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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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The Microsoft Certification: Proving Your Knowledge

Obtaining a Microsoft certification is one of the easiest and most recognized ways of demonstrating your mastery of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or any other Microsoft Office product. The Microsoft certification program is administered by Microsoft and uses a standardized curriculum and test that is recognized all over the world. With an official Microsoft certification in hand, you can confidently showcase your mastery of any Microsoft Office product to your employers and co-workers.

How Do You Obtain a Microsoft Certification?

On its website, Microsoft lists all of the topics that are covered in each of the different exams they offer. The page for the Microsoft Excel Specialist test is a good example. While there are multiple ways to prepare for each certification test, the best way to prepare for and pass the test is to take classes from a reputable training provider who has designed a training program around the skills tested on the certification exam. Once you have completed training and studying for the test, you simply register to take the test through Certiport and schedule an exam for a time that best fits your schedule.

What Microsoft Certifications Are Available?

Most Microsoft Office products have only one certification: the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification. However, Excel and Word are different. There are actually two Microsoft certifications you can earn for these two products: the regular Microsoft Office Specialist Certification and a special Microsoft Office Specialist Expert Certification. The Expert Microsoft certification demonstrates a high-level (or power-user level) familiarity with the program. Users with an Expert Microsoft certification know all of the ins and outs of the program and are able to accomplish very complicated tasks with the programs. In order to obtain this certification, it is usually necessary to take several additional classes to obtain the appropriate mastery and knowledge of the program.

Finally, if you’re able to demonstrate your proficiency in several Microsoft Office products by obtaining the appropriate Microsoft certifications in several different programs (Word, Excel, SharePoint, Outlook, etc.), you can earn the Microsoft Office Specialist Master Certification. With this Microsoft certification in hand, you have demonstrated that you are fully functional in most Microsoft Office products and are able to complete complex and integrated tasks using multiple programs in the Office Suite. This is one of the most difficult, but also most impressive Microsoft certifications you can earn.

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How Do You Get Started?

Earning a Microsoft certification provides you with valuable job skills and also allows you to easily showcase those job skills to current or future employers. The best way to get started is to sign up for our free email newsletter, where you’ll get valuable Microsoft Office tips and tricks right in your inbox. You’ll also get exclusive offers for our upcoming training classes and webinars!