How to Enable the Excel Developer Tab

In order to unlock much of Excel’s advanced functionality, you must first enable the Excel Developer Tab. Once you open the Excel Developer Tab on the Ribbon, you will have access to all of the macro and coding options. Opening this tab is the first step in learning how to code in Excel.

To get started, open the File Tab on the Ribbon and select “Options”.

excel developer tab options

This will open the Excel Options Dialogue Box. From here, navigate down to the “Customize Ribbon” option.

excel developer tab options

Your screen should look like this:

excel developer tab ribbon

This screen provides you with access to all of the different components of the Ribbon. The scroll box on the left contains a list of all of the commands in Excel (things like cut, paste, copy, etc.). The scroll box on the right allows you to modify the contents of the Ribbon. If you know how to customize the Excel Ribbon, the next step is easy. If you don’t, simply check the box next to Developer in the right-hand scroll box.

excel developer tab ribbon2

Then click “OK”. If you’ve followed the above steps, you should have enabled the Excel Developer Tab. It should appear on the far right-hand side of the Ribbon, as in the screenshot below.

excel developer tab final

As you can see, once you’ve enabled the Excel Developer Tab, you open up access to many of the options that allow you to create and edit macros, write code in VBA, and add interactive form controls (such as buttons, scroll boxes, etc.) to your spreadsheets. Opening up the Excel Developer Tab is the first step in learning how to use these more advanced controls.

Finding the Excel Developer Tab is Only the First Step!

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What is an Excel Macro?

Just what is an Excel macro? How can you use an Excel macro in your everyday work? Do you need to know anything about coding to write macros? Macros are flexible, dynamic, and relatively easy to learn how to use. Once you learn how to write and use macros, you will be able to simplify everyday tasks and make the performance of your daily duties more efficient.

So, What is an Excel Macro?

A macro is simply a program (or piece of code) that lives and operates within Excel. Excel macros are written in a coding language called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and can be used in any number of applications. Some macros are very simple and consist of only a few lines of code. Others are more complicated, with the code running for hundreds of lines. Macros are a way of extending the use and power of Excel through coding.

Excel Macro Example

How Can You Use Excel Macros?

You can use macros in any situation where it is possible to automate a task. So, if you need to hide/unhide a series of rows/columns/sheets you can write a macro to do that. You can also write a macro to automatically adjust formatting at the click of a button, or even send an email (with attachment) to a designated recipient. You can even make one macro run another macro. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your familiarity with VBA.

How Do You Get Started Writing Excel Macros?

Luckily, you don’t need to know any code in order to get started writing macros. You can simply use the built-in Macro Recorder. All you need to do is turn the recorder on and Excel will covert whatever actions you perform into code. When you’re done, just turn the recorder off. That’s all it takes to get started writing Excel macros. As you improve your skills, you can rely less on the recorder and create more complicated code. However, the Macro Recorder is a good way to get started.

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How to Land an Entry Level Business Analyst Job

Entry level business analyst jobs are not easy to obtain. However, the starting salary for an entry level business analyst is well worth the effort. The easiest way to gain an edge on the other job candidates is to build your Excel skills. In addition to learning how to use Excel, knowing how to showcase what you’ve learned is key to landing an entry level business analyst job. Follow our three tips below and, you’ll be well on your way to earning a spot at a Fortune 500 Company near you.

1. Make Your Resume Excel

As an applicant for an entry level business analyst position, you probably already have a well-refined resume. However, you don’t want to overlook the importance of including your Excel experience on your resume. When skimming through resumes, many employers look for key indicators such as the ability to create pivot tables or write macros. Try to avoid using such generic descriptors as “Advanced Excel User” or something similar. Don’t tell your potential employers that you know how to use Excel, show them! If you’ve used Excel in prior jobs or in projects for school, be sure to include that in the prior experience section of your resume. Including a sentence such as “Utilized Pivot Tables to analyze and slice data in order to prove…” will go a long way towards showing that you know how to use Excel and impressing the hiring manager for your entry level business analyst role.entry level business analyst

2. Get Certified!

In line with Tip #1 above, an easy way to demonstrate your Excel prowess is to obtain the official Microsoft certifications. The benefit of earning an Excel certification is two-fold. First, in the process of earning the certification, you will learn all about the core features of Excel and how to use them effectively in your everyday work. Then after you’ve earned the Excel certification, simply listing the certification on your resume will quickly and easily demonstrate your advanced Excel knowledge to prospective employers. Excel knowledge is key to landing an entry level business analyst position. Earning an Excel certification is an easy way to both obtain that knowledge and showcase it.

