If you are looking for a job then having the right skill set can make the difference between getting seen for interview and ending up on the reject pile.
Putting a CV together many people can lay claim to knowing how to use MS Word but few actually have the advanced skills required for many positions such as legal administration jobs. Professional secretarial duties that require high level administrative support all need candidates that are trained in advanced Word skills.
What are advanced Word skills?
The ability to write, edit and format a document in Microsoft Office is a basic requirement but an advanced qualification in MS Word means that a user can:
- Design and create forms and templates.
- Design and create electronic forms.
- Use mail merge to create recipient lists, mailing labels and configure Outlook to send merged emails.
- Manage large documents by creating master and subdocuments.
- Create and manage bookmarks, footnotes, endnotes and a table of contents.
- Use the tracking features of MS Word to enable revision in a document including adding, editing and removing comments, comparing a document with previous versions and protecting documents from revision by other users.
- Understand Macros in MS Word and how they work to automate repetitive tasks.
- Importing, exporting and embedding to/from MS Word to other Microsoft Office programs.
These skills, in addition to Basic and Intermediate level operation, are a minimum requirement for a number of professional careers and job openings.
What kinds of job require an advanced Word skill qualifications?
The requirement for advanced training in MS Word is a basic minimum for a number of professional legal support roles as well as academics, PA’s and secretarial positions.
Legal administration jobs such as legal secretaries, paralegals and PA’s require candidates to work with complicated legal documents and formal letters; each having specific structures and complex auditing procedures.
The recruitment process for commercial roles for secretaries and PA’s also favour candidates that can demonstrate advanced Word skills. Business communications, particularly in larger organisations, extend to the production of large documents across a number of contributors. The ability of an administrator to track these changes and maintain control over such documents is essential.
In the academic world, no document could be considered complete without extensive footnotes, endnotes and a robust and reliable indexing structure. Anyone working in this field will need a comprehensive understanding of MS Word in order to complete their duties.
As well as legal administration, jobs in marketing, sales and advertising all benefit from this level of training. In fact, few companies offering roles in any kind of administrative work rarely require anything less than an intermediate knowledge of MS Word.