client resources

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is the name given to a series of programmes that can be used to produce information. You may be more familiar with the names Word, Excel and PowerPoint - all of these are part of Microsoft Office. 

Do I need to learn Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office software is very commonly used, not only when creating your CV to apply for a job, but also in a large number of job roles to produce information and communicate as part of a team.  Most often employers will ask for job candidates who feel confident or have experience using some of the Microsoft programmes, especially Word, Excel and Outlook.  

Here are some things to consider when evaluating your IT skills:

  • Be honest on your CV and at an interview - employers will require a certain level of IT skill knowledge and competency for a specific job role.
  • If you oversell your skill level you may find it difficult to succeed in a new job.
  • You can work to develop your skills before applying for a job to ensure you are able to perform the role as required.  

Let's have a look at some of the different Microsoft programmes, find out what each one could be used for and look at links to further training you can access to develop your knowledge and competency.


Word is the common programme used to create a new CV, write personal or business letters, compile reports or record notes of meetings. You can find it on your computer by looking for an icon similar to this:

On newer versions of Word there are a large number of templates to help you create your chosen document.  If you want to learn more about formatting your document, using different fonts, inserting tables or pictures and saving your work, you can access online tutorial and practice here: 

Microsoft Word Tutorials

There are also many tutorials on YouTube where you can learn and improve your Word skills, here's one to start with: 


Excel is a computer-based spreadsheet programme used by companies for a wide variety of reasons.  You can find it on your computer with an icon similar to this:

Excel is great for keeping track of budgets, inputting data to produce charts and reports, making plans, managing projects and creating mailing lists - to name a few!  To practise your Excel skills you could make a spreadsheet to keep track of your weekly budget, entering what you spend on shopping, food or drinks. You can also use Excel to plan an event, create your own calendar or even plan a holiday. 

Newer versions of Excel have lots of templates you can use to help you get started, as well as training tips to show you how the programme works.  You can also access learning tips and practice activities online via the link below:

Mircosoft Excel Tutorials

There are also many tutorials on YouTube where you can learn and improve your Excel skills.  Here's one we found useful: 


Outlook is the name for Microsoft's mailing and diary management software.  The icon to launch Outlook is like this:

You can use Outlook to send and receive emails, keep track of your appointments and meetings, set reminders for tasks that you need to complete and store people's contact details.  Follow this link to learn how to customise your Outlook, create and send emails and manage your contacts, calendar and tasks:

Microsoft Outlook Tutorials

There are many tutorials on YouTube which can assist you in developing your Outlook skills:


PowerPoint is used to create, develop and deliver presentations.  Its icon looks like this:

There are many different features which mean that presentations can be interactive and visual. You could develop your PowerPoint skills by developing a PowerPoint presentation around a subject or skill you are passionate about.  There are a number of templates and themes available for you to use, but if you want further help creating and laying out your slideshow, adding pictures, graphics, animations and audio, or learning how to present your slideshow, click here:

Microsoft PowerPoint Tutorials

There are many tutorials on YouTube which can assist you in developing your PowerPoint skills:

Other Microsoft Programmes

There are many other Microsoft programmes that you could be asked to use at work.  To help you better understand what each programme does and develop your skills, you can access training tips and practical activities here:

Microsoft Training Suite

Courses to improve your skills

Back to Work regularly put on refresher sessions for Microsoft Office and you have access to these sessions as a JET client.  Your Employment Coordinator can also set tasks for you during job club, or work with you to think of ways you can build and develop your Microsoft skills in your own time.  Why not set this as one of your Employment Action Plan goals?

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