10 Advanced Excel Skills to Boost Your Resume

See also: The Skills Gap


Many types of professional positions require you to have skills in using Microsoft Excel.

By learning more advanced Excel skills, you can boost your resume further and stand a better chance of landing the job you’re after.

Close up of young man using a laptop.

Taking an Advanced Excel Course

Below, you’ll find ten advanced skills you can learn for Excel. In order to learn and master them, it’s recommended that you take an advanced Excel course.

There are various advanced Excel courses available, so make sure the one you choose suits your specific needs.

Many courses can be completed in a couple of days.

Look for an advanced course that’s hands-on and enables you to ask questions regarding the things you’re being taught. The course should have expert and friendly trainers. You should also look for courses that cater to small groups only, as you’ll be able to learn at a much more comfortable pace.

And look for courses with ongoing support to help you with any issues you could face after completion.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the fundamental advanced Excel skills you should learn in order to make your resume stand out.

1. PivotTables

If you want to analyse data with Microsoft Excel, learning how to use PivotTables is one of the most valuable skills to master. While PivotTables take longer to learn than other advanced Excel skills, it’s more than worth it.

Basically, you can use PivotTables to sort and count data in one spreadsheet and display the data in a new table.

PivotTables are very versatile. You can drag and drop the column data you need to use to create the specific table format you require. And by using PivotTables, matching data can be automatically grouped to achieve summaries that are easy to view and examine.

2. Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting enables you to highlight parts of your data to meet given conditions.

For instance, you could tell Excel to highlight the ten employees who are underperforming the most or highlight your top twenty customers.

Basic conditional formatting is fairly simple to learn, but with advanced conditional formatting skills, you’ll be able to do much more; such as combining formulas with conditional formatting to highlight the data you need for almost any given condition.

3. Filters

With filters, you can hide data that’s of no interest and explore data in a table quickly. For instance, you could look for a value like “products with the highest margins”.

By using filters, you can bring up the relevant data and hide the data you don’t currently need. Furthermore, when you use the latest versions of Microsoft Excel, you can also filter number values and cell colour.

Filtering becomes even more valuable when you need to filter multiple columns in combination, such as colours and selected products.

4. PivotTable Slicers

PivotTable slicers are similar to filters in that they display certain data and hide other data, but instead of using dropdown menus, PivotTable slicers provide you with user-friendly buttons that make the whole process easier.

In addition to fast filtering, PivotTable slicers can inform you about your current filtering state. Therefore, you can always know what data is currently in and out of the PivotTable report.

5. VBA Language

Excel has its own language: Visual Basic for Applications. Using VBA is a powerful way of extending Excel’s functionality.

When you master how to give instructions to Excel in the VBA language, you can program Excel to do pretty much whatever you want, from automating reports to cleaning up data.

Thus, by using VBA language to instruct Excel, you can save countless hours and speed up processes.

6. Advanced Charting

When you learn advanced charting skills, you can effectively present data results in an easy-to-digest manner.

By mastering charting skills, you’ll know how to select the correct type of chart for any situation, how to combine multiple charts into one, how to set up dynamic and interactive charts, and how to use sparklines.

7. Sparklines

If you don’t know, a sparkline is a tiny chart contained in a worksheet. It provides a visual representation of the data you select.

Learning how to use sparklines can be very useful, especially for showing trends across a series of values. For instance, with a sparkline, you can easily view things like economic cycles and seasonal increases and decreases in sales.

Sparklines can be displayed as either columns or lines.


When you learn COUNTIF skills, you can easily count cells that have specific properties on your Excel spreadsheets.

For instance, if you want to find out how many times a particular entry appears on a list, you can use COUNTIF to count entries based on your selected criteria.


SUMIF is similar to COUNTIF in that you can use it for cells with certain properties like specific words, numbers, or values.

With SUMIF, you can add those cells with your chosen properties; which is extremely useful if you want to pull out information from large datasets.

10. Power Pivot

One of the most powerful features you should consider learning about is Power Pivot.

This basically provides more processing power to handle very large data sets. For instance, if you have hundreds of thousands of rows of data, which would be too much for Excel to cope with, you could save the data in a database and then use Power Pivot to pull the data you need into Excel. You can then use PivotTables accordingly.

You can also create relationships between numerous tables, so it doesn’t matter if you have data across more than one database.

Basically, Power Pivot connects external databases with your PivotTables, and you can refresh them as required.

Power Pivot is typically only used by Excel experts. So, if you’re serious about developing your data analysis skills and showing potential employers that you have skills that go above and beyond those of other candidates, learning the skills to master Pivot Point is a very good idea.

Featuring any or all of these skills on your CV or resume will make it really stand out from the crowd and improve your chance of getting the job you want.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.