It’s an experience most of us have had to endure…
Arriving at a recruitment agency and being sat down in front of a row of computers along with some poor sod next to you, waiting to best tested on various computer programmes. Knowing full well, that how the results pan out could be the make or break of you getting another job, never mind the right job!
I have been lucky enough to grow up in a house where computers were almost always available. As a child, I have fond memories of scribbling pictures on Paint, and as I got older, doing my school projects in Word. I like to think I was privileged to have this experience as a learning curb at a time when Computers were not a common thing in every home. Today though, I think there is no excuse for any generation to enter into the business world lacking the basics when it comes to programmes such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel. It’s been around long enough to be considered a standard requirement for almost anyone seeking a job.
There used to be a time when knowing how to use excel and word involved simple tasks like:
· Exit a programme by clicking the little red box in the corner.
· Using Bold, Underline, Font sizes and types.
· How to adjust your paragraph to the middle, right and left of the screen.
If you knew these basic functions ten years ago, it might have been acceptable to label yourself as ‘proficient’ in these two programmes. Do it today, and you are likely to get destroyed when it comes to having proving your worth after you get employed. As an employer or recruiter, it must be standard practice to see excel and word labelled as programmes you know how to use on your CV. In reality, this is far from the truth.
If I was to hire you today, and you said you could handle yourself around Word, Excel or PowerPoint, my expectations would be, not limited, to the following:
· Knowing what Freeze frame is and how it works.
· Knowing how to include and use Filter Options
· Basic Formula’s
· Linking Spreadsheets
· How to modify data
· Use VLookups
· Creation and modification of tables and graphs
· How to put together a basic PowerPoint presentation with animated graphics
· And generating certain legal documents in word
All of the above is completely self-explanatory in each of these programmes and the functions are really quite simple to use if you take the time to learn them. I consider myself proficient in all of the above, but I would by no means classify myself as an advanced user. Each of these programmes has functionality that if learnt could change the way you operate daily tasks, as well as your business, your presentation to customers and the level of efficiency at which you operate. It’s about taking the time to teach yourself, because nobody is going to do it for you.
The times have changed, and its time you change with it. You best be clear on what you are capable of when it comes to software, because when crunch time comes, you are digging your own grave. It becomes entirely evident where your shortcomings are.
When asked to design a spread sheet with certain data, providing 6 columns, with headings in bold and a crappy Color does not make you excel proficient. It makes you look like an idiot who lied on your CV.
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