3. Build on Your Existing Knowledge

Whether you’re trying to land an entry level business analyst position or any other job, you should always look for ways to improve your existing skill set to remain competitive in whatever field you go into. Because Excel is such a complicated program and it has so many different uses, there is always something new you can learn about the program. So, whether you’re just starting out, or you were born with a spreadsheet in your hand, you can always learn something new.

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Five Advanced Excel Skills Every Job Applicant Should Know

Find a new job with advanced Excel skillsAdvanced Excel skills are among the most commonly requested job skills hiring managers request of new employees. Many times, a job posting will simply ask for “Advanced Excel Skills” among the list of job requirements. What are these skills? What does it take to become an advanced Excel user? What follows is a list of key Excel skills that every advanced user should know.

1. Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables are among Excel’s most mysterious functions. Yet, learning how to use them is fairly straight-forward. Pivot Tables simply summarize data, and they provide you with additional functionality to present your data in almost any way you can imagine. Want to quickly get a count of how many employees work in each department in your office? Create a Pivot Table. Want to figure out what the average performance score is across several different work units? Create a Pivot Table. Need to analyze a complex report with dozens (or hundreds) of data columns? Create a Pivot Table. Pivot Tables are flexible and dynamic, which makes them extremely useful in the business world. Knowing how to create Pivot Tables is one of the most crucial advanced Excel skills you can learn. Become a master of Pivots, and you’ll be sure to impress any hiring manager.

2. VLOOKUP Function

If Pivot Tables are used more frequently than any other Excel feature in business offices every day, VLOOKUPs are a close second. Whether you’re validating financial reports or simply summarizing and analyzing data, you’ll probably use the VLOOKUP function several times in the course of your daily work. The real power of the VLOOKUP function lies in its simplicity, enabling you to quickly find and pull the exact data you need out of large data sets. Once you learn how the VLOOKUP works, you’ll find an increasing number of opportunities for its application in your everyday work. Along with Pivot Tables, VLOOKUPs are a key advanced Excel skill. If you know nothing else, knowing how to create Pivot Tables and use VLOOKUPs will put you ahead of most applicants in the job market.

3. Paste Special

Paste Special is another key advanced Excel skill. Any job that involves Excel (which will be most jobs) will involve moving data around. Paste Special allows you to unlock the power of the Cut/Paste functions. Maybe you only need to copy the formatting of a cell and not its content, or maybe you need to copy the output value of a formula without copying the formula itself. Paste Special allows you to do all of this and more! Everyone knows how to cut and paste, very few know how to use Paste Special.

4. Macros

Knowing how to automate tasks with code will set you far and above the competition when you apply for jobs. In Excel, you can do this with Macros, and you don’t even need to know anything about code to get started! Learning how to use Macros will enable you to write code that will automatically complete repetitive tasks for you. So, if you need to run reports every week (or every day), you can write some Macros to automate things such as the formatting and even some of the analysis. This will enable you to complete your work faster and more consistently. Learn how to use Excel to write a few simple Macros, and you will be able to impress hiring managers with your ability to fly through work assignments using your advanced Excel skills.Creating powerful charts is an advanced Excel skill

5. Charts

One of the final advanced Excel skills that will set you apart from the competition is your ability to design useful and informative charts. Anyone can create a chart (or graph). It is much more difficult to create a chart that provides a useful insight into some data. Knowing how to stack charts on top of each other and how to use both the primary and secondary axis are advanced Excel skills that make a new employee very valuable. If you intend to do any sort of data analysis, knowing how to create dynamic and informative charts is crucial.

Advance Your Job Search with Advanced Excel Skills

Knowing how to use Excel is an important part of most jobs you will apply to. Having a set of advanced Excel skills, like those discussed above, will set you apart from the legions of applicants you are competing against. If you master these skills, you will stand apart and above most of your competition.

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