What Excel Skills are Employers Looking For in 2022?

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A look through any job posting website will quickly show that a good portion of employers are searching for candidates with Microsoft Excel experience. That’s especially relevant now that so many people are hunting for online job opportunities. If you’re one of those people, it helps to know exactly what Excel skills employers are looking for.

Sure, having high-value Excel knowledge is one way to get an edge over other applicants – but do you really need to learn everything? Probably not.

The Excel requirements will vary by job type, but you can count on each employer to have a few expectations in common depending on the level of proficiency they need.

Basic Excel Skills Employers are Looking For

Many entry-level positions will look for your ability to use Microsoft Excel to efficiently complete tasks that would be time-consuming otherwise. Think sifting through large amounts of data, updating prices, adding and subtracting values, etc. Luckily, you don’t need to be an Excel expert to perform these basic functions. 

Of course, employers will expect you to know how to open and save your workbooks, add and manage sheets, format cells, and print pages. Here are some of the other entry-level Excel skills employers are looking for:

It’s always a good idea to invest in learning some higher-level Excel skills since they can enhance your productivity, but having a good grasp of the basics is a great start when it comes to job hunting! 

On the other hand, if those concepts seem a little unfamiliar, it might be a good idea to take a free intro course and brush up on your basic Excel knowledge.

Excel Skills for Mid-Level Jobs

A lot of Excel knowledge builds upon the beginning foundation, but once you’ve got those skills down, employers looking for mid-level Excel users will be more focused on how efficiently you can use that knowledge. 

While each employer’s exact requirements will be unique to them, they’ll be looking for people who:

  • Know how to quickly create a pivot table and interpret the data
  • Can filter through large amounts of data to check its relevance and accuracy
  • The ability to present and explain data using a basic chart
  • Can use Excel functions that build on the basics, like SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, and VLOOKUP
  • Know the difference between functions and formulas

If you really want to impress your prospective employer, you’ll definitely want to say that you prefer XLOOKUP to VLOOKUP 🙂

To sum it up, employers looking for intermediate-level Excel skills will need someone who can not only quickly put together data and charts, but be able to explain them confidently as well. 

Advanced Excel Skills Employers are Looking For

If you’re looking for jobs in fields like accounting, auditing, financial analytics, or something similar, chances are you could seriously benefit from mastering some of the more advanced Excel skills. 

Potential employers will love spotting them on your resume, but more importantly, they can make your work life a lot easier once you’ve gotten the hang of them!

Employers looking to fill advanced positions may want to see your ability to use Power Pivot to summarize tables from larger datasets. It is also important to be familiar with Power Query so that you can effectively import and transform data from other sources into workable Excel spreadsheets. 

Complete mastery over Microsoft Excel’s VBA (or Visual Basic for Application) programming language may not be a requirement even for some higher-level positions, but familiarity with it will boost your credibility and let potential employers know that you understand how to make Excel work for you. 

People who possess Microsoft Excel skills are highly sought after in all industries, including sales, marketing, and finance. This makes it one of the best investments when it comes to furthering your career.

Don’t believe us? Just check out the 700,000+ job positions open for someone with Excel skills!


If you are an employer and have specific Excel skills you look for in applicants, please share by posting a comment below! Also, if you are a job seeker and have noticed certain skills keep coming up in your interviews, please share by posting a comment below!

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1 Comment

  1. John Reeve on March 17, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Thanks Jeff. I have signed up for the Jooble feed to see what is out there. I’ll be looking for companies that want to outsource their work to me as a contractor, my “employee” days ended 26 years ago.

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