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4 Easy Ways To Show Your Excel Skills On Resume

Excel skills are one of the most heavily demanded skills in the workspace. That is why most job applications list requirements such as “working knowledge in excel”.

The problem is… Everyone has that!

I’ve seen job listings that had over 100+ applicants apply just for one position.

So… how can we beat other applicants and get ahead of the curve?

In this article, we will show you exactly how you can tailor your resume and use tips and tricks to completely tailor your resume to demonstrate your proficiency in excel.

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1. Demonstrate Your Excel Skills In the Experience Section Of A Resume

Most of us reading this are probably guilty of the famous “proficient in Excel” on our resumes.

I can guarantee hiring managers are not impressed seeing those exact words because:

  1. It shows you did not put enough effort
  2. Worse it shows you are not familiar with using excel.

Simply because it’s generic and cliche. Most likely the hiring managers were in your exact shoes at some point in their lives, using those exact words!

So there is a very slim chance a resume will be successful if it uses the exact style and wording as other applicants.

For those of you who are new to writing resumes, you may be thinking resumes have strict “Structures” and ways to list skills and experience.

But the thing is, there are no strict guidelines for writing a resume.

To get ahead of the curve, we have to be different, most people list their excel skills on the “Skills section” of a resume.

My method is a little different, the way I tailor resumes is by putting 80% of my effort into my experience and education section using a “Snipers approach”.

Here’s why its better:

  • The experience section is the first part that employers look at in a resume
  • The experience section most vividly demonstrates the value you offer, it demonstrates your scalability and skills
  • According to most hiring managers they only focus on reviewing the experience section
  • Demonstrating your Excel skills in the “Skill section” is very “ambiguous”, your proficiency in excel is completely different from another person’s view of proficiency in Excel.

Example: Demonstrate Excel Skills In The Experience Section

According to most hiring managers, their decision to shortlist a candidate is made within 6 seconds of reviewing a resume.

So in 6 seconds, your resume needs to do at least one of the following:

  • Prove that you are capable of the job
  • Demonstrate your proficiency in Excel such as your ability to use different tools within Excel
  • Make a good impression

A strategy that I use is the KISS strategy (Keep it simple smart) combined with [Strong adjective][Excel tool][Result/Action] in the experience section to demonstrate my Excel skills.

Here is how you use it.

To demonstrate your excel skills, you should say something like this “Compiled financial data using Excel’s SUM function to analyze and project economic trends”.

The reason why this works well is that it demonstrates the specific tool you used in excel and how you used it within your work. That alone demonstrates your “Proficiency in excel”.

Below I am going to show you two examples, a before and after experience section of a resume. I am going to let you figure out which one is better.

Before:

Data analyst
SpreadsheetCollege PTY LTD
– Conducted forecasts and demands
– Optimised data collection and procedures
– Preformed Market analysis to review competitors

After:

Data Analyst
SpreadsheetCollege PTY LTD
– Created visually appealing dashboards in Excel using pivot tables and VLookUP
– Complied data and generated economic forecasts using Excel’s graphical tools
– Cleaned large financial datasets using Excel which helped increase the accuracy of the dataset by 25%

Where should I put my experience section in a resume?

A general rule of thumb is to always show the most important part of a resume first. Since we put 80% of our effort into tailoring our experience section, the experience section should be the first thing hiring managers should see.

What if you don’t have the right experience?

Be honest… kind of…

Most people preach being honest on resumes, especially employers.

Depending on the job you apply for, sometimes it’s ok that you don’t have the right experience and almost everyone lies or exaggerates a bit on the resume.

Now, I am not saying be unethical and fabricate a whole new entity with a fake job title.

What I am saying is everyone knows a bit of excel and it’s completely OK to toot your own horn especially on resumes, only if you have the experience and the know-how. The art of writing a resume needs you to sell yourself. So of course there is at least a bit of exaggeration involved.

You could always make up for the lack of experience in your project section, education section, or resume section on the resume.

2. Demonstrate Your Excel Skills In Education Section Of A Resume

Demonstrating Excel skills in the education section is most relevant for students, young professionals, or those that don’t have solid job experience in Excel.

