Microsoft Word is the most common software skill requested by our client employers. Even so, each employer identifies slightly different Word functions to target for proficiency for their office positions. The one common requirement is demonstrated efficiency in using Word for business. That’s the focus of our Word skill testing.
Try these three basic ways to improve your in-demand skills.
- Use your resume as an example of your Microsoft Word skills.
You might be surprised by how many people applying for administrative support and other office positions submit resumes with very little formatting. Why miss this opportunity to showcase your Word skills? I promise you that prospective employers are looking at your resume with this in mind. Choose two or three functions that will complement your overall format without distracting from the content. Examples might include: expanded font; double underline; paragraph border; sections; and custom columns.
- Practice using Word functions efficiently.
Most of our client employers are watching for whether you utilize Word efficiently. For example, if you force the alignment of some text in a paragraph with multiple spaces, that’s a time-consuming way to do it. In addition, if more text is added to that paragraph, it might throw that alignment out of kilter. Using pre-set tabs is better. Custom setting your own tab for that alignment is best. With just one click, you’ll have standard alignment that is more efficient to use and less vulnerable when more text is added.
- Challenge yourself to learn a few more advanced functions.
Each employer uses the robust functionality of Word in its own ways. So there’s no one set of actions to recommend across the board. Instead, try learning several different advanced functions related to improving efficiency. These might include: creating and saving a document as a true template; create a template that prompts you to add content; set up a merge form letter that automatically fills in some content, such as today’s date; set up password protection for a document; set up tracking of changes for a document that more than one person may edit; customize your toolbars to display the functions you most commonly use for one-click productivity.
If you’re submitting your resume in Word (and I hope you are!), then you’re already completing Word skill testing when you do. So now you have some simple steps to take your skill assessments to the next level of proficiency!
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by Elyse Williamson