How to List Office Software Skills on Your Résumé

Maximize the power of your résumé technical skills section

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With technology skills ranking among the highest employers look for, it can really pay to articulate those skills you have gained through education or experience.

If you are searching for a clerical or office job in management, administration, and other popular fields, follow these guidelines for polishing the Technical Skills section of your résumé, including how you list office software skills.

Details, Details

Always write out all programs you know. For example, instead of just listing "LibreOffice", you pack a meaner punch by listing "LibreOffice Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Draw, and Math."

Always Maximize, but Don’t Embellish

While you should never list office software programs you have merely heard of or dabbled in, be sure to not hold back with those you do know. Find ways to bridge the gap and get it on your résumé.

The rule of thumb on whether to include an office software program is to picture yourself either answering interview questions about it or using it by yourself on the first day of hopefully getting the job. After all, it would be pointless to go through all this trouble only to disappoint your new boss.

Open the program. If you see tools you haven’t used, take the steps to learn them, or don’t list the program.

For example, maybe you have used Microsoft Word for years, but you have never done a Mail Merge. While you do not necessarily need professional experience using it, you should take interactive tutorials, attend a local community education course, or find some other practical way to really know an essential tool such as this before stating that you know Microsoft Word.

Prove It

To really prove to yourself and others that you know certain programs, make it official with an Office Software Certification. Anyone can write “Microsoft Excel” on their résumé but I guarantee most résumés in the stack do not say “Certified Microsoft Office User Specialist in Excel.”

Typically, these are courses you attend locally, followed by a test, but some you can even get through online participation and testing.

Be Savvy With Spelling, Capitalization

Even excellent spellers and grammarians stumble when it comes to software names, such as listing Microsoft’s PowerPoint as "Power Point" or Powerpoint. This is likely because we have all seen it wrong so many times, we may think we know the spelling when really it is wrong.

For that reason, when listing office software on your résumé, double-check the company’s main site. Missing these little details can really sabotage all the other wonderful details you have featured on that résumé.

Diversify and Get More Skills

Microsoft Office is still the most widely-used office software program worldwide, but an increasing number of employers have adopted alternative office software suites. Being able to list more than one suite is a great advantage.

Not only does diversification increase your chances of aligning with what the company uses, but even if it does not align, it shows you can learn a new product because you have experience outside of just Office.

Beyond the Software Suites: More Tech Skills to Incorporate

Office software suites are used within a larger productivity context, so show employers you know that. Consider the following additions to your Technical Skills section:

  • Operating Systems: List desktop and mobile operating systems you have productivity experience in (for example, do not list iOS if you have not authored documents or collaborated on your iPhone/iPod). Examples include: Android, Windows, BlackBerry, iOS, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Cloud Computing: List all environments or online storage solutions you have used, such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
  • Social Media Skills: Again, only list those you can show work-related experience in. Social Networking sites include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, as well as aggregators such as HootSuite or TweetDeck.
  • Additional software types you may know, as relevant: Financial Software, Animation Software, Desktop Video Software, Collaboration/Meeting Software, Graphics Software, Content Management Systems, and other software types.
  • Web Design: Web Design/HTML
  • Typing Speed: This is typically listed in terms of words per minute (ex: 45 WPM).