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Top 5 Ways to Include Microsoft Excel Skills on Your Resume

When checking out job ads, you will often come across a requirement of “Excel Proficiency”. And interestingly, the job you're applying for does not matter in most cases. Whether it’s a customer service position or a business analyst job. Candidates with good spreadsheet skills are preferred for most positions in both big and small companies.

But what does it mean to be "good" at Excel? And how to describe your expertise level in your resume. Find it out in this guide as we have included insights from our resume experts with handy tricks, examples, and ATS-friendly keywords.

The top 5 Ways to Include Microsoft Excel Skills on Your Resume are:

  1. Add details of relevant certifications you own

  2. Use the Resume summary to highlight your expertise

  3. Make the “skill section” bullets descriptive but specific

  4. Describe your spreadsheet proficiency in the Experience section

  5. Optimize your resume with Excel-related keywords

Complete details on these techniques below in the article:

Why are Excel Skills Wanted on Resume?

Recruiters value Excel because it helps to arrange information, spot patterns, and make crucial discoveries. Unlike MS Word, it takes time to learn and not everyone knows how to use it efficiently.

That's why job seekers who are proficient in Excel techniques are often preferred.

5 Ways to Showcase Excel Skills in Resume

Just writing “MS Excel Proficiency” in the skills section may not make a big difference.

Here are 5 tips on how to better describe your expertise:

Enlist Excel Courses

Including courses and certifications on your resume is a great way to showcase your Excel skills. This is particularly beneficial if these courses equip you with advanced skills relevant to the role you're pursuing. Certifications on your resume prove your proficiency to potential employers.

You might have taken these courses at a college or online. Here's an example of how to list them:

“Gained proficiency in data analysis, formula creation, data visualization, and automation using Excel by passing the MOS Excel Certification exam”

“Earned Advanced Excel Certification from <institute name>. Learned advanced features such as array formulas, Power Query, and Power Pivot”

Bring It Out in Resume Summary

The summary section in your resume enables you to showcase your proficiency in Excel prominently. Because it is the first descriptive section, hiring managers can immediately recognize your ability to work with spreadsheets and analyze data.

We recommend highlighting specific skills that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. Let’s say the role requires financial analysis, you can highlight your experience with Excel functions like VLOOKUP and pivot tables in that context.

Here are some example phrases our CV expert added to the resumes summaries of different professionals:

Office Manager Resume Summary

“Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, with advanced skills in Excel for data analysis, budget tracking, and inventory management.”

Business Analyst Resume Summary:

“Skilled in Excel for conducting financial modeling, trend analysis, and forecasting.”

SEO Expert Resume Summary:

“Proficient in using Excel for keyword research, performance analysis, and tracking SEO metrics.”

Specify Your Expertise in the Skills Section

Instead of a generalized statement, enlist your Excel skills separately. Mention what functions and techniques you know. You can also describe your expertise level for each skill.

Here are some example phrases for your resume:

“Expert in using MS Excel functions like SUM, AVERAGE, COUNTIF, and VLOOKUP for calculations”

“3 years’ experience in creating pivot tables, bar graphs and comparison charts for data analysis”

(Find descriptions of common Excel skills in the next section)

Prove it in the Experience section

When describing your work history, you can provide specific examples of how you utilized Excel skills to achieve results. Specificity is the key here. Clearly mention the project tasks that required spreadsheet mastery. Also, it is a good idea to boast about your contribution and success in this section.

For example, instead of saying "Utilized Excel for data analysis," you could say "Used Excel to analyze sales data and identify trends, leading to a 10% increase in revenue."

Following are some more examples you provide you a better idea:

"Utilized PivotTables and charts to create insightful sales reports that helped identify key trends and inform marketing strategies."

"Developed a financial model using Excel's scenario manager to forecast potential outcomes under different market conditions."

Use Specific keywords

Tailoring your resume to each job application is crucial for every resume section. And Excel skills are no different.

You should optimize your resume with the most suitable keywords.

Look for keywords related to Excel in the job posting. If they mention data analysis, PivotTables, or macros, be sure to highlight your experience with those specific features in your resume. 

This method will help you pass the ATS screening stage and stand out in the eyes of HR when they review your resume.

For example, if the job description mentions "data analysis using pivot tables and charts,” you can present yourself as:"Proficient in creating and utilizing pivot tables and charts for data analysis."

Top Excels Skills to Include in Your CV

Broadly speaking, you can divide Excel skills into two categories: basic and advanced.

Basic skills involve tasks such as data entry, basic formulas (SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT), and formatting cells for clarity and organization.

On the other hand, advanced skills are creating and using pivot tables, VLOOKUP/HLOOKUP functions, macros, and data analysis using advanced formulas like INDEX-MATCH and array functions.

However, we don’t find it a great idea to label your skills as “Basic Excel knowledge” or “Advanced Excel skills.” Being specific about the skill and its use case better enables you to prove your professional worth.

For instance, you can use following phrases to represent your skills in a descriptive and specific manner:

  1. Data Entry and Formatting:

In some roles, you might be required to accurately input data into spreadsheets and organize it in a visually appealing and easy-to-read format. This includes tasks like typing numbers, text, and dates into cells, as well as adjusting the layout, font, and colors to enhance clarity.

  1. Formulas and Functions:

Formulas and function let you perform calculations and manipulate data quickly and efficiently. They automate tasks and make complex calculations simple. Here's a breakdown of some commonly used functions:

●         SUM: Adds up all the numbers in a range of cells.

●         CountIF: Counts the number of cells within a range that meet a specified condition.

●         VLOOKUP: Searches for a value in the first column of a table array and returns a value in the same row from a specified column.

●         Array formula: Allows you to apply a formula to an entire range of cells at once, rather than entering it into each cell individually.

●         INDEX-MATCH: A powerful combination where INDEX returns the value of a cell in a specific row and column of a table, and MATCH searches for a specified value within a range and returns the relative position.

  1. PivotTables and Pivot Charts:

These tools help you summarize and analyze large amounts of data quickly. PivotTables allow you to rearrange and summarize data from a table or range, making it easier to identify trends and patterns. Pivot Charts lets you represent this data visually in various chart types like bar, column, line, or pie charts.

  1. Data Import and Export:

Oftentimes, you are required to bring in data from external sources into your Excel workbook or send out your .xls data to other file formats.Thus, knowing how to convert Excel data to different formats like PDF, CSV, or PowerPoint presentations comes in handy. Similarly, you should be able to pull data from databases, CSV files, or even web queries directly into Excel to work efficiently.


What excel skills are employers looking for?

Employers usually prefer the candidates who own a range of skills but specifically those required for the targeted job role. Commonly required skills include:

●         worksheet navigation and management

●         data entry

●         Familiarity with with basic formulas like SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, and IF etc.

Is Excel a valuable skill to include on my resume?

Yes, listing Excel skills on your resume helps you present your analytical proficiency very well. Plus, these skills come in handy for various small but repetitive and time-consuming tasks. So, a person who owns these skills would be preferred by recruiters as he will be able to the job more efficiently.

Should I provide examples of Excel projects or achievements on my resume?

Yes, you should provide a brief description of your projects and achievements on your resume.


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