
Stress the kinds of things you produced with the Office suite of tools. And--very important--when you go over your resume, pull out some examples and say "here's examples of what I produced". Don't send them with resume or cover letter, but have them ready and let the interviewer know that you have them. Gives you a little something more to talk about during the interview.

One other thing I do, is give the interviewer a disk with cover letter, resume, work examples, any reference letters or a "thank yous" section where you might have emails, cards, etc. where someone praised you for your work. This not only ties everything up neatly for the interviewer, you have yet another opportunity to show "how you do things". Make sure your name is on the disk, along with contact information.
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