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When the employer asks you about your MS skills, what exactly does "intermediate to advanced MS skill" mean?

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3rd year undergrad, seeking jobs for summer, I often see 'intermediate to advanced MS skills' in the job description, but how good does that mean? #job-search #interviews #microsoft-office

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Kim’s Answer

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Excellent Question!


The answer? It depends. . .


A lot of us try to talk ourselves out of jobs by saying we don't meet the qualifications. If you are one of those people, stop doing that!
In most office jobs, a person is expected to be proficient at Word and Excel. It's been around "forever." So, intermediate is normally someone who is capable of making a document, formatting it so it looks sharp, using headers, footers, footnotes, page numbers, creating tables, inserting photos/objects, printing envelopes, making a basic flyer/newsletter, maybe comparing documents, commenting, etc. But, a lot depends on the company/type of business. If it is heavy on writing, advertising, etc, they might want more. If they only marginally use computers, they usually expect less.


For Excel, it means you can create spreadsheets, and manipulate them, make them eye-appealing, and create and use at least basic formulas. Advanced? pivot tables. (whatever those are!!)


Beyond word and excel, there are databases and other programs.


You should also be comfortable with email, and attachments.


The next phase is the cloud. You should get comfortable with google drive, dropbox, etc.
Also, if you have access to it, Adobe Acrobat Pro has a lot of document management features that I was totally unfamiliar with!
I would also encourage you to work on organizational skills. File management, etc. You need to be able to find what you created!


Again, don't talk yourself out of applying for jobs! If you can easily pick up computer skills, sell yourself by playing up this "aptitude." If you are the go-to person who helps everyone else, then say so! Also, don't just say you know Word or Excel, try to demonstrate how you have used it/what you have done with it. The most common phrase I see on resumes is "proficient with Word and Excel." This means different things to different people. Don't leave anyone wondering what you can do! And, if you say you are good at Word, your resume should look professionally-created!


The important thing about computers is to constantly be challenging yourself to learn something new. It is constantly changing, and it is imperative to stay on top of it!


Hope this has helped a little. Best of luck!!

I would add Visual Basic skills to into this category as well. Intermediate would mean you know what VB is and can read and write basic macros without too much trouble. An advanced user could use VB to create Word and Excel documents that have advanced functionality such as data querying and automatic report generation; these documents would almost mimic software you would buy to perform such functions. Jayavignesh Arivalagan
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Meena’s Answer

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MS here looks like it is used in context of Microsoft. When a corporate job asks for MS, it is Microsoft office skills like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook. These are the tools used in day to day office jobs like creating documents, spreadsheets, presentation and email communication.

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Amanda’s Answer

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Great question Cindy!


MS is an abbreviated term for Microsoft Office Suite which consists of various Microsoft applications like: Microsoft Word (type documents), Excel (create spreadsheets and graphs), Microsoft Outlook (email platform businesses use), Microsoft Teams (group chat for businesses like Slack/Instant Messaging), Microsoft Access ( database) , One Drive (like Dropbox, stores files), and Microsoft Publisher (design flyers, ads, etc). PC users tend to use Microsoft applications, although Mac users can also use compatible versions of Microsoft Office Suite.


Organizations are also using Google applications like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, etc which closely mirror Microsoft applications but allows multiple users to update and view forms simultaneously.

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Marco’s Answer

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Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Accesss, etc)

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