Think about it, if you have solid 5+ experience, most employers don’t want to see anything you did in university, maybe your GPA if it’s high enough.

So if education is your only experience, you want to describe something relevant to your course.

Example: Demonstrate Excel Skills in the Education section of the resume

Here’s an example of demonstrating excel skills if you graduated or are in the progress of a bachelor’s of finance.

You want to say something like this “Generated graphs using excel graphical formula to analyze financial models in Example subject, resulting in a high distinction”.

Here is an example below:

Bachelor Of Finance, Investment Banking
Harvard University
Relevant Experience:
– Generated graphs using Excel graphical formula to analyze financial models in investment banking course, resulting in a high distinction

Where should I put my education section in a resume?

Normally education should be the second section a hiring manager should see in a resume.

3. Show Your Excel Skills With Excel Projects

Many people don’t know this, but you can actually put a project section in your resume. A good way to use this section is to demonstrate Excel skills that you don’t have experience in.

For instance, if the job requires graphical skills in Excel and you don’t have any solid job experience, you can complete a homemade project on Google sheets or Excel such as a stock portfolio with added charts.

Here is why we like it:

  1. Project Sections can act as a filler on a resume to further demonstrate your Excel skills
  2. It shows you are passionate about Excel
  3. Unlike any other section, the project section actually allows you to show some hard evidence to prove your Excel skills.

If you don’t have any projects, then check out some of our other articles below!


Example: Demonstrate Excel Skills in the Project section of the resume

To demonstrate your projects it should have a title such as “project name” and a short description of what the project does, combined with excel tools used.

You might be wondering how you can show a complete project of Excel on your resume. One easy way to do this is by uploading a file either to Github or google drive and hyperlinking the file location to your resume.

It should look something like the example below.

Stock Portfolio Tracker
Individual Project
– Developed an online portfolio tracker with google spreadsheets using google finance’s function to import financial data and analyze stock market patterns.
Spreadsheet Link: https://drive.google.com

Where should I put my project section in a resume?

The project section should be below your education, it is not as important and not really the main selling point of your resume.

It really depends on the type of project you completed and whether it is relevant to your job application.

4. Show your excel skills with relevant Excel certificates

Completing relevant Excel courses and attaching a certificate of completion on your resume is another great way to show your Excel skills.

It gives your resume a unique flair, especially if you are competing with people who have the same experience and education.

Because nobody ever does it!

Providing a certificate not only shows your willingness to learn but also your expertise in excel.

Example: Demonstrate Excel Skills in the Certificate section of the resume

To show your certificate of completion you want to firstly list the certificate name and date it was completed, next you need to list the company that provided the certificate and a short description of the certificate.

Certificate of Completion, Data Analysis in Excel (2021)
Online Course
– Prepared and Analyzed Data with Excel using functions such as CONCATENATE, VLOOKUP, and AVERAGEIF.

Where should I put my certificate section in a resume?

Certificate sections should be at the end of a resume.

Here’s why:

To be brutally honest, a certificate of completion should not be the highlight of your resume, anyone can complete a course. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get relevant certificates in your field of expertise.

The certificate section is merely just a filler used as an extra demonstration to prove that you are amazing at Excel. It is that little nudge that pushes you ahead of other candidates.

Conclusion

The art of writing a resume requires you to sell yourself and prove to the hiring managers that you are the perfect candidate for the job.

Excel skills are sometimes very vaguely shown on a resume.

That is why you have to tailor your resume with experience and relevant facts to prove that you are a master at Excel.

We say to demonstrate your Excel skills in the following sections:

  1. Experience section
  2. Education section
  3. Making your own Excel Projects
  4. Get relevant Excel Certificates
Is Excel generally a good skill to have on a resume?

Yes, having just basic knowledge is most often required for any type of desk job.
Almost every employer requires some foundational knowledge in excel.

How do I mention Excel skills in a resume?

Excel skills can be mentioned pretty much everywhere on a resume, most people list them in the skills section. But we say put it on your experience section, education section, or project section by making your own Excel Projects. Even in the certificate section with relevant Excel Certificates.