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4 Key Excel Techniques To Master For Any Job

Posted by Brian Spence on Jul 6, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Excel, Microsoft, Career Advice, Job Many of us have seen this requirement when applying for a new job: "Competency in Microsoft Suite (Word and Excel) required." Although we have used Microsoft Word for writing reports or essays with ease, most of us are hesitant to list competency in Excel. With its many tools, formulas and computations, it can be difficult to utilize. But you don't have to have a mathematics or accounting degree to understand Microsoft Excel.

By understanding and memorizing these 4 key techniques, you'll be able to use Excel like a pro.

  1. Autofill. Want to apply a simple addition formula in one column, across 3000 rows? You don't have to spend the entire day manually calculating numbers. Instead, you can use the Autofill tool. Starting with the initial cell that holds the formula, simply click and hold the lower right-hand corner of the cell and drag it down the column. Excel will pick up on your pattern or formula and automatically fill the column with the right information.

  2. Apply conditional formatting. Conditional formatting is a great tool for finding much-needed information in a sea of cells. For example, maybe your boss only wants to see local orders that need to be packed by October, but your spreadsheet lists all orders through December, both local and national. With the conditional formatting tool, simply set your rules to include or exclude certain information. You'll then get all the data necessary for the task without the other information.

  3. Use the built-in charts tools. Excel makes it very easy to create a visual representation of your data in a pie, line, column/bar, area, or even a scatter chart. These charts can then be printed out with your spreadsheets or be used in a presentation. For the most part, all you have to do is select the data you want to put on the chart, then choose the appropriate chart for visualization. T Excel Easy can help you make charts with its step-by-step guide.

  4. Pivot tables. Sometimes conditional formatting can't account for all the fields you want, especially with large amounts of data. Instead, pivot tables can be a better tool. They can quickly create a summary of your chosen fields. Though pivot tables can get complicated quickly, but if you start small, it's a lot easier to understand and utilize. The guide on pivot tables at Excel Easy highlights all its key features.

The Muse offers other great Excel tips to know for any job, but these 4 are an important start. And remember, if all else fails, look it up! There are many tutorials and guides online that can solve any Excel problem or question.

For more tips to improve your job skill set, visit the Job Search or Career Advice sections of our blog.


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Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.