On almost all job adverts for a Personal Assistant, you will see the requirement to be competent or even highly skilled in Microsoft Office. Why is Microsoft Office important to a PA, and how can you ensure your skills are up to scratch?

Skills for an EA and PA

Why Microsoft Office skills are vital for a PA

Working as a Personal Assistant today you will find yourself involved in a hugely diverse range of tasks.  This can range from taking messages and organising meetings to keeping important spreadsheets up to date and liaising with suppliers or clients.

One piece of equipment will be central to all of these tasks, and that is a computer.  However, in the increasingly busy world in which we live, Directors and Managers will delegate a lot of tasks to their assistants who will subsequently be mad busy as well.

This is where Microsoft Office comes in not just useful but as a necessary tool.  And like all tools, you need to know it as well as possible for each of the jobs you’re likely to have to perform.  From typing letters to doing complex mathematical sums, Microsoft Office is packed to the brim with powerful functionality to save a lot of time on these daily tasks.

Even if you are performing a repetitive task which you find easy, utilising tools such as ‘macros’ within Office can take the repetitiveness away and have the work completed within a few clicks.  Mail merge, pivot tables, formulas and countless other bits of functionality will simplify your work and speed up the completion of these tasks, meaning you get more done.

MOS Skills

How to improve your Microsoft Office skills

Luckily, help is at hand when it comes to improving your competency with the suite of Microsoft Office products.  If you’re already in the job of Personal Assistant, approach your employer about perhaps attending a training course.  You can also do this if not yet in a PA role, but beware that some can be costly.

Firstly, there are some great online courses available for you to study now. Some of which will be paid for. You should earn an accredited or recognised certificate at the end of it.

There are also some great free resources out there. Use search engines to find free Microsoft Office courses or tutorials. Pay attention to specific tasks and identify tutorials for those.  If you are working as PA and have a task performed within Microsoft Office that takes up a lot of time, try searching online for tutorials or solutions to speed that job up.

Training Courses

One thing to be watchful for whichever option of learning you take, ensure the guide you are reading or course you are following is for the same version of Microsoft Office you as using, where possible.  These can be necessary every time there is a new version. Microsoft often moves things around which can be initially confusing.

Find out about MOS Certified training at: www.excel-course.co.uk