How to include Microsoft Word skills on a CV (with tips)
Proficiency in Microsoft Word can help you create documents, format text and modify page layouts. Many jobs require these skills, so including them on your CV can position you as a highly promising candidate. Learning how to customise your CV to include your knowledge of Word can impress employers and help you secure a role. In this article, we discuss Microsoft Word skills and show how to include them on your CV.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
What are Microsoft Word skills?
Microsoft Word skills are the abilities an individual learns that allow them to use the word-processing application that forms part of Microsoft Office, a software package most organisations use to create documents like reports, spreadsheets or presentations. As a single app in the package, Word is a readily accessible program, and organisations may use its software or online versions, depending on their business systems or if their teams work remotely. It's a multidimensional tool with many functionalities, and demonstrating your expertise in using Word can help impress recruiters.
Examples of Word skills
There are different types of Word skills you can highlight on your CV to attract a recruiter's attention. Usually, choosing what skills to emphasise requires you to analyse the job description and understand a typical day in the role. For example, if the position requires you to use data to create informative reports, it's helpful to show that you can use Word's graphs and charts functionality. Here are examples of Word skills to include on your CV:
Setting up a page layout
The term layout refers to the arrangement of the visual elements of a document. Word allows you to customise the entire layout of a document you're creating. For example, you can adjust the page orientation or margins. It's also possible to change the paper size to make the document look good when printed.
Merging allows you to combine several Word documents into one. This Word feature is handy when you want to combine long documents. Merging creates a professional-looking final document in a readable format.
You may use forms in Word to emphasise information and put it in a specific order. For example, you can use a form to create a price list with a detailed description of each product or service. By displaying prices on a form, readers can quickly identify the product, description and cost.
Text formatting allows you to add visual characteristics to a word, sentence or whole paragraph. You can also use this option to change how the entire document looks. For example, when creating a lengthy document, you can format the text using a minimalistic font that's easier to read. In addition, you can emphasise the title of each chapter or section by using the bold function, which also improves readability.
Creating document templates
If the role you're applying for requires you to develop processes and standardise documentation, emphasise your ability to produce document templates. By giving employees access to a template library, employers ensure the letters and files their staff create look consistent. You can specialise in creating new templates or editing pre-existing ones that Word provides.
Using graphs and charts
Graphs and charts are tools that help visualise data. For example, you can use them to illustrate team sales results. In addition, these elements help people understand how specific data points relate to an organisation's goals or success.
In Word, digital bookmarks work precisely like the ones you place in a physical document or book. When accessing a digital file, use a bookmark to quickly locate the information you want to refer to later. Demonstrating your bookmarking skills in Word shows employers that you know how to work with lengthy documents and find specific information.
SmartArt is a tool you can use to visually communicate ideas and information to other people. You can access different SmartArt elements in Word, including arrows and simple shapes. For example, you can use these to demonstrate an information hierarchy or illustrate a cyclical process.
How to include Word skills on a CV
Knowing how to display your Microsoft Word skills on a CV helps make your application more interesting and coherent. Here are the steps you can take to present your Word skills to recruiters:
1. Review the job description
Analysing the job description helps you decide if you want to generalise or detail your Word skills on your CV. Listing your specific abilities within Word may be a suitable option if you're applying for an administrative job that requires you to create, manage and edit documents. If the role requires candidates to have basic computer skills, include Microsoft Word as a competence in the skills section.
2. Determine your level of proficiency
To provide recruiters with additional information about your ability to use the software, determine your level of competence. Here are some proficiency levels and what they mean:
When employers observe that you have a basic proficiency in Word, they know you possess a working knowledge of the software. This communicates that you can easily use the tool's basic functionalities such as writing, editing or including visual elements in your documents. With this skill level, you can typically create, save and delete documents or recognise basic icons. It also demonstrates your ability to save documents using different file formats.
A proficient Word user can create templates, set up page layouts and use SmartArt or other formatting tools. This level also shows you can use bookmarks and adjust documents to suit business requirements. Demonstrating proficiency in Word at this level is a requirement for most administrative and clerical roles.
When you describe your Word skills as intermediate, you know how to perform all the tasks proficiently and have more practical experience with the software. For example, it may signify that you know the differences between specific functionalities in the desktop and online versions of Word and can use both. List your specific Word abilities on your CV, as a recruiter may ask about them during a job interview.
With advanced Word skills, you can perform all the tasks from previous skill levels. In addition, it shows you understand features such as Word macros, which help you automate frequently-used tasks. As an advanced Word user, it's also beneficial to know how to teach others how to use the software.
3. Explain how you've used your Word skills
In addition to listing your Word abilities in the skills section, describe how you've used them in previous jobs. You could do this by referencing Word in your work experience section. Here are some example bullet points that illustrate a candidate's ability to use this software in practice:
used Microsoft Word to merge lengthy reports and standardise the organisation's document templates
utilised Microsoft Word to create monthly expense reports to illustrate the organisation's spending practices
used Word bookmarking during minute-taking to highlight key ideas and relevant points raised during meetings
4. Obtain a Microsoft Word certificate
As you improve your Word skills, you can provide employers with an example of your dedication and efforts by obtaining a certificate. This formal document shows that you can use advanced Word tools and easily solve document or formatting problems using the software's many functions. In addition, there are different exams you can pass in Word or the entire Microsoft Office package, known as the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification.
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