20 Must-Have Excel Skills for Professionals in 2021

Possessing Microsoft Excel skills has become one of the most must-have strengths of our lives. Microsoft first launched it in 1985, and initially, it was solely used for business purposes. But, with the advancement of time, it has become so widespread that we use MS Excel almost every aspect of life, whether educational, official, business or even personal purposes.

After Excel, many computer programs have developed. But till today, it doesn’t lose the appeal at all, besides its popularity is bumping up day by day! So, you see, it is crucial to have Excel skills to rise in any professional field. However, follow the blog to vanquish 20 most obvious Excel skills for professionals.

20 Must-Have Excel Skills for Professionals

You probably think that which excel skills you should acquire first as there are plenty of em. Well, for your ease, I’ve filtered out 20 must-have excel skills for professional purpose.

For entry-level administrative roles, you’ll need the following Excel skills. These are the skills that most recruiters want in a candidate. So, acquire the following skills to make the first impression to the recruiters and enter into the job industry with eloquence and confidence.

1. Data Filters

This may seem to be a very basic excel skill to some, but if you don’t know how to work with data filters, you’ll need to develop this skill to stand out from the crowd. When you know how to use data filters you can sort, hide and search for crucial bits of information in a spreadsheet anytime you need to.

2. Data Sorting

Excel allows you to sort the data in your spreadsheets into order. For example, alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order. This is a tricky technique to master because in some situations you can accidentally sort one row or column and not another which will mess up a spreadsheet. These tricky manoeuvres are the reason why it’s necessary to take a proper well-organised Excel Course.

3. Pivot Tables

These are tables which summarise, and allow you to count, sum, and average amongst other calculations according to the data you require. When you know how to do this, it becomes even easier to crunch data and create reports that your business needs.


This handy little Excel skin is a function that sum cells that meet specific but multiple criteria. It is often used when adjacent cells meet criteria based on dates, text and numbers. In other words, it’s a way of sorting through data on a spreadsheet efficiently.


The Microsoft Excel COUNTIFS is a function that counts the number of cells in a range, that meets single or multiple criteria. You can use COUNTIFS as a worksheet function where they can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a worksheet. Some of these Excel skills may seem to be alien to you right now, but they are easily understood when you follow a structured learning path, such as in one of our Excel courses.

6. Excel Shortcut Keys

When you are working with Excel, you’ll get your work done much quicker if you learn how to use the short cut keys. There are a variety of these keys which are used directly from the keyboard rather than using the mouse to navigate.

You may only save a few seconds each time you use this shortcut, but if you are working on spreadsheets all day long, you’ll save yourself a LOT of time by learning the shortcut keys.

7. Charts

Another must-have skill is the ability to create charts which are great ways to present the data you collated using Vlookup. There is such an emphasis on data right now that it makes sense that the ability to create charts is a highly sought after Excel skills.

8. Cell Formatting

Being able to make the data in a cell look correct, so that it doesn’t mess up formulas or formatting is vital. It’s a very basic Excel skill but one that you’ll use daily. When you learn how to format cells in bulk, it will save you plenty of time and helping you to look efficient and on top of your game.

9. Managing Page Layout

For similar reasons to Cell Formatting, being able to manage the page layout is a good Excel skill to have. Page layout ensures that your spreadsheets and any other data look and even print exactly as you need it to. Being able to manage the page layout swiftly makes you look efficient and organised.

10. Data Validation

Data Validation is used to control what can be entered into a cell. For example, there may be a numerical limit to ensure that you don’t enter incorrect numbers, or a date falls within a defined period of time. This is a fun tool with many uses which will help you stay in control of any spreadsheets you create or work with.11. Workbook

A workbook is a collection of spreadsheets which are contained in a single file. It’s a really handy way to store related spreadsheets all in one place. It’s another very basic Excel skill that is necessary for any entry-level role in 2020.

12. Vlookup

Vlookup is a valued skill that anybody who uses Excel needs to know. By using Vlookup, you can collate data from multiple sheets and workbooks into a central location which is perfect for creating reports.

This is a vital Excel skill for any analyst, which is a hot career right now, but it’s also useful across the board.

13. Pivot Charts

Pivot Charts are another form of Excel chart. It allows you to simplify complex data so that it’s easy to digest. Pivot Charts are very similar to traditional charts. They have categories and data series, but they are different because they have interactive filters that allow you to gain access to more information quickly.

14. Flash Fill

Flash fill is the ability to fill out information quickly rather than individually. This saves time and frustration. Which may not seem to be a lot, but if you are working full time as an Analyst, for example, you’ll spend a lot of time working with data. This skill will save you a lot of time.

15. Quick Analysis

This essential Excel skill is also a time-saver; it reduces the time required to create charts by helping you create simple data sets. You’ll learn more about this in an Excel training course, but for now, all you need to know is that it saves time!

16. Power View

Power View is a data exploration and visualisation tool on steroids. It pulls and analyses huge quantities of data from external files and is a handy and essential Excel skill to have in 2020. Powerview can build interactive, presentation-ready reports which can even be exported to Powerpoint.

17. Conditional Formatting

Knowing how to use Excel’s conditional formatting functionality allows you to identify data points of interest easily. You’ll discover numerous rules and unlimited applications for this feature, making it crucial if you want to be up there with all of the hot 2020 excel skills.

18. Moving Columns into Rows

It’s a common occurrence when working in excel where you might be working with data in columns, but you need it to be in rows or vice versa. Knowing how to do this little trick is another time saving savvy Excel skill that you need in 2020.

19. IF Formulas

IF and IFERROR are very useful IF formulas in Excel. They let you use conditional formulas to calculate one way when a certain thing is true, and another way when false. For example, you can identify test scores 70 points or higher by making the cell report “Pass” if the score in column C is above 70, and “Fail” if it’s 69 or below.

20. Auditing Formulas

Formula auditing in Excel allows you to graphically display the relationship between formulas and cells, allowing you to audit the formulas and check for errors or edits. This feature makes auditing formula dependents and precedents easily, including object dependencies. It has many uses in the workplace, and while it’s an advanced skill, it’s easy to grasp with the right kind of training.


The excel skills featured above are commonly sought after when employers are looking to fill roles as a Personal Assistant, Admin Assistant and other entry-level job roles such as a Bookkeeper or Project Manager. Which means that it makes sense if you want to enhance your opportunities for employment and Excel Course is a must!

Excel is one of the best software programs out there and is a standard requirement in most businesses for that reason. If you are new to Excel or already experience, there will always something new to learn. You’ll never get bored when working with excel but you’ll frequently be delighted Excels power and with what you learn about it.