Are you proficient in Microsoft Excel? If so, how proficient are you really? In today’s job market, this term is commonly tossed around by administrative professionals in order to highlight their technical skills within Excel, but far too often, candidates are realizing that they aren’t as proficient as they originally thought. For example, proficiency should go further than a basic understanding of the program and should include working knowledge of advanced functions, such as VLOOKUPS, Macros, and Pivot Tables.
“In today’s competitive market, the knowledge of advanced excel functions is extremely important as employers put more stress on the need for technically savvy administrative professionals,” says Kim Caruso, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support division. “Candidates should be actively pursuing these skills in order to make themselves more marketable and gain an edge on their competition”.
As an administrative professional, these skills have the potential to boost your career and here’s why:
They allow you to work more efficiently
Microsoft excel is a tool that can quickly provide an abundance of insight if used properly. For example, if basic SUM and AVERAGE functions can help businesses calculate and analyze data better and quicker, think about how much more efficient advanced functions can make you. There are plenty of different ways excel can be manipulated to make your day to day activities easier; it’s just a matter of knowing how and when to utilize the various tools that excel has to offer. Possessing these skills will not only allow you to work more efficiently, but also free up your day to do other important tasks.
You’ll have more room for growth
In addition to improving your workflow, being in possession of advanced excel skills can have the potential to open up more career opportunities. Especially since almost every profession in today’s market has some use for excel, the knowledge of these advanced skills will give candidates more options and make them more than qualified to perform the tasks necessary for jobs that require a strong proficiency in excel. “Today many higher level executive assistant roles require advanced excel skills, so if you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, a strong understanding of these skills is a must,” says Kim. “They will allow you to perform special projects that other admins might not be able to do – making you more of an asset to your company.
They show your skills are up-to-date
As companies start to put more stress on technical skills, the need to keep skills current has become even more important. Clients are now demanding that their administrative employees possess strong technical skills and many are even implementing tests in Excel and Word to gauge a candidate’s proficiency in these programs. Therefore, it’s important to keep your skills current and educate yourself on the various tools that excel has to offer – basic and advanced. If anything, it’s always wise to periodically revisit and reacquaint yourself on any software knowledge or functions that may help you fulfill the duties of your position.